We are now settled in to our rooms at the Colleg Wittenberg, having visited Martin Luther’s birthplace and death place at Eisleben and Georg Frideric Handel’s birthplace, Halle. Unfortunately I lost today’s pictures when I lost my phone somewhere between the Francke Foundation museum in Halle and here in Wittenberg. There is a slight possibility I left it on the charter bus which will return for us on Sunday morning.
We started out the day with breakfast at 6:30 and checking out of our hotel in Erfurt. I had waited until today to take a picture of the fabulous breakfast buffets we have been getting every day in Germany, but now that is lost! Suffice to say that the buffet included bacon, sausages, cold cuts of every kind, eggs both hard and soft-boiled, fruit of all kinds, smoked salmon, cheeses of all kinds, cucumbers, pickles, yogurt, cereals of all kinds, pastries of all kinds–and those absolutely yummy German breads! I think they have the best bread in the world!
We learned from our tour guide, Silvio, that Martin Luther is the only Protestant church leader for whom people make pilgrimages to his birth and death places, and all the places he visited. From the time of his death, people took away chunks of the bed he slept in, until the church leaders called a halt to it. Obviously what we were looking at were reproductions of the furniture, etc. which may have been in use at the time Luther was born.
Our group had a short service in remembrance of our baptism in a church Luther preached in, St. Andrew’s, which is Gothic on the outside but contemporary on the inside. We were standing round a sunken baptismal pool and sang a simple melody while we turned to our neighbors and made the sign of the cross on their foreheads.
What I didn’t see behind the altar, though, was a Clavinova (digital keyboard) and two ancient guys sitting behind!
In Halle, Handel’s birthplace, there were several statues of the composer, one all in shiny gold at the tourist office with which I had my picture taken, now lost. So I will just have to show you the one in the market square.
The accommodations here at the Colleg (yes, that is the German spelling) are Spartan, but comfortable. No TVs or minibars, but we all have private baths and most importantly, Wi-Fi!
P.S. Thanks to Michael Krentz and Amanda Nesvold for these pictures!