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An event, thematically and structurally as complex as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, ought to be well prepared and it demands a certain lead time. For an appropriate preparation and introduction to the anniversary in 2017, the Luther decade was initiated. 

From 2008 through 2017, the Luther decade invited anyone interested to come to diverse events and unique travel opportunities to search for traces in authentic locations of the Reformation.

Nationwide exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events were dedicated to different aspects of the Reformation. However, historical city fairs, summer theaters and festivals showed that the Luther decade is a reason for celebration. 

The wide spectrum of themes of the Reformation and its impulses, which spill over into the modern age, were admitted into theme years and unfolded there. Those showed the influence of the Reformation on education, music, art and language, as well as politics, tolerance and the understanding of freedom. At the same time, they tied in to the 450th anniversary of Melanchthon's death in 2010 and the 500th birthday of Lucas Cranach the Younger in 2015.