Commemmorations for Philipp Melanchthon, who died 450 years ago today, were held all over town yesterday. This church above Rohrbach carries his name.

The Schwartzerdt family (Melanchthon is a Greek translation) used to live in Heidelberg were Philipp’s father was the count palatine’s armourer. Philipp himself was born in a relatives’ house in Bretten but returned to study at Heidelberg university at the age of 12 (!). After graduating in Tübingen, he met Martin Luther at a public debate in Heidelberg in 1518 – a meeting that took him on an amazing journey and eventually made him one of the leading figures of 16th century reformation.


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