University of Wittenberg (Lutherstadt Wittenberg) on the River Elbe Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
In 1817, the University of Wittenberg (Saxony-Anhalt) founded in 1502 merged with the University of Halle (Saale) founded in 1694. The Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg received the present name in 1933.
Martin Luther was a professor at the University of Wittenberg and was awarded his Doctor of Theology degree there. In Wittenberg, Luther wrote his Theses against the papal indulgences. On December 10, 1520 in the courtyard of the University, Luther and a group of students publicly burned the papal bull that condemned his activities and threatened him excommunication.
Doctor Johann Faust, a legendary person who became a character of a number of literary and music works and films, lived in Wittenberg from the end of the 15th century till the middle of the 16th century. The building at 31 Collegienstrasse where the famous magician is believed to have lived bears a memorial plaque. The University of Wittenberg was the alma mater of the protagonist of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Prince Hamlet of Denmark. German painter Lucas Cranach the Elder who was repeatedly elected to the office of burgomaster also lived and worked in Wittenberg, as well as his sons Lucas Cranach the Younger and Hans Cranach.
According to the Travel Journal, Peter I visited the town twice in 1712: first, on his way from Berlin to Carlsbad on October 3/14, and then on his way from Teplice to Berlin on November 15/26 to 16/27. During his first visit, the Tsar dined in the town, saw the fortress and the botanic garden with medicinal plants established at the University of Wittenberg in the 17th century, visited the All Saints Lutheran Church, which is the burial site of Martin Luther, and acquainted himself with the library of the religious reformer. When revisiting the town, Peter went to see the Church again, visited an anatomical theater, and stayed overnight.
The year 2002 marked the 500th anniversary of the University.