Christian Travelers Guides

Christian Travelers Guides

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mansfeld – Where Luther Grew Up

About ten miles north-west of Eisleben is the small town of Mansfeld which is  where Martin Luther grew up. His parents moved from Eisleben to Mansfeld when he was six months old. As a result he received all of his earl education in the town before moving away to study first in Magdeburg and later in Eisenach.

Mansfled was founded in the late tenth century and is mentioned in records dating back to 973 when it was paird with the town of Leimbach. A dispute settled by Emperor Otto II between the Archbishop of Magdeburg and the Archbishop of Fulda gave the area to Magedeburg.

In 1229 the town became the residence of the Dukes of Mansfeld after the area became important dues to rich copper deposits in the area. In 1884 Hans Luder, who changed his name to Luther, moved to Mansfeld with his family. There he prospered as a result of his business dealings in the copper smelting business.

The residence of the Dukes of Mansfeld
Later Martin Luther liked to say that he was of peasant stock and that his father was a miner. This was technically correct and no doubt the way the family talked about things. But, in reality his father rose well above the position of a miner to enter the growing middle class.

When the Luthers first left Eisleben it was approximately a three hour walk to reach Mansfelf. Today it takes about fifteen minutes by car. 

The town is overlooked by the ruins of the residences of the Dukes one of which is a dilapidated youth center. Currently it is undergoing renovation and promises to be an interesting place.

The family home of the Luther family where Martin Luther grew up

 In the town itself one can visit the family home of Luther as well as his old school. Both are clearly marked. There is also a fascinating fountain with a statue of the young Luther. 

The Luther fountain near his old school and the local church he attended