500 years since the Reformation
The tranquil town of Mansfeld in the southern foothills of the Harz shaped Luther's childhood. Back then, Mansfeld was a centre of copper mining. Today, this small town is a popular place from which to explore local industrial monuments from the early days of mining.
One of the main attractions in the town is the house of Martin Luther's parents. It is currently undergoing renovation, and a modern museum containing archaeological finds is being established opposite that will provide insights into the life of the family.
Even the foundations of the school where the young Martin Luther learnt to read and write are still intact and can be seen today. Nowadays, on the first Saturday after Easter, the town celebrates young Martin's first day at school.
Also well worth seeing is the unique full-length portrait of the great Reformer in the late-Gothic Church of St. George, Luther's local parish church.
A stone's throw from the house of Luther's parents is the Zur guten Quelle inn, one of the oldest in Germany, which has been running since 1430. The Luther family may well have eaten there from time to time. If you fancy stretching your legs after a good meal, the ruins of the old fortress in Mansfeld provide a delightful backdrop for walks, and your climb is rewarded with panoramic views of the town and the surrounding foothills of the Harz.
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