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Monday, November 11, 2013

Old Latin School Update -- The Wittenberg Project

Today, while visiting Wittenberg, Germany, for an International Lutheran Council (ILC) meeting I had the opportunity to visit the Old Latin School being renovated by The Wittenberg Project. Rev. David Mahsman, an LCMS missionary,
is the project director for the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg (ILSW), a RSO of the Missouri Synod, and is a joint venture between the LCMS,
The Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) and Concordia Publishing House.

Rev. David Mahsman pictured on 11 November 2013 inspects the construction / renovation work that began just a few weeks ago.

When we arrived today workers were excavating bones under the ground floor. The archeological excavation is required under German law when historic buildings are renovated.

The Old Latin School is adjacent to Saint Mary's City Church in Wittenberg. Saint Mary's is the church where Martin Luther served as preacher in addition to his duties at Wittenberg University. The Old Latin School was built in 1565 over top of the bone yard for Saint Mary's Church. Because of this the discovery of bones in the archeological excavation is not surprising.

Workers dump construction waste out of a third story window. The "white" mist in the lower picture is the result of the dust from the construction floating into the air.

Workers continue to excavate (top photo). The lower photo the elevator shaft being created for the renovated building.

The top photo shows the refuse being removed and dumped out of the third floor window. The lower picture is of an exposed beam from the original construction of the building. It is quite likely that as was the custom of the day that the beam would have been painted with a Bible verse or a section of the Small Catechism.

Although this door doesn't look like much, it likely dates from the original construction back in 1565. It will be restored and used in the building which, D.v., should open in the Spring of 2015.

Right now it appears as if much of Wittenberg is under construction as people prepare for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Pictured above is the Prussian Tower in protective wrap that was added to the Castle Church where Martin Luther placed the 95 Theses in 1517.

Today, 11 November 2013, is fitting to visit Wittenberg as it is the baptismal birthday of Martin Luther, christened on 11 November 1483 and named after Martin of Tours. It was great to see the progress of the Wittenberg Project and the beginning of the restoration of the Old Latin School.

- Posted by Rev. Dr. Albert B Collver, Director of Church Relations, on 11 November 2013 using BlogPress from my iPhone.


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