Eisleben is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is famous as the hometown of Martin Luther; hence, its official name is Lutherstadt Eisleben. As of 2020, Eisleben had a population of 22,668. It lies on the Halle–Kassel railway.

Town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Coat of arms
Location of Eisleben within Mansfeld-Südharz district


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Country Germany
State Saxony-Anhalt
District Mansfeld-Südharz
Subdivisions 6



Carsten Staub[1] (CDU)

  Total 143.81 km2 (55.53 sq mi)

114 m (374 ft)

  Total 22,668
  Density 160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 03475, 034773, 034776
Vehicle registration MSH, EIL, HET, ML, SGH
Website www.eisleben.eu

Luther Memorials in Eisleben
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Part of Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg
Criteria Cultural: (iv)(vi)
Reference 783
Inscription 1996 (20th Session)
Area 0.20 ha (22,000 sq ft)
Buffer zone 1.93 ha (208,000 sq ft)

Eisleben is divided into old and new towns (Altstadt and Neustadt), the latter of which was created for Eisleben’s miners in the 14th century.

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Eisleben was first mentioned in 997 as a market called Islebia, and in 1180 as a town. The counts of Mansfeld governed the area until the 18th century. During the Protestant Reformation, Count Hoyer VI of Mansfeld-Vorderort (1477–1540) remained loyal to his Catholic faith, but the family’s Mittelort and Hinterort branches sided with Martin Luther, who ended up dying in Eisleben, as discussed below. The German Peasants’ War devastated the area, about a century before the Thirty Years War. Count Albert VII of Mansfeld-Hinterort (1480–1560) signed the Protestant Augsburg Confession in 1530 and joined the Schmalkaldic League, a defensive confederation of Protestant princes which ultimately lost the Schmalkaldic War over Saxony to the forces of Emperor Charles V but gained Lutheranism’s recognition as an official religion within the Holy Roman Empire, letting princes determine the official religion within their lands.

After the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, the Countess of Mansfield, Agnes von Mansfeld-Eisleben (a Protestant canoness at the Abbey of Gerresheim to the east) converted Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg, the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne to Calvinism. Their marriage and his declaration of religious parity throughout his lands caused another round of religious war, the Cologne War. The couple fled numerous times through various German states before Gerhard relinquished his claims in 1588. He died and was buried in Strassbourg in 1601, having failed in his attempt to convert his electorate into a dynasty. His lady (who could not return to the convent) came under the protection of the Dukes of Württemberg and died in 1601, terminating the family’s Mittelort branch.

In 1574, the surviving Mansfeld counts Hans Hoyer, Hans Georg, Hans Albrecht and Bruno concluded an agreement with the Elector of Saxony to repay the family’s extensive debts, but some properties were forfeited by 1579 anyway. The Hinterort branches died out in 1666, but the Mansfeld-Vorderort line lasted until 1780, when it too became extinct and Eisleben came directly under the Electorate of Saxony. After the Napoleonic Wars ended, the Vienna Congress assigned Eisleben to the Kingdom of Prussia, which had long been allied with House of Welf which held the Duchy of Magdeburg, and after secularization in 1680 was administered by the Elector of Brandenburg.

The Prussian Province of Saxony became part of the Free State of Prussia after World War I. It was the scene of fighting during the March Action in 1921.

On 6 June 1927, American aviator Clarence D. Chamberlin landed in a wheat field outside Eisleben, completing the first transatlantic passenger flight (Charles Albert Levine was the passenger), and breaking Charles Lindbergh‘s distance record that set only two weeks earlier in Paris, France.

In 1947, after World War II, Eisleben became part of the new state of Saxony-Anhalt within the German Democratic Republic (GDR). At the 1952 administration reform it became part of Bezirk Halle. After Germany’s reunification in 1990, it became part of the re-created state Saxony-Anhalt. Eisleben was the capital of the former district of Mansfelder Land and of the former Verwaltungsgemeinschaft (“collective municipality”) Lutherstadt Eisleben.

Between 2004 and 2010 the town Eisleben absorbed 10 former municipalities: Volkstedt in 2004,[3] Rothenschirmbach and Wolferode in 2005,[4] Polleben and Unterrißdorf in 2006,[5]Bischofrode, Osterhausen and Schmalzerode in 2009,[6] and Burgsdorf and Hedersleben in 2010.[7]

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