Reformation in Bavaria – Digital, regional, multifaceted

Titled "Martin Luther and the early Reformation in Bavaria. Supporters, adversaries, sympathisers", the cultural portal bavarikon presents its first virtual exhibition in 2017, the year of the Reformation's anniversary. The exhibition is unique, not only with respect to its volume, but also the approach taken: Twenty-one cultural institutions take part in the virtual exhibition showing 123 high-carat exhibits.

Martin Luther and the early Reformation in Bavaria. Poster on the virtual exhibition (detail) | © BSB/ bavarikon

Martin Luther and the early Reformation in Bavaria. Poster on the virtual exhibition (detail) | © BSB/ bavarikon

bavarikon thus depicts a fascinating image of the Reformation in Bavaria, at the same time enabling viewers to experience the reform movements and the counter-movements on a regional level in Old Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia.

Virtual exhibition
As of 15 March 2017

Short film on the exhibition

The virtual exhibition on Martin Luther is a joint project of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, the Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte (Centre of Bavarian History) and the Bavarian state archives. Under their leadership, 123 precious exhibits from all over Bavaria were brought together, uniting them for an exhibition for the first time. What is special: All exhibits are presented in an outstanding digital quality. The printed works and manuscripts shown as part of the exhibition can further be browsed from the first to the last page. This means that visitors of the virtual exhibition can have a close look at documents which are otherwise kept in archives or protected by glass cabinets.

Among the exhibits to be viewed there are i.a. 26 original autographs by Luther, hand-coloured Luther Bibles, the most important Reformation writings, the portraits of Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder, the Hedwig glass owned by Luther or the Regensburg Reformation altar. An impressive 3D presentation permits viewers to explore Luther's room in the fortress of Coburg, which has remained an important memorial site of the history of the Reformation.

The curators of the exhibition have set great value by the regional aspects of the Reformation in Bavaria. Accordingly, visitors of the exhibition can choose their access point to the exhibition to their own liking: "places", "persons" or "all objects".

  • The diversity of the Bavarian Reformation history becomes obvious to the visitor on the basis of the events in twelve different places: Augsburg, Coburg, Memmingen, Lindau, Ingolstadt, Munich, Nuremberg, Ansbach, Würzburg, Neuburg, Regensburg and Amberg.
  • Nine persons serve as protagonists for the Reformation, its counter-movements, reform movements inside the Church, the radical tendencies or sympathisers: In addition to Martin Luther, the exhibition introduces Johannes Eck from Ingolstadt, one of Luther's main adversaries. Further persons are for example the Nuremberg Abbess Caritas Pirckheimer, the Augsburg reformer Urbanus Rhegius, Andreas Osiander, Argula von Grumbach and the Nuremberg Meistersinger Hans Sachs.
  • Using the point of access "all objects", all exhibits can be viewed in a kind of gallery, in which the public can wander from one object to the next.

<link en about-us article heimatminister-soeder-und-kultusstaatssekretaer-eisenreich-die-reformation-in-bayern-digital-regional-vielfaeltig-1725 _top external-link-new-window internal link in current>Complete press release  |  Press release for download  (in German)  (PDF, 113 KB)

Contact person
Irma Bachhammer
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
bavarikon office
Ludwigstr. 16, 80539 Munich
Phone: +49 89 28638-2024