Sat 1 Jun 13 - Sat 1 Jun 13 54 °F
This is were Martin Luther is purported to have nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church and started the Protestant revolution. I always pictured Luther as a parish priest, but he was actually a Dr of Theology that lectured at the university. The local prince elector [Frederick the wise], brought a lot of the top minds into teach and although he was Catholic, was a staunch supporter to Luther.
Luther was especially bothered by the selling of indulgences by Rome, but while he was at it added some other perceived problems:
- The masses and Bibles were all in Latin [inaccessible by regular people]
- Lots of emphasis on Saints
- complicated rituals
- ban on marriage by priests
Needless to say, this not make him popular. The Emperor and the Pope both asked him to recant [or be labeled a heretic]. He appeared before the emperor and refused to recant, so he was labeled an outlaw [which means he could have been killed with immunity]. The next day he was captured and hidden away in a house; it turns out that Frederick the wise did this to protect him. He stayed out of sight for a year [during which time, he learned how to change his appearance, use a sword and begin translating the Bible into German]. He finally came back to Wittenberg and led a [mostly] uneventful life.
Early on, Luther was a monk/ professor. When he suggested that priests should be able to marry, he convinced his friends that they [the monks] should marry nuns from the convent. Nine nuns were taken out of the convent in wooden barrels in a merchant's wagon. Luther was quite taken by one of the women, but took too much time and she was taken. His wife [Katarina von Bora] was not paired up, so they married. It turned out to be a very good marriage and she was able to help him keep track of practical things. This is where they lived
Earlier in the morning, we had visited Torgau.
A spot famous for 2 things:
- This is where Katarina Luther was born and buried [still very popular there]
- This is where the Russians and the Americans met during WWII. There is a great story about an American LTC that was informed that they Soviets were close and he tried to tell them that US troops were close by. He had not flag, so he painted a flag on a piece of wood. The Russians fired a red flare and the Americans should have fired a green flare to indicate that they were friendlies; but he had no flares, so the Russians started shooting. He finally got a green flare. He and a Russian officer met in the middle of a bridge [the next day the Generals met for the formal handshake].
We really like Wittenberg, but our luck held. As we were going into a church the skies opened up!
We have been told that there are flood warnings on the Danube, the Rhine and the Mozelle rivers. according to the Captain, the river is about 2.5 Meters [about 8 ft] higher than last week. I tried to confirm this independently, but was unable to find a good source of info. Either way, it has rained and rained on our trip! Yesterday morning, they had a "Spring festiva". Guests were asked to paint something or pen some poetry - almost every poem was about the rain!
Tomorrow we will leave the boat and go to Berlin. We will have 3 days in Berlin and the forecasters indicate that by Monday we should see sunshine [promises, promises]! Berlin is a place we have wanted to visit for sometime, so we are excited about it.
It looks like it has been hot in DC and about 9 degrees cooler in S FL, if we could have just averaged it out a little things would have been better.