The Luther House was to be the scene of the reformer’s most important acts for over 35 years. Originally built as an Augustinian monastery, after 1508 it served as his home – and from 1525 it was also the home of his wife Katharina and their growing family. It was here that he had his theological breakthrough, here that he offered lectures to students from all over Europe, and here that he wrote his treatises that changed the world
Today, the Luther House is open to you as the world's largest museum dedicated to the history of the Reformation. It opened its doors to visitors back in 1883. The Lutherstube, Martin Luther’s living room, is still largely as it was when the reformer lived here, and it has allowed people from all over the world to be transported back to his time ever since.
The authentic site in which Luther lived and worked has always exerted a particularly strong pull. The Lutherstube is where the reformer's famous ‘Table Talks’ took place, while the refectory is where Luther’s relatives, guests and friends ate their meals. The head of the house composed his powerful treatises in his study located in an annex, the foundations of which – including the latrine – were not rediscovered until 2004.
The Lutherstube is the historic location in which Luther’s ‘Table Talks’ took place.
The other rooms in the Luther House are home to the exhibition ‘Martin Luther. His life – his work – his impact’, which features unique exhibits from the life of Luther and tells the story of his everyday family life, as well as of the impact of the historic figure Luther and his works down to the present day.
Here you can get a close look at Luther’s pulpit from the town church, from which he spoke to the people of Wittenberg, as well as his monk's habit and the panel of the Ten Commandments by Lucas Cranach. The ‘Gemeine Kasten’, a type of social fund for supporting the needy and a starting point for social changes in the time of the Reformation, can be seen, as can Luther’s Bible, many valuable manuscripts and prints, and countless paintings from Lucas Cranach.
Martin Luther in Wittenberg
The biographical tour of the ground and first floors offers you an overview of Luther's life. Much of this tour, which leads through all of the most important rooms in the house, is focused on Luther's Wittenberg years from 1508 to his death in 1546.
At home with Martin Luther
In the vaulted cellars you will be able to gain an impression of the everyday life of the Luther family. Countless written sources have provided us with a very detailed picture of the reformer’s household, which his wife Katharina von Bora ran like a small company in which the boarding fees paid by the students living and eating in the house were an important source of income.
Katharina von Bora ran the house like a small company.
In order to ensure that the home’s residents were provided with everything that they needed, Katharina oversaw extensive agricultural and horticultural activities. Models depict eight scenes in which you can see and hear what happened in Luther’s house. They help to bring the everyday life of the Luther family in their home, farm and garden to life.
Luther’s picture and Luther pictures
The portion of the exhibition on the second floor draws on an extensive collection focusing on Luther's reception in images ranging from 1546 to 1983: Luther in paintings large and small, busts of Luther, Luther on medals, memorial sheets and satirical graphics, Luther on cups and tins, not to mention Luther chairs, Luther on posters and Luther in film – it is a fascinating journey through the centuries as we follow the path of Luther.
A building fragment unearthed on the south side of the house has revealed additional historical layers of the Luther house. In the summer of 2004, garden work resulted in the discovery of bricks belonging to the basement of an annex that has been completely preserved. The annex received worldwide publicity due to the fact that it housed Luther’s toilet. The foundation has now been uncovered and can be seen in the outdoor area all year long.
‘Black Monastery’, ‘Rear building of the Augusteum’, ‘Luther Hall’ and finally ‘Luther House’ – these various names tell the eventful story of more than 500 years of the history and use of the Luther House in Wittenberg.