Cycling in Germany #11 – Martin Luther Country: Torgau

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Today, we’re off to Wittenberg Lutherstadt as it now seems to be called everywhere. It’s 100 km away and there is only one point of interest in-between – Torgau. We had thought of passing via Leipzig but the photos on google images aren’t very encouraging. We get off to a false start because our Radhaus in Niederlommatzsch doesn’t take Visa card and we have to drive about 10 km to get some cash.

Tolenfels Castle was built in 1534.
Hartenfels Castle was built in 1534.

The first thing we see when we approach Torgau is Hartenfels Castle overlooking the Elbe. We park in the shade and put on our straw hats because it is already 28°C in the shade at 11 am!  As soon as we walk into the walled town, we see preparations going on. A Renaissance festival like the one we accidentally went to last year in Neuburg on the Danube is obviously in the making.

The unexpected bear pit
The unexpected bear pit

Unfortunately, the castle is undergoing renovation but we walk towards the courtyard which is open to the public. We go across a moat and I look down. What do I see? A brown bear! Poor thing, it looks very hot, even in its pool. It reminds me of Bern in Switzerland which also has a bear pit. We later see there is a second bear who is also completely flaked out.

Marienkirche - you can see some of the Renaissance festival preparations
Marienkirche – you can see some of the Renaissance festival preparations

We visit Marienkirche in which there is a mural tombstone of Katharina Luther who died in Torgau. Now that’s an interesting story. Katharina’s parents were of noble birth but had fallen on hard times, so they put her in a convent at the age of 5. When she was 24, she and 11 other nuns escaped from the convent to Wittenberg, encouraged by Martin Luther’s denunciation of convents and monasteries. There she met her future husband, 16 years older than her. They had six children and lived happily ever after. Five hundred years later, there is a Katharina’s Day celebration just for her.

Mural tombstone of Katharina Luther
Mural tombstone of Katharina Luther

Torgau is a pretty little town with a large market square. A white rathaus takes up most of one side and is flanked by well-retored buildings around the other three sides. There is a lot of renovation going on and it’s obviously trying to capitalise on nearby Wittenberg and the Martin Luther connection.

Torgau Rathaus
Torgau Rathaus

After a nice cold Diet Coke (Coca-Cola Light in German), we continue our route to Wittenburg. Stay tuned.


Cycling in Germany – Tips & Tricks
Cycling in Germany #1 – Kobern-Gondorf on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #2 – Rhine from Saint Goar to Lorch
Cycling in Germany #3 – Cochem to Zell on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #4 – Koblenz where the Moselle meets the Rhine
Cycling in Germany #5 – Bad Schaugen to Pirna along the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #6 – Bastei Rocks, Honigen and over the border to Czech Republic 
Cycling in Germany #7 – Dresden: accommodation & car trouble and Baroque Treasure  
Cycling in Germany #8 – Dresden Neustadt: Kunsthof Passage, Pfund’s Molkerei, a broom shop & trompe l’oeil
Cycling in Germany #9 – Country roads around Niderlommatzsch on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #10 – Meissen on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #11 – Martin Luther Country: Torgau on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #12 – Martin Luther Country: Wittenberg on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #13 – Wörlitz Gardens and the beginning of neo-classicism in Germany
Cycling in Germany #14 – Shades of Gaudi on the Elbe: Hundertwasser
Cycling in Germany – Turgermünde, the prettiest village on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #16 – Celle & Bremen
Cycling in Germany #17 – Windmills & Dykes
Cycling in Germany #18 – Painted façades from Hann. Münden to Höxter
Cycling in Germany #19 – Bernkastel on the Moselle: a hidden treasure
Cycling in Germany #20 – Trier & the Binoculars Scare
Cycling along the Danube – A Renaissance festival in Neuburg, Bavaria
Cycling along the Danube – Watch out for trains!
Cycling along the Danube – Regensburg & Altmuhle
Cycling along the Danube –  The Weltenburg Narrows
Cycling along the Danube – from its source to Ehingen
Cycling along the Danube – Ehingen to Ulm
Cycling along the Danube – Singmarigen to Beuron
Cycling along the Danube – Binzwangen to Mengen including  Zwiefalten
Eurovelo 6 – Cycling around Lake Constance
Eurovelo 6 – Moos to Stein am Rhein and Steckborn on Lake Constance
Heading home to France after a month’s cycling holiday
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36 thoughts on “Cycling in Germany #11 – Martin Luther Country: Torgau”

  1. That last picture is unbelievable . The architecture is just so stunning . Would have a great view when you see it right before your eyes .

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