Thomas Müntzer

Views, maps, statues and much, much more.

Thomas Müntzer`s signatureSet out below, we have a magpie collection of photos, maps and paintings, which we hope will instruct or - at the very least - entertain.

First and foremost, the top two here, right and left.. The signature in the second image is, of course, Müntzer's.
The main image is used as the template for almost every other picture of Müntzer that you will find. Alas, it is not a contemporaneous portrait - it is an etching made in 1608 by one Christoffel van Sichem; his engraving may or may not have been a copy of a picture made by Hans Holbein the Younger, when the latter was resident in Basel. Unfortunately, all evidence suggests that Holbein had left for France some months before Müntzer turned up in Basel in late 1524.
Another, even fainter, possibility is that the original portrait was made by one of the 'three godless painters' (oh yes!) of Nuremberg, when Müntzer was (maybe) in that city in late 1524. Why the three painters were considered 'godless' is another story - but click here if you wish to know more.
It really is all very speculative. But it's all we have.

All images on this page are clickable to display larger...  Or ... to zip through all the pictures quickly...

Views of towns, castles and churches.
Here is a view (from 18th or 19th century?) of the castle above the small town of Allstedt in Thuringia, where Müntzer preached in 1523 and 1524. On the right, the castle as it appears today. It was in this castle that Müntzer preached his famous 'Sermon to the Princes'.    Allstedt Castle     Allstedt Castle today
The image appearing to the right is a view (ca. 1650) of the town of Mühlhausen in Thuringia, scene of Müntzer's final activity.    Muhlhausen Banner
Two pictures of Zwickau - the one of the market-place (ca. 1850), the other of St Catherine's Church, where Müntzer preached in 1520-21 (you can see M's statue just in front of it)    Zwickau 1850     St Katharine
A photograph of Count Ernst of Mansfeld's residence at Heldrungen - this is where Müntzer was held captive after the defeat at Frankenhausen (possibly - but not necessarily - in the rounded tower on the left)    Heldrungen

This is a rough map of Thuringia, indicating the location of Müntzer's main places of activity.
For a more detailed map, using GoogleMaps and centred on Mühlhausen, click here.    Thuringia
The first map to the right indicates the main theatres of the whole South German 'Peasants War'. The second map shows the course of the 1525 uprising in Thuringia.    Bauernkrieg     Peasant War
This one shows the march-routes taken by the Princes' army approaching Frankenhausen (courtesy Doug Miller).   Saxony
This map, drawn in the 19th century, gives a detailed view of the patchwork of land-ownership at around 1500.   Thuringia 1485
And this one shows the Ernestine/Albertine split in the ruling house of Saxony, after 1485.   Saxony

Statues and similar.
Four statues of Müntzer: the one on the left stands in Mühlhausen; the second is in his birthplace, Stolberg; the third (pretty jaunty!) is in Zwickau; the one on the right depicts Müntzer in captivity, at Heldrungen    Muhlhausen     Stolberg     Zwickau     Heldrungen
This house in Stolberg stands on the spot of the house he was born in (the original house burned down in 1851).
To the right of it, a plaque commemorating his stay in Wittenberg (Schlossstr. 26 - coincidentally a building also occupied much later by the electrical engineer Werner von Siemens...).    Birthplace     Wittenberg
At Frankenhausen, scene of the final battle in 1525, there is now a museum dedicated to the Peasants' War in Thuringia. This image is one of several huge murals there, painted by Werner Tübke.    Frankenhausen Panorama
Professor Douglas Miller has created this tiny figurine of Thomas Müntzer (6cm high), as part of a diorama of the battle of Frankenhausen.
German chroniclers of an earlier era were quite happy to draw on their own creativity - here on far right is an image which is captioned This prophet looks quite like Thomas Müntzer...!    Doug Miller's Thomas Müntzer figurine     Like Müntzer...

Modern images of Müntzer, by Stefan Klausewitz.
These five caricatures of Müntzer were created by the contemporary Berlin artist, Stefan Klausewitz. He is, as you can tell, a great admirer of Thomas and his works...

These wonderful and quirky pictures, and many other works on different subjects, are to be found on Stefan's website.

To view each picture larger, simply click on it. Each image, with its technical details, can also (usually) be viewed on Stefan's web-pages by clicking on the little blue arrow Click to view next to it.
Müntzer by Klausewitz Click to view     Müntzer by Klausewitz (II) Click to view     Müntzer by Klausewitz (2023) Click to view
Müntzer by Klausewitz III Click to view     Luther and Müntzer by Klausewitz Click to view

Commemorative stuff.
He has appeared on banknotes - here, a 5-Mark note from East Germany, issued in 1975, 450th anniversary of the Peasants' War; and been commemorated on medals (East Germany, 1989)...    5 Mark note     1989 medal
...and on some postage stamps from East Germany, 1975 and 1989    Stamp sheet     77pfg stamp
A replica of the famous "Rainbow Banner" said to have been carried by Müntzer at the battle of Frankenhausen    77pfg stamp

Books and letters.
The first image to the right is of the title page of Müntzer's main liturgical work, the 'German Church Service' of 1523.
The second image is the title page of his 1524 pamphlet 'Protestation or Proposition'. Note that both of these documents were printed locally, in Allstedt.    Deutsch kirchen ampt     Protestation
An incomplete facsimile of a letter from Ottilie von Gersen (Müntzer`s wife) to Duke Georg, 19th August 1525. It is not in her handwriting, but is a copy made by a contemporary secretary in the court of Landgrave Philipp of Hesse. The first three words read 'Durchlauchter hochgebornen Fürst' - Illustrious high-born Prince... - you can work out the rest for yourself!    Ottilie`s letter
The title-page of Martin Luther's pamphlet - A Shocking History and Judgement of God on Thomas Müntzer - which appeared just before the Battle of Frankenhausen. This was the first in a long, long line of Lutheran pamphlets demonising Müntzer. Alongside that, the title-page of Müntzer's Confession of May 1525, which was gleefully printed in at least seven different editions after his execution.    Shocking History     Confession