When the great reformer Martin Luther was born in 1483, Saxony was at the height of its power. But two years later, brothers Ernst and Albrecht from the Wettin dynasty, which ruled Saxony for 829 years, divided up the country, with Ernst moving to Wittenberg and Albrecht staying in Dresden. Ernst’s son Friedrich, called „the Wise“, became Luther’s protector and established Torgau as his new residence. His successors openly became what was later called „Protestants“ after the Leipzig Disputation or Debate of 1519, when the split of the church became inevitable. Torgau now became the political center of the Protestant world and the first newly-built Protestant church in the world was dedicated here by Luther himself in 1544.
The power shifted after the first war between Catholics and Protestants, the Schmalkaldic War of 1546/1547, when Torgau and Wittenberg became part of the Eastern half of Saxony which still carries this name today. Now Dresden became the focal point and the Saxon rulers remained the „Protectors of the Protestant faith“ even after they had converted back to Catholicism. Saxony later was given the honorary title „Motherland of the Reformation“. Even though today’s Saxony is smaller and some important sites of the Reformation can now be found in neighboring states and countries, there are plenty of places worth exploring. So, discover all the places where world history was written or simply follow the Luther Trail in the footsteps of the great reformer. Here’s just a selection of highly-recommended attractions: