Follow in the footsteps of Protestant Reformation figurehead Martin Luther, in the monastery he once lived as a monk. This working Lutheran church and cloister, dating from the 13th century, offers Sunday services, weekday prayer meetings, a 60,000-volume historical library, tours, a café, and even a conference center. Martin Luther took his vows as a monk in this church and lived in the cloister at the heart of the Old Town from 1505 to 1511, an important step on his religious journey that would lead to the Reformation. A British bombing raid destroyed much of the monastery in 1945 but it has been lovingly restored over many decades. Music concerts are often performed in the church, which has a Walcker organ, built in 1938. Walk around this historic site to see where Luther slept and how he would have lived for an educational and spiritual experience.
History, establishment and expansion
Dating back to the 13th century, the first Augustinian monks (an order of the Catholic Church) settled in Erfurt, starting the construction of the church and monastery in 1277 relying mostly on trading woad to help support their livelihood. The monastery is mostly known because of Martin Luther, the father of Reformation, in the early 16th century. After the last monk died in 1556, the church became a property of the Erfurt city council, secularized in 1559 and occupied by a grammar school, a library, an orphanage and a government assembly. In 1854 the church had been deconsecrated, and during World War II, the complex was partly destroyed by the British, which led to the reconstruction in the following years. In the present day, the church belongs to the Evangelical Church in Central Germany, with a mixed architecture of medieval and modern buildings, used by many people as a place of worship and a conference and meeting center. Sometimes music concerts are performed in the church, and it provides accommodation for travelers. The church is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, because of the important religious and political events that took place during the Reformation period. Today, the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt is considered to be a unique monument to medieval monastic architecture.