Motherland of the Reformation

Motherland of the Reformation


Event of the year 2015

From May 15 to October 31, 2015, an outstanding National Special Exhibition takes place in Torgau, the political center of the Reformation. The Dresden State Art Collections are staging a spectacular exhibition in locations closely involved with the events of these times. The exhibition deals with the political history of the Reformation between 1515 and 1591 but also looks at the effects of Protestantism to this day. It shows paintings, weapons, armors, coins, documents and other exhibits. All of these impressively demonstrate the mutual influence of Reformation and politics. Luther’s ideas were reflected in the style of the rulers and their political actions. But the exhibition puts the reformist camp into the context of its times. Thus, the anti-reformationist reaction of the Catholic side is also part of the exhibition. The exhibition will close, fittingly, on October 31, Reformation Day.

Authentic locations

The National Special Exhibition takes place in different historical buildings in Torgau. Among the exhibition venues are Hartenfels Castle, the former residence of the Saxon electors, the former electoral chancery, the administrative seat of the Electorate of Saxony, and the superintendenture, where the Torgau Articles were written by Luther and his fellow campaigners. Hartenfels Castle is at the heart of this exhibition. For the National Special Exhibition not only the regular exhibition rooms in the wing on the town side are used but also the former electoral chambers, the room of mirrors at the "Großer Wendelstein" spiral staircase and the castle church, which was dedicated in Luther's presence, the world’s first newly-built Protestant church.

Towards 2017

Work continues at Dresden Castle where more rooms are readied for use as exhibition spaces. The Dresden State Art Collections remain tight-lipped about what is happening in the part of the building not yet open to the public. However, it is clear that a visit to Dresden Castle in the year 2017, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s theses, will reveal new treasures and mark a bold step in the direction of completing the rebuilding process. Certainly, the Dresden State Art Collections have a lot of aces up their sleeves to take visitors back to the times of Reformation.