“Culture” Gate Area

Discover culture in green surroundings

The gate area “Culture” invites visitors to spend time and make discoveries. Two special highlights are connected with the daily cultural programme: On one side of the gate area is the old prison with the contemporary exhibition “Luther and the Avant-garde”, while on the other, the scene is set by the large open-air #Reformationssommer stage before the venerable walls of the Castle Church. One of the entrances to the “Culture” gate area is dedicated to the installation “Reflecting Culture”, a project by students at the Stuttgart Technology University of Applied Sciences in which the ambiguity of the title is mirrored in the high-gloss surface of the work’s steles.


In the “Paradise Garden”, students from the Berlin University of the Arts grapple with the question of the lost paradise. Exotic plants float, independent of their native climatic zones, in hanging gardens above the heads of visitors. Hoses connect the gardens to a “compost city” on the ground. Warm water fountains round out the cycle of the continuously self-reforming and self-renewing garden of paradise.

Further inside the park, the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches bridges the 15th and 21st centuries with its book press. Here, the cultural upheaval triggered by early printing technology stands vis-à-vis today’s digitization.

The Listros association also thinks outside the box. It supports young shoe-shiners in Ethiopia. Listros has transformed their discarded shoe-shining boxes into a cubic structure that visitors can enter to read “letters to the world” in which these young people express their wishes and dreams. Each further step into the “Culture” gate area opens up new perspectives. A small stage offers a changing programme of acoustic entertainment. Very much in the reformatory sense, culture in the #Reformationssommer means discovering the new, questioning the old and getting involved.

A cultural programme on stages large and small

The Reformation and music – a connection which certainly won’t be lacking in the #Reformationssommer in Wittenberg. During the World Reformation Exhibition, the Lutherstadt will resound with the performances of artists on the city’s big and small stages. Whether amateur or professional, classical or modern – dance and theatre groups, choirs, church musicians, ensembles and soloists from near and far will all present their talents. They will move audiences to reflect, laugh and sing, clap and dance along. Up to 5,000 people can attend performances held on the Main Stage in the Castle Meadow, where they will be a part of very special events, with concerts before an historic backdrop, under the open sky. When the Gates of Freedom close for the day, the artists will take the stage for an unforgettable evening.

  • German soul at its best will be on display when Yvonne Catterfeld (29 June) presents her new album “Guten Morgen Freiheit”.
  • Culcha Candela (2 July) delivers its reggae, dancehall and hip-hop mega-beats from Berlin.
  • The pop oratorio “Luther” (26 August) by the Creative Kirche, currently touring Germany’s major concert halls, will make a stop in the birthplace of the Reformation. Amateur choirs and professional musicians illuminate Luther’s life, transporting his message into the here and now.
  • Highly recommended for classical music fans: the Baltic Sea Philharmonic (27 August) under the direction of Kristjan Jaervi. Few young orchestras so skilfully blur the line between musical art and entertainment and so adeptly convey classical music into the 21st century.
  • In the final week, Hans-Jürgen Hufeisen stages his mystery play “Zwingli” (9 September), commemorating the Swiss Reformer and pointing the way to the Swiss Reformation festivities of 2019.
  • Many smaller concert gems of different musical styles from around the world will be held throughout the summer. For example: With Nina Hoger and the Noisten ensemble on 7 July, klezmer meets dervish meets Meister Eckhart to create a touching musical marvel that transcends all musical, religious and cultural boundaries.


Be sure not to miss:

  • “Paradise Garden”: Stroll amongst hanging gardens, a compost city and warm water fountains – and find your very own paradise in the World Reformation Exhibition.
  • The Reformation and music: Enjoy the concerts on the stage at the Castle with up to 5,000 other revellers – in an historical, scenic setting under the open sky.
  • “Luther and the Avant-garde”: Experience the fascination of contemporary art in an abandoned prison.