The Lutherhaus Eisenach is one of the oldest and loveliest half-timbered houses in Thuringia and one of the most important tourist attractions in Eisenach, Martin Luther’s “beloved city”.
Martin Luther grew up in Mansfeld but spent the most important and formative years of his schooling in Eisenach: He attended St. George’s Latin School in Eisenach from 1498 to 1501 to prepare himself for studying at the University of Erfurt. During that time, he lived with the Cotta and Schalbe families, the then-owners of the present-day Lutherhaus. The famous “Luther chambers” from the year 1356, which have been one of the most prominent site of Reformation memory since the nineteenth century, memorialize this. This European cultural heritage site has been a museum since 1956. The Lutherhaus was fully restored and renovated between 2013 and 2015 in preparation for the Reformation quincentenary in 2017.
The centerpiece of the new museum is the award-winning permanent exhibition “Luther and the Bible”, supplemented by the special exhibition “Study and Eradication: The Church’s ‘Dejudaization Institute’, 1939–1945” since September of 2019. Together with the sculpture “man in a cube” created by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to mark the Reformation quincentenary in 2017, they form a one-of-a-kind ensemble of authentic Luther site, innovative exhibition design and contemporary art.
More information is available in our museum guide or the overview of “The Lutherhaus in Eisenach” on our website.
The Lutherhaus has its own collections, some of its most outstanding items being the museum’s holdings related to Martin Luther’s life and career. They are part of the “Protestant Parsonage Archives” established in 1925 to document the cultural-historical significance of the Protestant parsonage and pastorate. The Lutherhaus also houses an extensive research library, open to interested individuals for scholarly purposes.
The Stiftung Lutherhaus Eisenach, founded one year earlier, has been running the Lutherhaus Eisenach since 2014. It is a nonprofit foundation of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany (EKM) with the mission of raising awareness of the Reformation and the reformer Dr. Martin Luther and of studying and innovatively educating the public about the circumstances, origins and impacts of his historic translation of the Bible.
An advisory board made up of ecclesiastical, academic and cultural representatives oversees the foundation. President of the advisory board is the Bishop of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany Friedrich Kramer. Scholarly director and curator Dr. Jochen Birkenmeier heads the foundation.