The Luther Stone stands to the east of Stotternheim. On 2 July 1505 Martin Luther - then a law student at Erfurt University - was returning to Erfurt after visiting his parents in Mansfeld and as he approached the small village of Stotternheim he was caught up in a terrible thunderstorm that put him in fear of his life.
The stone erected on the spot where he is supposed to have cried out: "Help me St Anna and I will become a monk" also marks a turning point in the Reformation. Luther entered the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt on 13 July 1505.
Erfurt is Martin Luther‘s spiritual home. In 1501 he enrolled in the philosophical faculty of the city's university, which had been founded in 1379, and in 1505 he was awarded the title of Master of Arts (master of the seven liberal arts). Following his father’s wishes he then started studying law. However after one semester and against his father’s wishes he abandoned his studies and on 17th July 1505 joined the Order of St. Augustine at their monastery in Erfurt. Until the end of 1511 his life as a monk was characterised by a strict and precisely timetabled regime of spiritual and religious rituals, as well as academic study carried out within the order. In 1507 Luther was ordained as a priest in Erfurt Cathedral and held his first mass in the church at St. Augustine’s on 2nd May 1507. Following this he went on to study theology and eventually received his doctorate in Wittenberg in 1512.
St. Augustine’s monastery was secularised during the Reformation and today it is an internationally recognised conference centre, meeting point and place for accommodation with 15 conference rooms and 118 bed spaces. It is part of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland, EKM). In 2004 St. Augustine’s was awarded the status of “National Heritage Site of Special Cultural Interest”.
Those who are interested in following Luther’s footsteps in Erfurt are always warmly welcome at St. Augustine’s. Of special interest are the “Luther cell” and the his...