Monday, 20 June 2016

5 Torgau to Wittenberg

This was our fifth day by the river and in spite of violent storms the previous evening; we were blessed with fine weather for our final day of cycling, Torgau to Wittenberg.

Having breakfasted in the the Torgau hotel’s enormous ballroom we headed off.

Along the Elbe who knows what you may find. . .

Coffee was taken en route in the courtyard of a small castle in Pretzsch and later a large lunch in Elster only sixteen kilometres from Wittenberg who’s principle claim fame is Martin Luther having used it as his forward operating base in the 16th century. 
Wittenberg Street Life 

This town is another Elbe-side charmer and was to be our extraction point back to Berlin via the train.  
We a passed a lovely evening in the town square with more feasting and reflection, the next morning I rose early to visit a deserted factory close to the centre of town. It was another bewitching place, deserted and silent.

In Wittenberg everything is Luther, museums, post cards and tours from Lutheran churches based in the USA, most of whom where billeted in out hotel, testify to the importance of the man.
Saturday morning walk round the town

The desert factory on the outskirts of Wittenberg
FOOT NOTE Mike, Dave, Ian, respectively a former fishmonger, airline pilot, chauffer and wannabe artist thought it would be nice to cycle up the the Elbe. Or is it down the river Elbe?  These five days are the first part of a project that is planned for the next couple of years, powered by Kalkhoff electric bikes.

Priest, monk, composer.
Martin Luther, 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546, was a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Luther He rejected several teachings and practices of the Late Medieval Catholic Church.

He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. 

His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.

Luther taught that salvation and subsequently eternal life is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin.

His translation of the Bible into the vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, which had a tremendous impact on the church and German culture.