aprile 07, 2017 - Wien Museum


Press release available only in original language. 
Protestant #vienna: Religious Conflict after Luther Martin Luther´s critique of the sale of indulgences in 1517 was the spark that ignited the Reformation. Marking the 500th anniversary of Luther’s publication of his 95 Theses, the Wien Museum’s “Protestant Vienna” exhibition recalls the several decades when #vienna was a majority-Protestant city. Religious and political tensions gripped #vienna in the sixteenth century. The city was the residence of a Catholic emperor and other sovereigns of the Habsburg realms. At the same time, #vienna was the center of the predominantly Protestant nobility of Lower Austria. Though most of the population became Protestant, the ruling Habsburgs fought vigorously against Protestantism. Despite that, a flourishing Protestant community sprung up in the castles and palaces beyond Vienna’s gates. The radical change brought about by the Reformation affected all social spheres, including culture, science, economics, and politics. The exhibition recounts the history of the Reformation in #vienna almost exclusively through the lens of original documents from the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Among the highlights are the following objects: one of few remaining first-run prints of Luther’s theses (1517); the oldest German transcript of the Augsburg Confession (1530), still valid for Protestants today; and the original document of the Peace of Augsburg (1555) with Ferdinand I´s signature. The Peace of Augsburg accorded territorial sovereigns in the Holy Roman Empire the right to determine the religious denomination of their realm. The manuscripts, books and leaflets not only bear witness to the religious conflict but also illustrate what was to revolutionize communication: letterpress printing. Paintings, drawings, watercolours, and copperplate engravings document individual actors as well as dramatic events. More than thirty lenders from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland contributed to the exhibition. A 420-page catalogue was published by Residenz Verlag with financial support from Austria’s Protestant churches.

16 February 2017 to 14 May 2017


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