Luther's Parental Home

Luther's home was Mansfelder Land: It was in Eisleben that the future reformer drew his first breath, but just a few months after his birth, the Luder family moved to Mansfeld. It is here that Luther’s parents decided to settle, purchasing a house and setting up their own business.

Other than Wittenberg, Luther lived here longer than anywhere else. He spent 13 years in Mansfeld as a child and in school: this is where he received the education that offered him an entry to the academic world. He established lifelong friendships here, and it was also here that he discovered his love of music. As a ‘Mansfeldisch Kind’, ‘a child of Mansfeld’, Martin Luther felt strong ties to the County of Mansfeld throughout his life.

In 2014, Luther’s Parental Home was completely renovated and extended through the addition of a modern new museum building. Find out how Martin Luther spent his formative years here, and just how close his bond to Mansfeld remained until the end of his days.

AdDress

Luther's Parental Home
Lutherstraße 26
06343 Mansfeld-Lutherstadt

Exhibition
I am a child of Mansfeld – Martin Luther and Mansfeld

The everyday life of the Luder family, the games and duties of young Martin, and the family's close ties to the city, church and County of Mansfeld are the focus of the exhibition.

Construction work done in 2003/2004 and 2008 resulted in the discovery of some outstanding archaeological finds that offer unique insights into their everyday lives. The family was able to afford elaborate clothing, crockery and glassware, and their diet included foods such as pork, fresh fish and oriental spices.

Although they were integrated in the family’s work at an early age, children in the time of Luther also always had opportunities to play, something that is documented by the toys found, including dice, marbles and a bird whistle.

Archaeological treasures from the building pit document the higher standard of living enjoyed by the Luder family.

In Mansfeld, the family was able to enjoy a higher standard of living in their stately home. It allowed the young Martin Luther to obtain an education at the Mansfeld school, something that, along with his education at schools in Magdeburg and Eisenach, opened up the doors of the academic world to him.
 

The Luder family, Mansfeld and the counts of Mansfeld

Throughout his life, Luther maintained close connections with his family living in Mansfeld, his parents, Hans and Margarethe, his three sisters and his brother. His father owned a mining enterprise and a copper smelter. The exhibition will give you a chance to discover the difficult working conditions there, as well as the importance of mining for Mansfelder Land.

Luther continued to view himself as a child of the County of Mansfeld throughout his life. Even the cover name by which he was referred to during his incognito say at Wartburg – ‘Junker Jörg’ – is a reference of the patron saint of the County of Mansfeld, St. George.

History of the house

The history of Mansfeld as a place of Luther commemoration goes back to 1562, when Cyriakus Spangenberg, a pastor and historian from Mansfeld, celebrated the first recorded Luther commemoration as part of a church service on Saint Martin's Day.

The historic structure once included not only the large residence, but also farm buildings, stalls and storerooms. All that remains of the original complex is part of the house, which is now open for you to visit.

Since 2014, a modern new museum building has housed much of the exhibition.

Chronicle of the building’s history and use

Hans Luder’s home first shows up in surviving records in 1507, yet it can be assumed that it had been owned by the family for quite some time by this point, as Hans Luder had already been paying for it for many years. It is probable that Hans Luder purchased the house soon after moving to Mansfeld in 1483.

Following the death of his father Hans in 1530, Jakob Luder, Martin Luther’s brother, inherited the house and paid off his siblings in accordance with the inheritance contract of 1534.

Luther’s Parental Home was in keeping with the prominent social position enjoyed by the Luder family. The four-sided farm complex included not only spacious living quarters, but also farm buildings for the household and livestock. These structures have entirely disappeared, and all that remains today is one-third of the house itself.

At the end of 1578 / beginning of 1579, Jakob’s sons were forced to sell their parents’ home, but they continued to own other houses in Mansfeld.

At the end of the 19th century, when even the surviving third of the house was in danger of being torn down, interest in Luther’s Parental Home reawakened. The Luther House Association [Lutherhausverein] was established in an effort to retain Luther’s home, and in 1885 the association converted the building into a Deaconess Clinic to honour Luther’s memory. The building's new stone-faced façade and striking west gable have dominated the street ever since.

Soon after the opening of the Deaconess Clinic, a small museum room was set up in the top floor of the building to commemorate Martin Luther’s childhood and school years.

In 1889, the Luther House Association gave Luther’s Parental Home to the Protestant Congregation of Mansfeld.

Starting in 1936, it was officially called the ‘Luthermuseum’.

In 2007, the Protestant Congregation of Mansfeld transferred the house to the City of Mansfeld. Together with the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt, the city renovated the building and expanded it with the addition of a new museum structure.

In 2013, the complex was placed under the supervision of the Luther Memorials Foundation.

 
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