The first written reference to “Martzburg” as the seat of the Landgrave of Thuringia comes from the year 1138-9; the town received its charter in 1222. In 1527 Philip of Hessen founded the first Protestant university here. Just two years later, the town was the venue for the public religious debate between Martin Luther and Philipp Schwarzert (Melanchthon) on the one side and Ulrych Zwingli and the Basilian reformer Johannes Oekolampad on the other. The discussions ended a theological dispute (over the communion of the Last Supper).
After two years of study, Comenius left Herborn in the spring of 1613 to travel through Germany. He broke his journey in Marburg, where he heard the professors Rudolph Goclenius and Johann Combachius.