Luther's first stay in Gotha was documented in the year 1515 and his last in 1540. The Luther House in Gotha is a reminder of one of his visits, when, plagued by illness, Luther was confined to bed at the Zur Löwenburg inn in 1537. Believing he would die soon, he dictated his first will while here and discussed his funeral with his friend from Gotha, Friedrich Myconius.
Today, the church belonging to the former Augustinian monastery in Gotha, now furnished in the style of the early baroque, is a memorial to Luther. During his stays in Gotha, Luther gave sermons here to the local people.
Standing majestically on a hill overlooking the town, the early baroque Friedenstein Palace is a magnificent work of architecture. The west wing of the palace is home to the Ekhof Theatre, one of the oldest theatres from the baroque era. The fully functional stage machinery originates from the 17th century and is still operated by hand to this day. The town's former Augustinian monastery has been a community centre since 2009 and welcomes pilgrims and visitors from near and far.
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