Luther spent time at Auerbachs Keller

The inn belonged to a friend of the reformer (Photo: Auerbachs Keller)

Luther’s visits to Leipzig

Martin Luther udn Heinrich Stromer - Gemälde von Volker Pohlenz, 2012 (Foto: Auerbachs Keller)
Martin Luther and Heinrich Stromer – painting by Volker Pohlenz, 2012 (Photo: Auerbachs Keller)
Martin Luther was born in Eisleben in 1483. He studied theology and then went to Wittenberg, where he became professor at the theological faculty of the university. From Wittenberg he repeatedly travelled about 60 miles to Leipzig – sometimes even on foot. During his visits he often stayed at the inn owned by his friend Dr. Heinrich Schmiedeberg, known today as the “Thüringer Hof”.

Once he even stayed incognito in Leipzig: in 1521 he travelled to Wittenberg from Wartburg Castle, where he was disguised as Junker Jörg whilst translating the Bible. This was a dangerous undertaking, because Luther was excommunicated and outlawed. He arrived at the town of Leipzig at nightfall on 3 December and stayed unrecognised at the house of his friend Heinrich Stromer von Auerbach. Stromer, Professor of Pathology at the University of Leipzig, had taken Luther’s side in the Leipzig Disputation of 1519. He took Luther in for one night at his large house near the City Hall – where the Auerbachs Keller restaurant still is today. Both men knew very well how dangerous this secret meeting was. But all turned out well: the next day the reformer went unscathed on his way towards Wittenberg. Today the event is commemorated in Auerbachs Keller by a Volker Pohlenz painting in the Luther Room.