Emden - European City of the Reformation

Events and Projects

The working group "Emden-European City of the Reformation" has already implemented some projects and intends to develop and realise even more events and activities in the coming years.

  • At Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, a publishing company in
    Leipzig, a comprehensive booklet entitled "Orte der Reformation. Emden" meaning "Places of Reformation. Emden" was published (see below).
  • In June 2014, "Emden’s Reformation Route" was introduced. It leads along historically significant buildings and sites and highlights the importance of Emden as Reformation city in Europe.
  • Even the city’s entrance signs point to Emden’s award "Emden - Reformation City in Europe".
  • "Die Wahrheit ist untödlich – Martyrium und Protestantismus," meaning "The truth is immortal - Martyrdom and Protestantism"  was the title of a joint exhibition of Johannes a Lasco Library, the East Frisian National Museum Emden and the Mennonite Church Emden / Norden in cooperation with the University of Oldenburg (Project "Space of Freedom Reformation").

Places of Reformation - Emden

On behalf of Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek Emden
Published by J. Marius J. Lange van Ravenswaay,
Wolfgang Jahn and Klaas-Dieter Voß
Places of Reformation | 13

In the middle of the 16th century Emden was an important centre of the Reformation. Unlike today, Emden was one of the largest cities in the German Empire and at the same time had the largest seaport in Europe. The political situation in East Frisia and the international character of this city formed the backdrop for the wide variety of Reformation approaches at the time. Emden became a melting pot for the religiously persecuted and a refuge for an intellectual elite, who influenced the development of the Reformation in other European countries from here. If nothing else this happened through the printing and distribution of literature which was elsewhere prohibited.  The city and its church were therefore referred to as "Moederkerk" (Mother Church) of the Dutch Reformation. In the end the prevailing Calvinism turned Emden into a quasi-autonomous city state.