This exhibition focuses on the daily life of the Luder family, the games and obligations of a young Martin as well as the close relationship of the family with the town, church and county of Mansfeld.
The Excavation of archaelogical treasures
Archaeological finds were discovered during the building works in 2003/2004 and 2008. They give us a unique insight into daily life: The family could afford expensive clothing, crockery and glasses. They ate pork, fresh fish and oriental herbs.
Although children were very much involved in the daily work routine at the time, they still had time to play. This is confirmed by the toys that were found. They included dice, marbles and a whistle in the shape of a bird.
The family was able to afford a high standard of living in a sizable property in Mansfeld. This ensured that the young Martin Luther was educated at the Mansfeld school as well as schools in Magdeburg and Eisenach, which opened the doors to the world of academia for him.
The Luder family, Mansfeld and the counts of Mansfeld
Throughout his life Luther enjoyed a close relationship with his family in Mansfeld - his parents (Hans and Margarethe), three sisters and a brother. His father owned a mining company and copper foundry. The exhibition clearly shows the difficult working conditions and the importance of mining in Mansfeld Land.
Luther regarded himself as a child of Mansfeld throughout his whole life. Even his code name during his incognito stay in the Wartburg castle, “Junker Jörg” (Squire Jörg), was a reference to the patron saint of Mansfeld county, Saint George.
Luther's Parents' Home before 1885
Luther's Parents' Home with museum, 2015
Mansfeld has been a memorial site for Martin Luther since 1562. As far as we know, the Mansfeld minister and chronicler Cyriacus Spangenberg celebrated the first remembrance of Luther with a mass on St. Martin’s Day in 1562. This historical building consisted of the large residential house as well as farm buildings, stables and storerooms. Only part of the residential house has been preserved, which you can visit today. The majority of the exhibition has been housed in a new and modern museum building since 2014.
Timeline of the House's architectual history and usage
Hans Luder’s house was first documented in 1507. However, at that time Hans Luder had been paying off the house for some years, so we can assume that the house had been owned by the family for a significant period of time beforehand. It is likely that Hans Luder bought the house shortly after they moved to Mansfeld in 1483.
After the death of their father in 1530, Jakob Luder (Martin Luther’s brother) inherited the house as per the inheritance laws in 1534 and paid off his brother and sisters.
Luther’s Parents Home corresponded to the family's elevated social status. The four-sided farm included the large residential house as well as its own farm buildings for housekeeping and livestock. These no longer exist and only one third of the residential house has been preserved.
Jakob’s sons had to sell their parental home at the turn of the year 1578/1579. However, they still owned other properties in Mansfeld.
At the end of the 19th century, the remaining third of the house was threatened with demolition and interest in Luther’s Parents' Home was rekindled. A Luther House Association was set up specifically to preserve the Lutheran property and converted the house into a deaconess ward in 1885 as a lasting veneration of Luther. Since then, the house has impressed passersby with its new stone facade and impressive western gable.
Shortly after the deaconess ward was opened, a small museum was created in the developed attic. This focused on Martin Luther’s childhood and school years.
In 1889, the Luther House Association gave Luther’s Parents' Home to the Mansfeld church.
It was officially named “Luther Museum” in 1936.
Then, in 2007, the church gave the house to the town of Mansfeld. Together with the Luther Memorials Foundation, the town refurbished the building and built a new museum expansion.
In 2013, the entire site was transferred into the custody of the Luther Memorials Foundation.
2016: Nominated for the German Architecture Museum prize
2016: Runner-up for the Hannes Meyer Prize
2019: Architecture Prize of the State of Saxony-Anhalt