Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Day 6: Eisleben
This day we were leaving Berlin. We packed up and took a bus to the car rental. After picking up our car, we drove to the Victory Tower and spent some time there. It was built after Germany/Prussia won three wars in a row. There are depictions of young men going off to war, of the poverty and hunger war causes, but also the glory that can be found. We didn't go all the way up to the top, but at the second level there is one gorgeous mosaic all the way around the tower.
We left Berlin and drove to our AirBNB which was an apartment in a huge house near Eisleben. The house was at least three levels. Our area of the house had 7 rooms--four of them for our use, and that was just one wing of the house. There were stables and fields.
We drove to Eisleben to see the house where Martin Luther was born and where he died. The birth house had exhibits about mining--that's what Martin Luther's father did for a living, and improvements Luther and his father helped bring to the town--including a new hospital and cemetery when black plaque decimated the town, and a central treasury to care for the poor. There were some big amazing paintings of kings and princes and many of Christ on the cross, or one of Jesus' miracles, with an influential family gazing at him in reverence. There were several versions of Martin Luther's family tree, and explanations of his relationship with his father (they did reconcile later in Martin's life), and his marriage to Katarina Von Bora--including some of their wedding gifts.
At the house where Martin Luther died, they had the chalice that he probably took his final communion in at the ordination of two pastors the previous Sunday. He purposefully did not have last rites, because he wanted to show it was completely unnecessary. He apparently had several heart attacks in the weeks before he died, on on the road to Eisleben where he died. There were many of his quotes about death, thoughts on the death of two of his children, accounts of his maladies including tinitis and vertigo and cataracts. Also there were drawings and paintings of him on his death bed.
Almost everything was closed, it being Saturday. But we finally found a place to eat. We got back late to our place and our host was waiting up for us. I felt like we were sneaking in past our curfew. It was probably 9:45 pm.