All Saints’ Church

All Saints’ Church is located in Wittenberg, Germany. The first chapel on this site was built in 1340 and consecrated in 1346. The church was considered Wittenberg’s main church by Pope Boniface IX in 1400. There was an old Ascanian Castle on the site, but it was demolished to make room for a new Gothic structure in 1490-1511. The church, built into the castle, is a long basilica with an eastern apse encompassing the north wing of the three-winged complex. The tower of the church stands over the fortress-like estate. The church served as residences for the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg as well as serving as the University of Wittenberg. The chapel and university developed into an important academic and worship center. All Saints’ Church houses the preserved tombs of reformers Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, as well as the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg. All Saints’ Church is world-famous for being the site where Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the main door on October 31, 1517. Luther’s theses attacked papal abuses and the sale of indulgences. In 1520, Pope Leo X declared Luther’s theses to be heretical and he was excommunicated. In 1883, the church was restored in the Neo-Gothic style. A Lutheran Church was established on the site in 1949. In 1983, a series of 12 stained glass windows were installed, each honoring a student of Luther. Today, the structure still serves as a place of worship. It also houses the town’s historical archives, the Riemer Museum, and a youth hostel.