The roots of the Reformation that began with Martin Luther’s 95 theses in 1517 are being remembered and watered already in the Luther Garden in Wittenberg, Germany. They are going to grow and thrive in the city as green monuments to the memory of 500 years of living Reformation to be commemorated in 2017. Leading toward 2017, the Luther Decade, begun in 2008, focuses on various themes and the Reformation. 2011 was the Reformation and Freedom, 2012 is the Reformation and Music.Churches have been invited to plant a tree in the garden shaped like Luther's rose seal, as well as at their home congregations. The response has been so great that they have stopped making arrangements for this until they are able to plant what has already been requested. By 2017, the hope is that there will be 500 trees planted in the Luther Garden and around Wittenberg as well as another 500 all over the world that represent the good news going out from Wittenberg beginning so many years ago.For the Lutheran World Foundation, the worldwide dimension of the project supports its fundamental notion of the church, as it has been phrased in its constitution: The Lutheran World Foundation confesses the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church and wants to serve the unity of Christianity. On this basis, the Lutheran World Foundation wants to underline the ecumenical significance of the Reformation anniversary and its importance for the ecumenical relationships. A cross is at the center of the garden.The project was initiated by the Lutheran World Foundation in Geneva. Its realization has been supported by the German National Committee of the Lutheran World Foundation, the United Evangelical Church in Germany and the Luther City of Wittenberg.
According to the plans of the landscape architect Andreas Kipar (Milan/Duisburg), the Luther Garden has an oval shape and will contain 270 trees from all continents. 230 additional trees will be planted in the area of the old fortification of the city of Wittenberg , so that there will be 500 trees altogether, symbolizing the 500 years of the Reformation. The place in the centre of the garden is paved in the shape of a Luther rose.
Several times, the measurements of the complex reflect the number 95, the number of Luther's theses. Paths and alleys connect the park with the world. Some of them lead to the city centre of Wittenberg, to the Castle Church and the City Church, which are other sites of the Reformation history. In-between, there are orchards with local fruit trees. The whole Luther Garden will be built in nine construction stages between 2009 and 2017.Find out more about the Luther Garden.