Where Luther Walked, #2: Mansfeld
Luther spent his childhood and early youth in Mansfeld, having moved with his parents from Eisleben to Mansfeld in 1484. Eventually, his parents were able to save enough money to buy their own house, which is now a museum.
Until the age of 13, Martin Luther was a student at Mansfeld's Latin School. Only the foundations remain of what was once the first school Luther ever attended. Nevertheless, every year on the first Saturday following Easter, his enrolment is reenacted and a feast celebrated at the site.
Another object of interest is a Luther portait (Lutherbild) from 1540, on display at the church of St. George. It depicts Martin Luther in full regalia and is his only full body portrait in existence, making it a must-see for every visitor to Luther country. (A further highlight is the church’s “Resurrection of Christ” painting by Luther’s close friend, Lucas Cranach the Elder).
The renovation of Luther’s parental home in 2003 was accompanied by an archaelogical excavation. A trove of objects was discovered including cooking pots, barrel taps, and cups, all of which offer visitors an insight into daily life in the Luther family. Across from his parental home stands the modern building in which these artifacts will be put on display as part of future exhibitions.
Last but not least, Mansfeld is also home to the impressive Luther Fountain; built on Lutherplatz in 1913, this beautiful monument portrays three of the most important moments in Luther’s life:
* “Out into the World”: A 13-year-old Luther bids farewell to Mansfeld;
* “Into the Fight”: The publication of the 95 Theses in Wittenberg;
* and “Through to Victory”: Luther’s presence at the Diet of Worms.
You may watch a Youtube video of the Schloss Mansfeld for a fascinating view of the modern town: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oolGPQAE4jU