Blick von der Lutherbuche in die Stadt - Stolberg
Photo: Olaf Meister, CC BY-SA, von Olaf Meister (Eigenes Werk) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) oder GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Lutherbuche - Stolberg
Photo: Olaf2, CC BY-SA, von Olaf2 (Eigenes Werk) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) oder GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Holztafel an der Lutherbuche - Stolberg
Photo: Sicherlich, CC BY-SA, von Sicherlich (Eigenes Werk) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) oder CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
To the southwest of the town, there is a hill. The short walk up will take you to the Lutherbuche beech tree.
It is written that on 21 April 1525, the Friday after Easter, Martin Luther and his friend Reiffenstein took a trip around the town and stopped to rest and reflect at this spot.
Luther looked around and glanced down on Stolberg. At that moment, he suddenly felt that he could see a familiar shape within the structure of the houses, alleyways and streets. Today a wooden plaque attached to the tree commemorates this moment, which was the inspiration of a poetic image that is still cited today. The inscription reads:
On the Friday after Easter in the year 1525, Dr Martin Luther visited Stolberg and walked on this hill with his friend Reiffenstein. As they walked, he quite rightly compared the town to the shape of a bird. He said the palace was the head, the market the body, the two alleyways the wings and Niedergasse the tail.
In fact, there are still 18 half-timbered houses in Stolberg that pre-date 1530 and probably made up the image of the town that Luther saw.