Churches and Reformation Sites in Torgau
Torgau’s skyline is not only shaped by Hartenfels Castle, but also St. Mary’s late-Gothic hall church. The first mention of a Romanesque basilica here dates back to the 12th century. The altarpiece “The Fourteen Holy Helpers” is one of Lucas Cranach the Elder’s early works. The memorial slab dedicated to Duchess Sophie of Mecklenburg was made at the Vischer Workshop in Nuremberg. Other precious features include the baroque high altar created by Simonetti, the Renaissance pulpit, the “Passionsalter” altarpiece, and the marble baptismal font. Katharina von Bora is buried at this church. Her gravestone features an impressive portrait. Torgau is also home to the Katharina Luther Parlour.
The Superintendent’s House opposite St. Mary’s Church is where Gabriel Zwilling, known as “Didymus”, was appointed the first Superintendent of Torgau after a visitation in 1529. Martin Luther and his brothers in arms wrote the Torgau Articles here in 1530. This historic building now houses the “Roots and Wings” exhibition.
The former Electoral Chancellery, located centrally between St. Mary’s Church and Torgau Castle, is considered the predecessor of today’s Saxon State Chancellery during the Reformation. The building is now home to the Urban and Cultural History Museum of Torgau.
The Torgau castle chapel was the first Protestant church to be consecrated by Martin Luther.
Tucked away in the courtyard of the town hall is the former St. Nicholas Church. This is where the first German baptism took place in 1519, and the first Protestant sermon was held here one year later. The building was then no longer used as a church and started to serve more secular purposes, housing a cloth hall and flour-weighing facilities.