The monastery complex of the Augustinian Hermits was built around 1300. This is where Luther joined the order on July 17, 1505, and it is therefore one of the most important Luther sites in Germany. It was influenced by the Reformation at an early date. Following the departure of the prior and several monks in 1522, the Lutheran parish of St. John’s began to use the monastery church in 1525. In 1556, the monastery was secularised following the death of the last of the Augustinian Hermits.
From monastery to orphanage
In the course of the centuries, an orphanage, a municipal 'Gymnasium’ (grammar school), a Lutheran library, and the St. Martin's foundation all found a home in the former monastery. On the basis of designs by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, extensive changes were made to the structure in the nineteenth century, in order to make it more functional.
More than a memorial
The complex was badly damaged during an air raid in 1945, but is now, after extensive restoration work, once again in best form. Today, the monastery is more than a memorial. It serves as a centre for events and conferences, as a hostel in connection with the ecumenical pilgrimage route, and consistently attracts tourists to Erfurt with exhibitions like 'Bible – Monastery – Luther’.