Erfurt: Martin Luther’s start at the Augustine Monastery
You can almost imagine a 16th-century monk walking these halls, contemplating various aspects of spirituality, and reconciling them with the hardships of everyday living.
In the federal state of Thuringia in central Germany, the Augustinerkloster (Augustine monastery) in Erfurt is a notable place for the history of Martin Luther and the Reformation.
Martin Luther arrived in 1501 and began studies in liberal arts, law, and theology at Erfurt University. In 1505, Luther experienced a big personal event (the scare of his life, as legend goes), and decided to leave his studies by entering the Augustine Monastery to become a monk, much to his father’s displeasure and objections. Built originally around 1300, the Augustine Monastery was home for Martin Luther until 1511, and it’s here where he was ordained as a priest. The site underwent extensive post-war reconstruction after suffering heavy bombing damage in the Second World War. The monastery is now a seminary and a modest hotel: guided tours of the monastery provide a glimpse to Luther’s early years as a monk, and visitors can now reserve rooms for overnight stays in a no-frills technology-free setting and a peaceful comfortable environment.
Erfurt’s Augustinian monastery is listed as one of many additional candidate sites for inclusion into a single UNESCO World Heritage Site under the title “Luther memorials in Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Bavaria, and Thuringia“.
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