Eisleben, Germany

Eisleben is a small city in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, with a population of about 21,000. Since 1946, Eisleben's official name has been Lutherstadt Eisleben ("Luther-City Eisleben"), in honor of its close association with the great reformer Martin Luther. Eisleben's Luther sites were granted joint World Heritage status with those in Lutherstadt Wittenberg in 1996.

Martin Luther was born in Eisleben in 1483 and also died here in 1546. He spent most of the intervening years elsewhere, in cities like Erfurt and Wittenberg, but Eisleben always remained a place for which Luther retained a special affection. It is thus quite poetic that he happened to visiting his hometown on family business when he died.

The city of Eisleben was a pioneer of heritage tourism long before the idea was invented, and Luther's birth house and death house are well-preserved museums as a result. Beyond its Luther connections, Eisleben preserves a sizeable Aldstadt (Old Town), which dates to the 10th century, plus suburbs founded in the 12th century and an early 16th-century "New Town." All are dotted with historic churches, some of which were visited by Luther.

Luther's Birth House
Martin Luther was born in this half-timbered house in 1483. Opened to the public in 1693, it was the first memorial museum in Germany.
St. Peter and Paul Church
Here Martin Luther was baptized on November 11, 1483. The church contains two fine Gothic altarpieces.
Luther's Death House
Here Martin Luther spent the last weeks of his life after falling ill during a brief trip to his hometown. Luther's death mask and the gilded Communion cup he used as pastor are among the displays.
St. Anne's Church
In 1523, this became the first church in the county to officially embrace Protestantism. It is dedicated to Anne, the patron saint of miners (Luther's father's profession).
Luther Monument
A large, Romantic-era statue of Martin Luther in the middle of Eisleben's main square. The four sides of the base are adorned with bas-relief scenes of his life.
Martin Luther preached his last sermons in this Gothic hall church on the main square. The pulpit is preserved in its original place, the altarpiece is a fine example of late Gothic art.