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The Cover
September 26, 2012

Market Church in Halle

JAMA. 2012;308(12):1188. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3224

Gothic cathedrals—replete with their spires, towers, and flying buttresses—presided over town squares when Europe gradually emerged from the Middle Ages. Halle, northwest of Leipzig, was no exception: its Marktkirche Unser Lieben Frauen (Market Church of Our Dear Lady) dominated the skyline since its construction began in 1529. Built in late-Gothic style and with the special twist of a catwalk bridge between 2 of its towers, the Marktkirche symbolizes the city of Halle and its Reformation-era prominence along the River Saale. Martin Luther preached in the pulpit of the Marktkirche; his death mask still resides in Halle as evidence of its importance to Luther's evangelism. Starting in 1929, Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) spent 2 consecutive summers in Halle, painting the town and its landmarks from his aerie in the museum's tower. One of his favorite scenes included the Marktkirche and its platz, filled with citizens going about their daily business.