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Torgau was where Luther's wife Katharina took her first steps into society. In April 1523, the Torgau alderman Leonard Koppe smuggled twelve nuns out of Nimbschen Covent outside Grimma. Eight of them, including Katharina von Bora, later moved to Wittenberg.
Many years later, in 1552, the plague broke out in Wittenberg. Katharina, who had since become the wife of Martin Luther, fled for Torgau. Just before she arrived, Katharina was seriously injured in an accident caused when her horses started.
During her stay in Torgau, Katharina Luther witnessed the engagement of her son Paul to the patrician's daughter Anna von Warbeck. She also lived to see the 18th birthday of her youngest daughter Margarethe on 17 December, before passing away three days later.
On 21 December 1552, at around three in the afternoon, a large contingent from Torgau as well as the whole of Wittenberg University accompanied Katharina's grand funeral procession to her final resting place in St. Mary's Church in Torgau. The tombstone, which you can still see today, was laid in place by her children.
The tombstone shows Katharina as a confident woman. She is pictured in a large, pleated winter coat with a bonnet on her head, holding a bible in her hands. The Luther rose and the coat of arms of the von Bora family occupy the upper corners. Translated, the inscription reads: "ANNO 1552, the 20th DECEMBER. The blessed widow Katharina left behind by Martin Luther passed away peacefully here in Torgau."