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Imperial Diet and Imperial Ban

The "Weltdenkmal der Reformation"
The "Weltdenkmal der Reformation" (Photo: Stadt Worms)

This city on the Rhine is known around the world for its role in the legend of the Nibelungen and was inseparably linked to the history of the Reformation through the imperial diet of 1521. ‘Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me. Amen,’ with these or similar words, Martin Luther refused to recant his writings, including the Ninety-Five Theses, at the Diet of Worms. Emperor Charles V responded with the so-called Edict of Worms, in which he placed the Protestant reformer under the imperial ban.

The Imperial Ban comes from Worms

As the seat of a diocese, Worms had been an intellectual centre since the Middle Ages. The power of the city’s burghers insured that the Reformation spread quickly here – particularly after Luther's appearance at the imperial diet. The first Lutheran missal in German was printed here in 1524; two years later, William Tyndale published the first English translation of the New Testament here.

Luther’s mission and the history of the Reformation are commemorated in Worms in several forms, including the 'Weltdenkmal der Reformation' (international monument to the Reformation) of 1868.

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