Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘Eisleben’

Lutherstadt Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, UNESCO, World Heritage Site, fotoeins.com

Eisleben UNESCO WHS: Luther’s birth and death sites

Above (HL): Luther monument by Rudolf Simmering at Eisleben’s market square. The monument was inaugurated in 1883 to mark the quatercentenary of Luther’s birth year (1483). At left and upper-right are the Hotel Graf von Mansfeld and St. Andrew’s Church, respectively.

With a population over 25-thousand people, Eisleben is a quiet town in central Germany in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. But the South Harz region holds a special place in German and European history: Martin Luther came into the world in Eisleben in 1483, spent his childhood years in Mansfeld, and, on a trip home from Wittenberg to negotiate a local dispute in Mansfield, died in Eisleben in 1546. As shown in the map below, a number of important locations in Eisleben are associated with Luther and the Reformation, including the Luther monument in the town’s market square, St. Peter’s Church, St. Andrew’s Church, and St. Anne’s Church. Specifically, two sites in town constitute a part of the inscription for UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996: (1) the house where Luther was born, and (2) the museum on Luther’s death.

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Petrikirche, Taufkirche, Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Tracing Martin Luther’s steps in 16 German cities

Above/featured: “Luther war hier. // Luther was here.” Eisleben, Germany (HL, 27 Oct 2016).

In pre-teen years, I attended a Catholic elementary school by weekday, and a missions-oriented Protestant church by weekend. I already had multiple questions running around my pre-scientist brain, like electrons appearing and dissipating in a fuzzy halo. When various disparate elements began to settle with few satisfying answers, I left behind the churches and their respective religions. But one thing that’s remained is my love of history. History has never been boring, because I carry the past (as offspring of immigrants), and I’m determined to bring history’s lessons into the present.

Even in youth, I had to ask: why was one set of churches called “Protestant”? What was under protest? How did one man help spark a movement that would help merge and create a version of a language that continues today, that would bring accessible means to literacy for the public, and that would begin to change rule by religion to rule by law?

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Peter-Pauli-Kirche, Lutherstadt Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Where Martin Luther was baptized in Eisleben

This is the interior of the Peter-Pauli-Kirche (Peter and Paul Church) in the city of Eisleben in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. The church here was built between 1447 and 1513, although a previous church dedicated to Peter had already been present by the end of the 13th-century. At the centre of the floor is a circular depression which is a modern baptistry with pumps underneath to simulate the constant flow of water and a focal point from which circular waves emanate. Underneath the Luther Rose on the ceiling lies a second focal point (on the floor at the lower-centre) representing the spreading impact of Luther’s Protestantism.

To the upper-left of the central baptistry and next to the main altar is a famous basin or “font”, a small stone structure which holds water for baptism. The font’s inscription in Latin reads: “Rudera baptistierii, quo tinctus est beatus Martinus Lutherus Anno 1483.” The German translation is: “Überbleibsel des Taufsteins, an dem der selige Martin Luther den 10 November 1483 getauft wurde1,” which in English translates to: “Remains of the baptismal stone in which the blessed Martin Luther was baptized on 10 November 1483.”

Eisleben is host to two buildings which have given the town UNESCO World Heritage Site status: the house where Luther was born, and the building where he died (well, sorta, but that’s for another time …)

Peter-Pauli-Kirche, Lutherstadt Eisleben, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

1 The German translation of the Latin is from Anton Theodor Effner’s 1817 book “Dr. Martin Luther und seine Zeitgenossen: dargestellt in einer Reihe karakteristrender Züge und Anekdoten,” Volume 1 (page 29). Digitized sources: Google Books (book)Google Books (page)Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München.

My thanks to IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus, the city of Eisleben, and Anja Ulrich for her time as guide in Eisleben and Mansfeld. I made the photos above on 26 October 2016. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-97q. IMG- and Sachsen-Anhalt-Tourismus supported my visit to the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt from 25 October to 3 November 2016 inclusive. I also received assistance from the cities of Eisleben, Mansfeld, Dessau, Wittenberg, and Halle (Saale).

Wittenberger Marktplatz, Rathaus, Lutherdenkmal, Stadtkirche Sankt Marien, Marktplatz, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Inside Saxony-Anhalt for Luther 2017 and Bauhaus 2019

I continued a consecutive annual streak going back to 2001.

I’ve set foot inside Germany at least once every year since 2001. I’d already claimed another consecutive year with a short stint in the spring, but autumn “at home” in Germany* solidly confirmed a 16th consecutive year in the country.

As motivation to trace Martin Luther’s footsteps for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 and to learn more about the impact of the Bauhaus art and design movement for the centenary in 2019, I embarked on a press-trip in autumn 2016 to the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt to visit these five cities:

•   Dessau – Bauhaus headquarters from 1925-1932;
•   Eisleben – where Luther was born and where he died;
•   Halle an der Saale – Luther’s death mask and hands;
•   Mansfeld (Südharz) – Luther’s formative years in his parents’ house; and
•   Wittenberg – where Luther spent a large part of his career.

The following glimpses offer a preview of my upcoming coverage for each of the five towns.

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