Standing in Worms

This week is the 500th anniversary of the 1521 Diet of Worms. For those of you not familiar with the antiquated phrase, a diet is an assembly, not a food choice. This is the assembly where Martin Luther, four years after nailing the 95 These to the Wittenberg church door, was brought before the princes of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire to defend or recant his works. He had already been excommunicated by the pope and was declared an outlaw and a heretic.

Worms is one of the oldest cities in northern Europe and is steeped in medieval legend and was the site of battles with fifth century Gauls.It was in Worms that Siegfried began his legendary adventures, recorded in The Nibelungenlied. Worms, Germany  Although the 1521 Diet of Worms is the most notable, there were a hundred imperial diets held there as a free imperial or self-ruling city. Other self-ruling cities of the 13th and 14th centuries were Augsburg, Cologne, and Strasburg, to name a few.

St. Peter’s Cathedral

Worms began it’s religious influence and prosperity after the occupation of Charlemagne in the early 800s.  Charlemagne | Biography, Accomplishments, Children, & Facts. The St. Peter’s cathedral was commissioned in  1018 and built between 1130 and 1181.Worms, Germany Guide | Fodor’s Travel It has gone through a number of renovations and in fact was surrounded by scaffolding when we were there some years ago. The pictures on this site were taken this year by a friend Camille Ayers who recently moved to Germany with her husband.

The importance of Luther’s appearance at the Diet of Worms affected the whole world. Not only did he not recant any of his writings, but they were widely read and instigated the Protestant movement that spread worldwide. His response to the insistence that he indeed take back his work was met by”’I cannot.. I will not… recant! Here I stand. I can do no other.”’  This has prompted some meme fun in modern times. Whether you are standing six feet apart or not, I hope you are standing firm.

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