Win of iconoclasm and reformation in Tartu

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07. January 1525

In Tartu the bishop Blakenfeld could suppress the reformation mood up to autumn of 1524. But in October 1524 the furrier Melchior Hoffmann arrived to the city who was uneducated, but a fanatic promoter of religion. He started to hold the fiery speeches which were modest up to the Christmas, as Blakenfeld stayed also in the city.
But when the bishop left the city, the sermons of Hoffmann became more radical.

On 7 January 1525 the reformation-minded citizens pressed to Maarja Church, dispersed the catholic service and Hoffmann started to speak there. Thereafter the iconoclasm started in the city, all downtown churches were attacked, in addition to Catholics also the Russian Nikolai church.
On 10 January the Estonian and German citizens of Tartu also attacked Toomemägi, but were resisted by the bailiff Peter von Stackelberg, 2 Estonians and 2 Germans were killed. The next attack was even more successful and Dome Church and houses of canons were also plundered.

The citizens wanted to start to surround even the bishop castle, but then the compromise was concluded: the common commission of the town council, canons, vassals and citizenship started to reign over the stronghold. It was also decided that the protestant sermons will be held in downtown, the catholic ones just in Dome Church.
Tartu had first only one protestant preacher: Melchior Hoffmann. He was though very radical and the town council understood that he is not able or does not want to keep the people under control.

Therefore Sylvester Tegetmeyer was asked to help from Riga who held sermons twice a day 2 weeks in a row in February. Later also other scholars added. At the end of the same year the town council got rid of Hoffman by sending him with false complaint out of town. He went to Tallinn, later he wandered back to Germany where he finally died in prison.
Tartu town council received a group of salaried warriors from Tallinn with the help of whom it took the governing of Toomemäe and stronghold into its hands.


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