© Wolfgang Gaertner

Religious travel

Between contemplation and cultural discoveries

Many people have tried to understand what heaven and earth, humans and other creatures are all about. Faith teaches us that God has created everything from nothing. To be amongst God’s creations is like a walk in a garden of pleasure. While faith is seen as a private matter these days, it played a very different role in history. Faith has formed Saxony’s history in a strong way. When the German emperor took possession of the region known as Saxony today, the Slavic people living there were not only assimilated, but also christianized. Meissen’s highly visible cathedral became the beacon of the new faith. In the late 15th and early 16th century, late Gothic hall churches where erected all over Saxony. But by then, reforms of church had become inevitable and, based on the theses of a monk named Martin Luther, Saxony became the „Motherland of the Reformation“. Later, the Saxon rulers became Catholics to ascend to the Polish throne. This made Saxony the first region where the rulers and their subjects did not have to have the same religion.

Tolerance had always been practised in the Saxon region of Upper Lusatia, where Protestants and Catholics still live together peacefully and where the Moravian Church was founded 300 years ago. In the 19th century, Jews also finally received full civic rights and nowadays there is room for all kinds of faith. Even though today most Saxons are not a member of any religion, the religious heritage is held in high regard. Faith now means different things to different people, and people visit religious places for a number of reason. So, find what you are looking for, in churches, convents and monesteries, along pilgrimage routes and the Luther Trail. Enjoy 800 year-old convents, a 500 year-old replica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the world’s first newly-built Protestant Church, or one of the very few synagogues in Germany which survived the Nazi times and also serves as a cultural center today. Or, just discover yourself while you discover Saxony …

„Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
Martin Luther, Protestant Reformer and professor of theology, 1483-1546

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