Updated: Jun 4, 2022
Today we visit Eisleben. Luther's life began here, he was baptized here and his life came to an end here. Martin Luther was born here on November 10, 1483 as the first of nine children of his parents Hans and Margarete. We visited his birthplace which wasn’t very large – in fact, it’s tiny. One room where all the living was done and one small bedroom. (See pictures)
At that time, Eisleben was the most important town in the County of Mansfeld, which had gained prestige and prosperity through the mining and smelting of copper shale. Luther's father also earned his money as a miner in Eisleben.
In St. Peter's Pauli Church, not far from his parents' home, Luther was baptized Martin one day after his birth. Today, the church is the destination of thousands of tourists who visit Luther's baptismal font, which has been preserved as a reconstruction. It also now has an emersion baptismal, (which Steve thought was a hot tub.)
While walking through town, we came across a sock shop and I just could not help myself when I saw a pair of socks with Martin Luther’s famous quote “Here I stand, I can do no other” – I bought them!
Also, while walking toward the square today, we came across some small bronze plates set into the sidewalk. These are “stooping stones” in that you need to stoop to read them and hence pay honor to the names and dates on the stones. The names of the Jews living at this address that were taken away in WWII and never heard from again.
When Martin Luther was less than a year old, the family moved to Mansfeld, a few kilometers away, where his father worked in mining and metallurgy.
St. Andrew's Church on the market square of Eisleben also commemorates the reformer who gave his last four sermons in the church and was laid out here after his death.
We also visited his “death house” which is now another museum that contains many manuscripts, artwork and even the cloth that covered his casket. The world-famous reformer died here on February 18, 1546.
See the pictures for more information (click to enlarge)