Nicolaus von Amsdorf's domain
Naumburg counts Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation as an integral and recurring part of its thousand-year-old history. During his triumphal procession to the Diet of Worms in 1521, Luther stopped in the city on the Saale to give a sermon. During his stay, he spent the night in the house of the mayor. A commemorative plaque at that location (Am Markt 3) marks the occasion. On 20 January 1542 – more than twenty years later – Luther would consecrate Nicolaus von Amsdorf in Naumburg Cathedral, making him the very first Protestant bishop. Amsdorf would become something of an antipope to Julius von Pflug, who was in exile in the Cathlolic city of Mainz at the time. Nevertheless, the new bishop had a hard time of it. The Catholic members of the diocese never recongised Amsdorf’s claim and the ‘Naumburg model’, as it was referred to, collapsed. Even though evangelical sermons were first given in St. Wenceslas parish church in 1526, the Reformation was not able to triumph in Naumburg until 1568. The city’s most eminent representative of the Reformation was Nikolaus Medler. In 1536, he became superintendent of the parish church of St. Wenceslas and wrote regulations for how churches and schools should be ordered. His regulations – endorsed by Luther himself – were based on the Wittenberg model.
The St. Peter and Paul cathedral in Naumburg is considered to be one of the most significant cultural monuments erected in Europe during the High Middle Ages. Together, the cloister, garden and Curial buildings present an incredible architectural ensemble. The works of the anonymous Naumburg Master – among which are the figures of its founders, including Uta von Naumburg, located in the western choir gallery, and the rood screen – have served to make the cathedral famous throughout the world.
Naumburg is a popular destination for cultural tourists and should not be missing on a tour of historic Central Germany. The city on the Saale offers visitors a variety of interesting museums to choose from. The museum ‘Hohe Lilie’, located in the heart of the historical city centre, illustrates Naumburg’s impressive municipal history. A permanent exhibiton at Nietzsche House documents the life and works of the great philosopher who lived in Naumburg as a child. The house in the vineyard of the famous Leipzig-born painter and sculptor Max Klinger provides today’s visitors a glimpse into the artist’s creative process. Atop a sandstone cliff, just a few kilometres down the Saale from Naumburg, stands the former bishop's castle Schönburg. Today’s visitors are invited to climb its mighty tower and can even experience an authentic medieval meal in the castle pub.
What to see in Naumburg