In Germany the year 2010 has been proclaimed as the “Year of Luther” and Heidelberg with its glorious history will take part in the ceremonies. Such Vera Cornelius, General Manager of Heidelberg Marketing, stated: „Heidelberg was a mile-stone on the way to reformation”. For her this was the reason to become member of the foundation of the so called “Luther-Tour”. This newly concepted travelling route leads diagonal through Germany to 19 places of the reformation.
And Heidelberg is part of it. And this because Luther`s not at all harmless journey to Heidelberg in 1518 was his first theological appearance outside Wittenberg after the declaration of his 95 theses affixed to the castle church door on October 31, 1517. With this he initiated the worldwide reformation of the church. On invitation of the order of the Augustinians and the Prince Elector Frederic IV he conducted on April 1518 the “Heidelberg Disputation” and defended his basic idea of his new theology, the complete dependence of mankind from the mercy of the Lord.
The initial effect of his performance in Heidelberg was directing. Many in his audience were theologians who later became reformators in the cities of southwest Germany. The “Heidelberg disputation” since then is looked upon as start of the reformation in the Palatinate. Count of Palatinate Wolfgang, brother of the Prince Elector Frederic IV, was enthusiastic and invited Martin Luther to the Heidelberg Castle. In remembrance you will find a “Luther-Plate” installed at the University Square on which in former times the Monastery of the Augustinians was placed. By the way, Luther resided in those days with the monks in the “Mönchhof” in the Heidelberg suburb Neuenheim the street of which nowadays carries this name. And the nearby Luther Street also reminds us on Luther’s stay in Heidelberg.
As member of the founders of the Luther-Tour, Heidelberg is now found in a row with the Lutheran Towns like Eisleben, Wittenberg or Worms. The 500 years anniversary will be celebrated in 2017.