Luther’s Original Grave Plate

As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation Movement draws near you will see many pictures pertaining to Martin Luther, including his grave marker. See: Martin Luther’s Grave

Martin Luther Grave, Castle Church, Wittenberg, GermanyHere is the grave marker that is in the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

The bronze plaque was originally at floor level, but in 1892 was placed on this knee-high sandstone plinth.

A translation of the Latin inscription reads:

Here lies buried the body of Martin Luther, Doctor of Sacred Theology. He died in the year of Christ 1546 on February 18 in his paternal city of Eisleben at the age of 63 years, 2 months, 10 days.

What you may not know is that this is not the original grave marker for Martin Luther.

Martin Luther Grave, Grave Plate, Wittenberg, Germany, Castle Church

In this picture you can see a large bronze plate on the wall. This is a copy of what was to be the grave plate for Martin Luther. The copy was made in 1892 and installed in the Castle Church.

Martin Luther, Castle Church, Wittenberg, GermanyThe copy of the original grave plate is quite large and impressive.

The words around the border are in Latin and are translated:

In the year 1546, on February 18, the most honorable Martin Luther, Doctor of Theology, was called home from this fleeting life. Even on his deathbed he firmly testified his teaching to have been the true doctrine necessary to the church (for salvation), and commended his soul to God in faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He died at the age of 63 years after more than 30 years spent in conscientious and successful work for the edification of the people of God in this city. But his body lied buried here. Isaiah 52: ‘How beautiful are the feet of him who publishes peace’

Martin Luther Gravestone, Jena, Germany, Original Gravestone, St. Michael's church

Here is the original bronze grave plate that was commissioned for the grave of Martin Luther. The transportation of the grave plate to Wittenberg was held up by the Schmalkaldic War and ended up in the St. Michael church in Jena, Germany.

The grave plate was made by Henry Zeigler who was a bell maker in Erfurt, Germany. The image was modeled after a painting of Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

St. Michael Church, Jena, Germany, Martin Luther

I have walked by the church several times this week and hopefully will be able to go inside tomorrow and take some more pictures.

I had planned on visiting Wittenberg again today, but since I have a cold I decided to keep close to the hotel during this rainy day.

Steven

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