Halle holds a special place in the history of the Reformation: not only did Cardinal Albrecht take up his future residence at Moritzburg Palace in Halle in 1541, but it was also here that a dispute broke out about the sale of indulgences. Albrecht - the Archbishop of Magdeburg and Mainz, administrator of the Halberstadt diocese and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire - had an opponent: Martin Luther, who criticised the practice of selling indulgences to absolve people of their sins and so became Albrecht's greatest rival. Because of the persistent struggle between Luther and Albrecht, the city of Halle can be described as the 'cradle of the Reformation'. In 1541 Cardinal Albrecht gave up on the city. Luther, meanwhile, went on to give three sermons at the market church in Halle between 1545 and 1546.
Many places in Halle have associations with Martin Luther - the market church, for example, where Luther held several sermons, or, not far from here, St. Mary's library which contains works by the great reformer.
Because of Halle's associations with Cardinal Albrecht - Luther's adversary in the Reformation - there is much to discover in the city when it comes to history. The buildings that Albrecht commissioned at the time, including the New Palace and the extension to the cathedral, paint a vivid picture of what life was like in 16th-century Halle. The sphere of influence extends even further: the Pietists from the Francke Foundations spread the messages of the Reformation all over the world, changing it forever.