"Luther's House in Wittenburg"



    The Lutheran Journal, Vol. 64, #1, 1995 - Erwin Weber


The city of Wittenberg, located on the banks of the Elbe River in the former German Democratic Republic is rich in history and has a wealth of historic resources. Among them are the Castle Church, where Luther posted the 95 Theses, the City Church which Luther called his own, the Melanchthon House erected in 1536, the Leucorea or former building of the University of Wittenberg founded by Frederick the Wise in 1502, the City Hall, where Cranach the Elder was mayor three times, and the Luther House, Luther's residence for 38 years.

This article focuses on the history of the Luther House, from its beginning in 1504, its contents including Luther's room, to the establishment of a museum and archives under its current Director, Dr. Martin Treu, which today has approximately 15,000 printed documents from the 16th through the 18th century among which are 90% of first editions of Luther's publications. In addition there are 6,000 manuscripts from the 11th through the 19th centuries; a Reformation history coin and medallion collection; 10,000 etchings, woodcuts and drawings from the 16th to the 20th centuries; 135 paintings; 48 incunabulum; as well as individual valuable artifacts.

My cover photo shows the recently renovated Luther House near the Elster Gate in Wittenberg. View from the east.