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Luther´s childhood

In 1484, Hans Luder moved to Mansfeld with his wife Margarethe and their son Martin, who had been born in Eisleben in 1483. There, he became a successful smelting and mining entrepreneur. Most likely he soon bought a house, because in 1492 he was Cattle Master, a community representative in the city council. Ownership of a house was a prerequisite for this office. Only in 1507, a mention of a house owned by Hans Luder can be found in the records, but at the same time it is stated that he has been paying off mortgages for this property for years. After Hans Luder's death in 1530, his younger son Jakob inherited the estate, following his father's footsteps as the owner of mining and smelting businesses.

It is therefore very likely that Martin Luther spent his childhood on these premises, before leaving Mansfeld in 1497 for his further education. Hans Luder's wealth enabled his son Martin to go to school and afterwards to university.

The fate of the parental home

The huge estate originally consisted of two plots of land and included a square courtyard with a garden. Until 1578 it was owned by the family. Between 1805 and 1807 the middle section of the building was demolished in order to gain access to the rear building. After the section on the left from the entrance was also renewed, only a third of the original house still exists today.

In 1878, these remains of Luther's parental home were purchased by Mansfeld's Luther House Association, in order to establish living quarters for deaconesses there. With this social purpose, Luther's memory was to be especially honoured. During the conversion in 1885, the building was extended and the characterising stone façade was erected.

Since 1889, the house has been owned by the church. In 2007, it was closed and assigned to the city of Mansfeld. In 2011, the necessary renovation began. In 2013, after the end of the work, the Luther Memorials Foundation in Saxony-Anhalt will take the house and the extension building into its care as its fifth property.

Exhibition "Luther's home" in the new museum

For the presentation of the exhibition, a modern new museum is being built on the other side of the road, opposite Luther's parental home, on the premises of the inn "Goldener Ring" ("Golden Ring"), first mentioned in the 16th century. Here, the exhibition "Luther's home" will be housed. At the same time, the cellar an the main floor of the historical building are being prepared for a presentation that will enable the visitors to enter even more deeply into Luther's time.

Martin Luther has been strondly influenced by his childhood in Mansfeld. Throughout his life he understood himself as a citizen of the county of Mansfeld. This is why the exhibition shows the relationship of the Luder family with the city, the church and the counts of Mansfeld. Special focus will be given to Luther's school years in Mansfeld. Since 2003, excavations have been made on the premises of Luther's parental home. The archaeological finds shed more light on the everyday life of the family, with topics like home and belongings, children's toys, household and food.

Gaby Kuper