LUTHER'S COMPANION BERNHARDI
The town of Kemberg is only a few kilometres away from Wittenberg. Kemberg joined the Reformation in 1522. During the period that followed, the provosts of Kemberg were closely linked to the Wittenberg University. Martin Luther was laid out here one more time on the eve of his funeral on 21February 1546. There was a good reason for this: Bartholomäus Bernhardi lived in Kemberg. He was a close confidante and contemporary of Luther who was dedicated to the cause of the Reformation. In 1521, Bernhardi married in Kemberg and became one of the very first clerics to do so. Luther praised his courage.
Martin Luther often visited Kemberg and gave many sermons at St. Mary’s Church. The garden of the provosts is allegedly the place where Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon hatched the plan to formulate their theses against the seller of indulgences, Johann Tetzel. It is said that Luther often grumbled about the road between Wittenberg and Kemberg as its poor condition made travel uncomfortable.
The 86 metre high tower of the early fifteenth-century Church of Our Lady is characteristic. Until falling victim to a fire in 1994, the church in Kemberg was home to an altar fashioned by Lucas Cranach in 1565. Today, the restored remains of the altarpiece can be seen in the sacristy. Kemberg is one of the stations along the "Luther Way" pilgrimage route which stretches more than 400 kilometres across Saxony-Anhalt.