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Seminary of St John

Worms around 1521, the Seminary of St John; 3-D rendering by FaberCourtial 
Worms around 1521, the Seminary of St John; 3-D rendering by FaberCourtial

Dr Martin Luther resided here from 16 to 26 April 1521. He was forced to share the room with two strangers, as the city was bursting at the seams due to the Imperial Diet. Councillors to the Elector of Saxony, Luther's sovereign and protector, also stayed with the Order of St John.  The buildings are not preserved. Shops are now located on the site, and the layout has changed.

Bronze plaque at the site of the destroyed Seminary of St John, photo: Eichfelder 
Bronze plaque at the site of the destroyed Seminary of St John, photo: Eichfelder

Details

A bronze plaque, attached to the front of the bank building and adjacent to a Woolworth outlet (Hardtgasse 2-4), today commemorates Luther's quarters at their assumed location between the corner of Kämmererstraße and Hardtgasse. Attending the Imperial Diet, Luther stayed in the Seminary of St John from 16 to 26 April 1521, where he was forced to share his room with two other men. The Saxons had chosen the quarters prudently, as the councillors to the Elector of Saxony and Marshall Ulrich von Pappenheim were already living there. This way they could pay lip service to the wishes of the Habsburgs to keep Luther under control, while still largely pursuing the interests of the Saxon crown. 

The city's destruction during the Nine Years' War did not remain a unique occurrence. British and American bombing raids on 21 February and 18 March 1945 flattened almost two thirds of the buildings in the city centre, so visitors sometimes need information on where buildings once stood to follow in the footsteps of Luther.  

 
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