Reflections From A Wittenberg Coffee House–Wittenberg Festivals of Diversity

Great food and jazz music at Luther Haus

Great food and jazz music at Luther Haus

It would be very easy for Americans to have a perception that Wittenberg has not changed in 497 years.  Romantics would like to think that Reformers walk the streets as they once did and that great theological discussions abound.  Maybe somewhere, but in actuality, Wittenberg is a thriving city of people living the diversity of the 21st century.

It has been fun for me to walk the streets of Wittenberg today.  When I got off the train on the first day I noticed women dressed in garb that would indicated that they were Muslim.  I notice people of color working in shops and walking the streets.  I have chatted with young adults who are from Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Ukraine, Taiwan, Africa and other places around the world.  Wittenberg is a small town (approximately 50,000 inhabitants) but one meets a wide variety of people while here.  Wittenberg is not as diverse as the Twin Cities, but, Wittenberg is also not a monolithic German town.

Wittenberg has an incredible number of festivals.  One of the most recent festivals was called “ErlebnisNacht” which I am told means, “event night.”  What a night it was!  The streets were filled with a variety of venues.

We started out in the courtyard of the Luther Haus where one could purchase an incredible meal and listen to a jazz ensemble, “Evgeny Ring Quartet” from Dresden.  I am convinced that Martin and Katy would have loved this music and certainly would hav

Puppet on the streets.

Puppet on the streets.

e been visiting from table to table as guests once again ate at their house.

From the Luther Hause we moved over to the newly remodeled Melancthon Haus where we listened to the music of “Jan Pascal and Alexander Killan”, who are incredible Spanish guitarists.  While there we tasted a bit of Spanish Tappas.

One of our group is a magician, so we all went over to Katherinensaal in the Bugenhagen Haus where we watched Jan Vorg and his “Flying Cards.”  I am not usually enthralled by magicians but this guy was good.

So, then we moved over to the Hof der Leucorea to listen to “The Cuban Boys. Chokey” from Halle.  They were incredible.  Wonderful Latin music.  It was impossible to sit still.  Some of the folks from Wittenberg were up and dancing Latin style to the Cuban music and it was truly festive.  So, Would Martin and Katy been out there dancing?  I think so.

Then we went to the Cranach-Hof to listen to “The Arberlour’s” who are a Celtic Folk-Rock group.  They were fabulous, and of course, more food.

The night went on.  We did not get to all of the events.  Thousands were there and there was so much activity that we just couldn’t get it all in.  We closed the evening at a cabaret in the Weberhaus Hof.  Again, incredible music and a lot of dancing folks from Wittenberg.

The night finished at midnight with an incredible fireworks display presented from the roof of the Castle.  What a site.

So, Wittenberg today has events for all.  Last weekend a huge rock concert was held on the edge of town.  I could hear the music all the way to my apartment.

The world is not what it used to be, and, the world is not always what we think it is.  Wittenberg is a historical city but it is also a city with real live people with real lives who l

IMG_1002ive and work and play in the 21st century.  I think Luther would love it.

Luther would be sad with the relatively empty churches but that is a topic for another time.

More to come……….

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