The city of Torgau was the political centre of the Reformation movement. It is home to the well-preserved Hartenfels castle which was the residence of the Elector of Saxony, an important political figure in the region in the Middle Ages. This was the reason Martin Luther visited more than 40 times which is well documented. The Elector had significant influence of politics and played a key role in the establishment of new Protestant ideas and changes in religion, and it was crucial for Luther to seek his acquaintance, appreciation and outreach. Torgau was therefore made European City of the Reformation by the Community of Protestant Churches in 2015.
The place also commemorates Martin Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora who died in Torgau and is buried there. Every year, Torgau celebrates ‘Katharina-Tag’ (Katharina Day) with cultural events in order to honour her and her work as well as other women in history.Hartenfels castle was an important venue in the emergence of protestant traditions: The chapel which belongs to it is the first newly-built protestant church and was inaugurated with a sermon by Martin Luther himself in 1544. In the Nikolai church, the first protestant baptism took place. The castle is very well preserved and has remained largely unchanged from since the 15th and 16th century. Today it hosts changing exhibitions and can be visited by those interested in Reformation history or the life of Saxony’s royalty in the Middle Ages.