Hartenfels CastleThe spirit of reform beneath the spiral staircase
This town is a monument to Luther’s reform spirit. In Torgau, the spiritual center of the German Reformation, Hartenfels Castle is the most significant building of the townscape, an outstanding masterpiece in one of Germany’s most beautiful Renaissance towns.
This is where the “Torgau Articles” laid the foundation for the Augsburg Confession, where the first Protestant songbook was published, and where the Protestant rulers signed the “Torgau League of Princes”. This is also where Luther’s wife Katharina von Bora died and was buried in St. Mary’s Church.
The “Torgau Museum Route” leads visitors up the hill to the castle and the Castle Church, the first Protestant church to be built in Europe, whose design was based on an idea of Luther and which was personally consecrated by the great reformer.Today the castle courtyard is the central place where cultural events in Torgau are held. It is dominated by the Large Spiral Staircase: This “impossible staircase”, created by great master builder Konrad Krebs, supports itself without the aid of any central pillar. In its time, Hartenfels Castle was regarded as a “modern residential castle” to which an innovative elevator for lowering the drinks stored in the bottle tower pays tribute – this contraption would provide the nobles who were wining and dining to the sound of clinking glasses with fresh supplies.