Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a sponsored post. The Tourist Board of Nuremberg sent me Playmobil Martin Luther figures, which I am (in turn) giving away. I’m gave away 20 of them in November 2015. I’m disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
It was early May when Martin began the journey home. No decision had been made on how to deal with his “New Theology,” but Martin’s resignation was accepted. Though he walked to Heidelberg, he was invited to ride toward home in the cart of the Nuremberg delegates for as far as they could take him. As Martin prepared to enter the wagon, a young priest approached. Martin thought his prominent forehead, aggressively straight nose, and jutting chin caused him to resemble a bird of prey.
“Doctor Luther, I am Martin Bucer and this is Johannes Brenz. I must tell you that you were gracious in every response, and showed outstanding patience in listening. Your knowledge of Scripture can rival only that of the apostle Paul. Also, I have never before heard the theology of the cross. I hope that I will read more of your thoughts in the coming months.”….
The champion of the New Theology thanked Martin Bucer and climbed into the wooden cart headed toward home. Along the way, Martin moved to the cart of the Erfurt delegation and on May 8, he stopped in Erfurt to speak with his beloved professor, Herr Trutvetter. The old man initially refused to see Martin, but gave in the following day. Martin carefully explained to Trutvetter the truth of the gospel, and the glorious revelation of Scripture. The old man just shook his head in sorrow over Martin’s belief that all theology must come from the Bible itself. Martin left Erfurt on the wagon of the delegates from Eisleben, crestfallen that he had failed to show his aging professor the veracity of God’s Word.
The priest arrived in Wittenberg on May 15. Martin was never idle, and he immediately wrote Resolutions Concerning the Ninety-Five Theses, an expanded explanation of each of his theses. In his scrolling handwriting he wrote:
The church needs a reformation. It is not the business of one man—namely the pope, or of many men—namely the cardinals. On the contrary, it is the business of the entire Christian world, yes, the business of God alone.[i]
[i] Kittelson, Luther the Reformer, 114.
Nuremberg and Martin Luther
Over the course of his career, Martin Luther had a good deal of contact with the city of Nuremberg, Germany, and her people. Martin met the monk Johann von Mecheln in Nuremberg in 1510, where they began their trek by foot over the Alps to the city of Rome to have a monastic dispute decided.
Luther rode home from the Heidelberg Disputation in the wagon of Nuremberg monks, after resigning as vicar of the Augustinian order in the midst of swelling controversy over The Ninety-Five Theses.
Luther also traveled through Nuremberg on his way to stand trial before Cardinal Cajetan in Augsburg in September of 1518, where he was warned not to stand trial, or he would surely die. He arrived in Nuremberg again October 20, 1518, riding a horse without spurs, sword, or even undergarments, having been pulled from his cell in Augsburg in the middle of the night, shoved through a hole in the city wall, and thrown atop a horse.
Nuremberg of the 21st Century is an blend of old and new. Early medieval churches stand with modern buildings, and World War II era history blends with the Renaissance.
For families, there are some wonderful sights to see, and a trip to Nuremberg would truly be a fieldtrip to remember. My favorite things about trips like this is that children really are able to experience history in a new and fascinating way, and the trip is such a bonding experience for families.
You can learn all about visiting Nuremberg at the website for the Tourist Board of Nuremberg, but I want to highlight a few of the amazing things your family could see on a trip to Nuremberg:
- Nuremberg’s Imperial Castle ~ From the mid-1300s on, this castle was the site of numerous assemblies of the Holy Roman Empire. The castle has a moat, a Mayor’s Garden, keep, well, and a museum. There’s a lot to explore!
- Albrecht Dürer’s House ~ The famous Renaissance artist’s home (built in 1420) has his artwork on display, and you can even take a tour given by an actress playing his wife.
- Former Nazi Ralley Grounds and Nuremberg Trials Memorium ~ During the Third Reich, Nuremberg was the site of the Nazi Party Ralleys. Later, the Nuremberg Trials were held to hold accountable those responsible for the atrocities committed against humanity. There is a memorial on-site to teach families about what occurred.
- Underground Nuremberg ~ I love underground cities! Nuremberg has a network of underground cellars and dungeons carved into the rocks beneath the city.
- Nuremberg Market Square ~ Built in the 1400s, the Square is surrounded by medieval buildings, and gives families a real understanding of a medieval marketplace. In late November and December, the square is transformed into the Nuremberg Christmas Market.
- So much more to explore! As you can see, Nuremberg is the site of rich history, spectacular architecture and artwork, engaging tours, information-packed museums, a medieval cemetery, a zoo, and more.
To learn more about planning a trip to Nuremberg, visit the website for the Nuremberg Tourist Board.
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.