Deutsch English
nederlands magyarul

Luther Legends and Anecdotes
'Driven into the monestary by lightning
Nailing of the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church
Throwing the inkwell
Emporer Carl at Luther's grave
Luther and trees
Luther in Worms
The times Luther lived in
Luther Time-line
People in Luther's environment
More information

Luther and the Trees

Luther Oaks, Linden, Beeches, and an Apple tree

Trees have always, in all religions, been mythological symbols; they become transfigured, just think of the Tree of Knowledge. In our times, there are many legends about trees or their fruit, like the apple tree under which Newton sat.

For this reason, there are many 'tree legends' in association with Luther, who enjoyed spending his free time in the garden among trees and flowers.
Everywhere you go, there are Luther oaks, linden or beech trees which are more or less tied to docummented legends.

Die Luthereiche in Wittenberg Many legends are told about the Luther Oak in Wittenberg, one of the most well known tree-legends.
The spot in Wittenberg where the current Luther oak stands is where Luther burned the Papal Bull of Excommunication and books by his opponents on December 10, 1520.

The legend goes like this: A Wittenberg student, an enthusiastic follower of Luther, was in love with a girl whose grandmother was equally enthusiastic about the old church.
On the day of the burning, the woman supposedly wandered to that spot with her granddaughter out of curiosity. There they ran into students who were excitedly talking about what Luther had done. The grandmother was overcome by anger and rammed her walking stick into the ground; while doing this, she swore that the student would not be allowed to marry her granddaughter until the stick had turned green.
This student planted a young oak on that very spot. The following spring, the student reported this 'miracle' to the grandmother...

The original Luther oak in Wittenberg - when and by whomever it was planted - was chopped down during the Nepoleonic Wars because there was a shortage of fuel.
The current Luther oak was planted in 1830; in 1904 an unknown person tried to cut it down.
Today the tree suffers from air pollution and also the results of this 'attack'.

Luther and the Apple Tree

Many more legends about Luther and trees swirl around, one of the best known should be mentioned, the famous saying: "If I knew that tomorrow was the end of the world, I would plant an apple tree today!" is attributed to Luther.
One must remember, that the first written evidence of this saying comes from 1944...
Copyright(c) KDG Wittenberg 1997
Copyright(c) KDG Wittenberg 1997