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Welcome to our latest newsletter edition

Dear Members of Routes of Reformation and those interested in our Cultural Route,

This summer seems to allow many things we could not do in the past two years. So the Board met first time after three years personally – in Torre Pellice, Piemont, Italy, with the impressive Waldensian museum run by Davide Rosso.
I guess and hope that all of you could open your museums or sites, welcome visitors, attend cultural events or just meet friends.

This newsletter informs you about our member in South Tyrol, Maretsch Castle. Also about the 14 days pilgrimage tour, organized by our member Church and Tourism, starting on the Wartburg, leading via Erfurt and Bad Frankenhausen and Eisleben to Wittenberg; 64 persons in total took part this “event” remembering the 500th anniversary of Luther's transalation of the bible to German language.
Last but not least we announce the General Assembly of our association on October 18th in Ceske Budejovice. More details will be send out to all members directly.

Best regards

Detlev Geissler

Board meeting at Torre Pellice

Board meeting at Torre Pellice

Board Meeting in Torre Pellice

For the first time since autumn 2019, the members of the Board met in person - this time in Torre Pellice.

With Davide Rosso, we had a great host, who also showed us the Waldensian sites in the nearby mountains and the great museum on the history of the Waldensians. Even though the journey was a bit complicated for most, it was important to meet in person for the first time after such a long time.

The meeting focused on the upcoming 3-year evaluation by the Institute of European Cultural Routes and the preparation of the General Assembly, which will take place on 18th of october 2022 in Budweis, Czech Republic. There, the board will present its report on the last two years - which have been shaped by Corona - and will stand for election.

Pilgrimage in Eisenach

Pilgrimage in Eisenach

From Wartburg Castle to the World

To mark the 500th anniversary of the translation of the Bible, a pilgrimage relay from Eisenach to Wittenberg took place in May.

The historical background

In May 1521, a (mock) kidnapping of Martin Luther took place. As a result, he lived in Wartburg Castle until March 1522. Luther took off the outer markings of a monk and lived in the castle in the clothing of a knight under the name Junker Jörg. During this time Luther translated the New Testament into German. He brought his manuscript of the translation to Wittenberg for printing in 1522. This event is the content and occasion of the pilgrimage route "From Wartburg Castle to the World“.

The event

By the association „Kirche und Tourismus e.V." the cause was taken up and a pilgrimage table from the Wartburg to Eisenach was organized. The Prime Minister of the Free State of Thuringia, Mr. Bodo Ramelow, took over the patronage.

In the period from 05 to 19 May 2022 a pilgrimage relay took place. A reprint of the hand-written manuscript was carried from town to town from the Wartburg to Wittenberg. Church congregations, rural and urban communities accompanied this event. In agreement with all participants, it was signaled that this route should continue to exist as a pilgrimage route and be marketed for tourism.

Continue reading.

Maretsch Castle

Maretsch Castle

In focus: Our member "Maretsch Castle"

Maretsch Castle in Bolzano (Alto Adige) is situated near the city centre and surrounded by vineyards.

As well as being home to an important cycle of Renaissance frescoes, Maretsch Castle also bears witness to the spread of Protestantism in Tyrol in the second half of the 16th century. Evidence of the rapidly emerging new doctrine dates back to the erstwhile owners of the castle, the Römer brothers. Lukas Römer, commander of the Teutonic Order, Captain of the Adige and imperial commissioner for Maximilian II, commissioned the Gallery of Philosophers, located on the first floor. Here, alongside ancient Greek philosophers and sages, you can find a depiction of a mysterious figure going by the name Peter Spetsker. Recent research has identified Spetsker as the famous humanist and reformer Pietro Speziale da Cittadella (1478-1554). (The name Peter Spetsker is the direct translation from the Italian Pietro Speziale, meaning Peter Apothecary.) Due to his close association with the Protestant Reformation, Speziale da Cittadella was arrested by the Holy Inquisition in 1543 and imprisoned for eight years. During this considerable imprisonment he gained many supporters, including Martin Luther, who saw in him a martyr of the Protestant Faith. In the Gallery of Philosophers we can also view coats of arms which identify certain nobles who, as close associates of the Römer brothers, were, more or less openly, supporters of the same Lutheran ideas. It is therefore very likely that this room was decorated specifically for a close circle of individuals who shared the new Reformation ideals. And the traces of Protestantism do not stop here: in the castle chapel, instead of depictions of saints or the Virgin Mary, we find images of the four evangelists and scenes from the Passion of Christ.

Continue reading.

"INTERREG EUROPE": Partner application in the field of "Religious Cultural Heritage in Rural Areas"

Below you will find a partner application for a project in the European funding programme INTERREG EUROPE.

This information may be of interest to church and diaconal institutions that are responsible for the management of larger church properties of cultural significance in rural areas and are interested in their further use and conversion. Even though the partner application primarily envisages local authorities and public administrations as partners, the participation of non-governmental institutions as programme partners is possible in the INTERREG EUROPE programme, provided that their participation is conducive to the success of the project.

Continue reading in the below attached PDF file (German).

Religious Heritage (pdf, 106 Kb)

RoR Members: Please save the date

The next General Assembly of Routes of Reformation will take place on 18th October 2022 in Ceske Budejovice (CZ). A detailed invitation will follow shortly with more information and instruction, the meeting documents and the meeting agenda directly to all members. According to our statutes, 1 delegate per member is foreseen for participation.

Among others the following important topics will be on our agenda:

- election of the board 2023/2024
- changes of statues
- work plan for the upcoming two years
- evaluation process 2022/2023

We will start into this General Assembly with an evening get together on 17th October. And for those whou cannot join in person, we will have the possibility to attend the General Assembly via video conference.

Routes of Reformation: Initial Meeting Velenje 2018

Routes of Reformation: Initial Meeting Velenje 2018

Any news for us? Please let us know!

Routes of Reformation, A Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, supports its members across Europe.

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Routes of Reformation
A Cultural Route of the Council of Europe
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