Skip to main content

Around 600 000 visitors to the national special exhibitions

The Luther House hosted the exhibition “Luther! 95 Treasures – 95 People”. (Photo: epd-bild/Jens Schlüter)

On Sunday (5.11.) the national special exhibitions for the Reformation anniversary in Berlin, Eisenach and Lutherstadt Wittenberg have closed their doors. Altogether, the German Historical Museum, the Wartburg Foundation and the Foundation Luther memorials have been welcoming around 600 000 visitors.

The national special exhibitions were the central contribution of the federal and state governments to the absolute highlights of 2017, the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. They were a cultural project of national and international significance with one peculiarity: for the first time the federal government presented its own special exhibition – to properly rise to the occasion of the major event “500 years Reformation”. Each one of the three exhibitions presented the topic Reformation to a wide public with its own substantive focus. Together the three exhibitions offered – under the auspices of the German Federal President – a comprehensive overview of the decisive aspects of the Reformation.

Number of visitors exceeded expectations 

In Berlin, a so-called leather canon was part of the exhibition. (Photo: epd-bild/Rolf Zöllner)

“We are very pleased that the three special exhibitions aroused such a great interest”, said Astrid Mühlmann, director of the Governmental Office “Luther 2017”. The Governmental Office was assigned the overarching communication for the three special exhibitions. The approach to show in these three great exhibitions the most important facets of the Reformation and their consequences for today's society has proven to be a success. “The number of visitors proves that as they have exceeded the expectations”, Mühlmann continued.

The exhibition organizers were equally satisfied. The Berlin exhibition “The Luther Effect. Protestantism – 500 Years in the World” for instance, dealt with the history of the impact of Protestantism. “For the first time, an exhibition dealt with the global impact of the Reformation and the international diversity of Protestantism. We are pleased that we can show to the visitors the different paths of the Reformation and their global significance to the present day”, said Ulrike Kretzschmar, Deputy President of the German Historical Museum.

Particularly large number of visitors in Wittenberg and Eisenach

A look into the exhibition “Luther and the Germans” on the Wartburg. (Photo: epd-bild/Maik Schuck)

In Eisenach and Wittenberg, both authentic Luther cities, the number of visitors was particularly large, because in addition to the exhibitions the Wartburg and Luther House were also a major attraction. “We are very pleased with the result. Despite the visitor rush and partially small rooms, the exhibition events ran smoothly”, says Günther Schuchardt, castellan of the Wartburg. “Our employees have done a remarkable job, the visitors were very interested and satisfied. At least one quarter of the visitors came from abroad, especially from America and Korea.” The exhibition “Luther and the Germans” on the Wartburg shows how each epoch of German history shaped its own image of Luther.

In the Augusteum of Wittenberg, the exhibition “Luther! 95 Treasures – 95 People” focused on the person Martin Luther and his life. In addition, it presented people from history and the present who have been influenced by Luther’s actions. “2017 has been the most successful year in the history of the Luther House”, said Dr. Stefan Rhein, Director of the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt. Never have so many visitors from Germany and abroad visited the permanent exhibition and special exhibition. The historical treasures as well as the 95 people who illustrate Luther's impact from the 16th to the 21st century have been received by the visitors with great enthusiasm. “Our participatory exhibition ‘It was the monk!’ turned out to be particularly successful, so that we decided to offer it permanently in the future”, Rhein declared. 

The common overarching communication under the claim “The Full Power of the Reformation”  emphasized the special nature of the three national special exhibitions and their combination into a major cultural event. Even though this communication approach had led to controversies in academic circles, it has been decorated with three high-ranking design and communication awards: the Red Dot award, the German Design award and the iF Design Award.


Source:Staatliche Geschäftsstelle „Luther 2017“/epd Date:07-11-17

National Special Exhibitions marking the anniversary of the Reformation in 2017

A significant highlight of the reformation anniversary 2017 will be three National Special Exhibitions hosted by Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, and Berlin.