February 23, 2011

Spring 11 Reformation Tour

This past week was spent on the AMBEX Reformation Tour... tracking the footsteps of the Reformers... here's a few outtakes from our trip.

On the way to Dresden, we stopped at Flossenbuerg Concentration Camp Memorial. This visit was especially significant as Flossenbuerg is the CC in which Dr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed, a man we have been reflecting on in Bible Study this semester.

The Flossenbuerg memorial includes a museum. This period of German history is so hard to grasp.

Dresden's breathtaking old city. Dresden is also known as the Florence of Germany for its Art History and musical contributions to Europe.

Spring 2011 with Luther's statue in front of the Frauenkirche in Dresden. For Protestants, this cathedral is as significant as St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican is to Catholics.

Had to spend a day in Berlin, Germany's capital. The building in the background is the "Reichstag" where the German Congress convenes.

Here we are strolling through "no man's land" at the Berlin Wall Document Center. This area, in between the wall and the fencing, was mined and patrolled by guards and police dogs during the cold war. There was no getting in or out.

Lots of amazing cold war photography is displayed along the wall. Can you see how the wall literally divided the city at its center? Families, friends and loved one's were so close, and yet so unreachable.

That evening we arrived in Wittenberg - Luthercity. Behind us are the doors where Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses. Eek!

 Gettin us some grub at the Student Inn in Wittenberg. Yum!

The next morning Dr. Pointer, our Reformation History professor, lead the students in class, followed by a tour through Wittenberg that afternoon.

Wittenberg's Castle Church. Also known for some pretty famous doors on which some pretty significant Theses were posted. It's literally right-next-door to the Student Inn. Church History at our fingertips!

The AMBEX ladies with the statue of Katharine von Bora, Martin Luther's wife & housewife extraordinaire!

Here we are in front of Luther's house in Wittenberg. Quite large, yes? Along with the Luther family, many theologians and seminary students lived here while studying Luther's reformed :) beliefs.

These statues resemble our AMBEX students quite nicely, don't you think?

Kate at the Town Church in Wittenberg. Luther preached here regularly. The altar painting in the background was done by Luther's close friend and colleague, Philip Melanchton.

Sam - standing where Luther preached.

The following day we toured the Augustinian Monestary in Erfurt. As a catholic monk, Luther pledged himself to this order. Jonathan is reenacting a scene from the movie, "Luther", that was filmed here in 2003.

A Bible from 1505 AD has notes in the margins written by Luther!

This "cell" is a room which was used by Luther and other monks to study and memorize Scripture.

The robe would have been similar to what Luther wore at the monastery.  The "bed" to the right is particularly telling of the Spartanic way of life monks endured in the Augustinian order. There was also no heat in the dorms, cells or common areas, and meals were served only once per day with long fasting periods inbetween that could last up to 1 month!

The next day we headed to Eisenach, home of composer Johann Sebastian Bach and Wartburg Castle. Here is a pic of the group at Bach's house.

So many original instruments of Bach's on display.

The tour includes a live performance of Bach's works on his very own instruments. No way!

Kate played an instrumental part in the concert by pulling these bands that provided the air needed to play the organ. Great job, girl!

Wartburg Castle - where Martin Luther went into hiding while translating the New Testament into the German language.

Inside the Wartburg, getting ready for the tour.

Cathedral of St. Peter in Worms - this is one of the finest Romanesque basilicas in Europe.

A Konditorei is a bakery specializing in the production of cakes and tortes. This one is especially delicious, and a slice of goodness is cheaper than a latte at Starbucks. Win!

Reformation Monument in Worms

Last stop on our tour - lovely Heidelberg. Germany's romantic city. It's located on the Neckar river and has a beautiful baroque style old town, and castle sitting on a hill.

In the courtyard of Heidelberg Castle

The Heidelberg region is known for its wine production. The castle holds a giant wine cellar beneath its fortifications. In fact, the wine vats are so huge that...

there's a dancing platform on top of one of them. Here's Kaitlin and Sam dancin on the vat - fun!

Exploring the castle grounds...

All in all a great trip, with a fun group, and amazing sites!

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