Seeking shelter under a tree in an open field, lightning struck close by. In fear of his life, Luther called upon St Anna to protect him, swearing:
“I will become a monk!”
Two weeks later on 17 July 1505, Martin Luther entered the Augustinian Monastery, the strictest monastic community in Erfurt. No one could persuade him otherwise; neither his friends nor his father. On 27 February 1507, he was ordained as a priest. His confessor, Johann von Staupitz, the vicar general of the order recommended Luther as a theology student and in 1508 sent him off to Wittenberg to study. A year later Luther graduated with the degree Baccalarius biblicus.
In 1987, St Wigberti’s priory in Werningshausen, an ecumenical Benedictine monastery, was approved as the first Lutheran monastery after the Reformation. Today, brothers of various denomination live here according to the teachings of St Benedict. Anyone can experience or take part in everyday monastic life whenever they want.
The Protestant Church of St Boniface in Sömmerda is well worth a visit. It is a single-nave, late Gothic building with Renaissance elements. The church treasures include the Baroque organ built in around 1700 by Johann Georg Krippendorff and the 26 murals featuring images from the Old Testament.
The life and works of Nicolaus von Dreyse – inventor of the needle gun – start the exhibition of the 200-year-old industrial developmental history of his hometown of Sömmerda in the museum bearing his name. On the eaves of the house, the words ‘Bete und Arbeite’ (Pray and Work), Dreyses’s personal motto, can still be seen.