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Where Luther Walked, #1: Eisleben

Eisleben, Saxony (in modern southeast Germany), was Martin Luther's beloved hometown and the place where he spent his first and final moments on this earth.

Born here to Hans and Margarette Luther on 10 November 1483, Luther returned to the city many times throughout his life before, in a poetic turn of events, he died here in 1546.

Today, you can still find families with the last name "Luder" (his original family name) living in the area.

The house where Luther was born (pictured above) is now a museum.

An exhibition, ‘That’s where I’m from – Martin Luther and Eisleben,’ currently features over 200 exhibits which tell of Luther’s background as well as offering the visitor an insight into medieval piety.

A recreation of the flat in which the Luther family once resided can also be seen.

Not far from Luther’s birth place sits the Church of St. Peter and Paul where he was baptised.

The house where Luther died is located on market square across from the Church of St. Andrew.

Martin was born into difficult circumstances – on at least two counts:

• it was a time of desolation and disease when the Black Death (bubonic plague) was sweeping across Europe and had the horrendous potential of wiping out most of a town's inhabitants within days. One quarter of all children died before they were 5 years of age;

• Luther's parents were peasants, hard-working but poor. However, within a year of Martin's birth, his father Hans achieved success as a miner and copper ore smelter, becoming a leaseholder of copper mines and smelters. This necessitated the family moving north to Mansfeld ... .

(Marketplace, Eisleben, and Luther Rose, Eisleben – photos by Joerg Glaescher, IMG Sachsen-Anhalt)

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