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'Luther Year' in Germany

February 18, 1996

Martin Luther, who in the 16th century nailed his 95 theses to the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg, Germany, lighting the fires of the Reformation and Protestantism, died on Feb. 18, 1546. To celebrate the 450th anniversary of his death, Germany has declared 1996 "Luther Year."

Commemorative activities will highlight the 12 cities and towns most closely associated with the theologian (pictured right). Dozens of special tributes, art exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances and seminars will take place from Augsburg to Worms throughout the year.

Several churches are holding special services to mark today's anniversary and the first of several exhibits, "Martin Luther as Depicted in 19th Century Illustrations," opens in the Church of St. Maurice in Coburg. On Wednesday, "Luther and the Swan: Death and Transfiguration of a Great Man" opens in Luther Hall, the world's largest museum dedicated to the history of the Reformation, in Wittenberg. Both exhibits will remain open for several months.

A 60-page booklet, "Tours in the Footsteps of Luther," detailing the key dates and places in the Reformer's life, along with three suggested itineraries, is available from German National Tourist Office, 11766 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 750, Los Angeles 90025, (310) 575-9799.

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