A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing. Well, what else would you expect a bunch of Lutherans to sing after visiting the Wartburg Castle where Martin Luther spent translating the Bible into German? Our tour leader, Dr. Michael Krentz, argued that this beloved hymn could have been a song of comfort, rather than a battle hymn of the Reformation, especially in the syncopated version which we sang on the bus.
Of course, the highlight of the tour was seeing the room where Martin Luther stayed. And I liked seeing the ancient graffiti carved in the woodwork near the entrance.
But of course I had to take a picture of the organ in the chapel, and it seemed to have a lot of stops for such a small instrument.
Earlier in the day, we visited Bach’s birthplace in Eisenach and it had changed much since my last visit here. There is now a new interactive museum attached to the 500 year old house.
It was the second time that we have heard the story of Bach’s exhumation (The first time was told by our tour guide, Silvio.) Apparently Bach was buried in a pauper’s grave with two other people. He then was moved to the cemetery at St. John’s in Leipzig, a church which no longer exists. In the 1950s when it was decided to move him to St. Thomas, the science of DNA was not yet in use. So they examined his bones and they found out he had “organists disease.” I took a picture of the explanation here.We then enjoyed listening to a short concert on period instruments: organ, harpsichord and clavichord. We got really excited to see an unusual instrument which was a violin on the outside and a trumpet on the inside.