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Luther's Birth House, Eisleben

Luthers Gerburtshaus (Luther's Birth House) in Eisleben, where Luther was born in 1483. Photo © Stephan Komp. View all images in our Luther's Birth House Photo Gallery.
Luthers Gerburtshaus (Luther's Birth House) in Eisleben, where Luther was born in 1483. Photo © Stephan Komp.
Photo © Debra Dinda.
Photo © Debra Dinda.
Photo © Ethan Stock and Judi Stock.

Luthers Geburthaus (Luther's Birth House) in Eisleben, is the house in which Martin Luther was born. It has long been preserved as a museum to the reformer.

History

On November 10, 1483, Martin Luther was born in Eisleben to Hans and Magarete Luder (the reformer altered the spelling of his surname) in this modest, half-timbered house on Lange Strasse (now Lutherstrasse).

The future "Father of the Reformation" was was baptized the following day at the nearby Church of St. Peter and Paul and named after St. Martin of Tours, whose feast day is November 11. The Luther family moved from Eisleben to Mansfeld in 1484.

Luther's birth house opened to the public in 1693 as the first memorial museum in Germany. (Before that, it had been used as a school.) In preparation for the opening, the main floor was made into a decorated festive hall celebrating the history of the Reformation.

The front of the building, which had been severely damaged in a fire in 1689, acquired its baroque appearance during the renovation that preceding the opening.

In 1817, King Friedrich William III declared that the museum should be funded by the state. Martin Luther's birthplace was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996, along with other Luther sites in Eisleben and Wittenberg.

What to See

Dating from the museum's opening in 1693 is the Schöner Saal in the main room of the first floor, which is decorated with a large ceiling painting of an angel, full-length portraits of Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon and the Electors of Saxony. There is also a statue of a swan, one of the symbols of the Reformation. The outside Baroque portal with Martin Luther's portrait also dates from this period.

The ground floor contains a medieval kitchen, which was probably used by the landlord rather than the Luders. On display in the Geburtshaus are books and artworks from the time of Luther's childhood, such as a Bible with coloured woodcuts which was printed in Nürnberg the year he was born.

Across the courtyard from Luther's house (and included in the price of admission) is the Lutherarmenschule, an early 19th-century school for the poor that now contains displays of various local artifacts.

Quick Facts on Luther's Birth House

Site Information
Names:Luther's Birth House; Luther's Birth House, Eisleben; Luthers Geburtshaus
City:Eisleben
Country:Germany
Categories:Museums; Historical Sites
Faiths:Lutheran
Feat:Reformation History
Dates:1483 (birth)
Status:museum
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Eisleben, Germany
Coordinates:51.526895° N, 11.549935° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Luther's Birth House

Below is a location map and aerial view of Luther's Birth House. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. The Rough Guide to Germany 6.
  2. Geburtshaus Martin Luthers - Luther.de
  3. The Birthplace of Martin Luther - Lutherstadt-Eisleben.de

More Information

Article Info

Title:Luther's Birth House, Eisleben
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:06/10/2010
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