Photo: Thomas Ziegler, Stadt Halle/SaaleHalle Cathedral. Cartinal Albrecht remodelled the simple original Dominican church into his collegiate cathedral. As it is known, Martin Luther's traces in Central Germany lead to Eisleben, where the Reformer was born and where he died, and to Wittenberg, his main place of work. However, with regards to the consequences of his actions for church politics, one might say that Halle was the "cradle of the Reformation".
For almost 30 years, Luther's greatest rival, Cardinal Albrecht, Archbishop of Magdeburg and Mainz and highest-ranking clerical dignitary after the Pope in the Holy Roman Empire, resided in Halle. The Cardinal loved magnificent art and representative buildings and financed them to a large extent with the income from the selling of indulgences.
The 95 theses were sent to Halle by mail
Amongst other reasons, it was this excessive lifestyle that inspired Luther to write a letter to the Cardinal on October 31st, 1517, into which he included the famous 95 theses. Luther's strong condemnation of the selling of indulgences by the church was therefore pointed directly against Halle. The further conflict between Martin Luther and Cardinal Albrecht shook the very foundations of the Roman curia. In 1541, under the pressure of the Reformation movement, the Cardinal finally had to leave Halle, his town of residence.
Death mask and cast of the hands
Photo: Thomas Ziegler, Stadt Halle/SaaleLuthers's death mask and cast of the hands After Luther's death in Eisleben in 1546, his body was laid out for one night in Halle during its transfer to Wittenberg. Here, the death mask and the cast of his hands were taken. They can now be viewed in a crypt of the market church "Unser Lieben Frauen" (Our Dear Lady). The original pulpit from which Martin Luther had preached several times in Halle is also preserved. To the market church belongs Germany's oldest and probably largest Protestant church library. The "Marienbibliothek" houses several Luther bibles with handwritten notes from the Reformer.