1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Eisleben

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EISLEBEN (Lat. Islebia), a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Saxony, 24 m. W. by N. from Halle, on the railway to Nordhausen and Cassel. Pop. (1905) 23,898. It is divided into an old and a new town (Altstadt and Neustadt). Among its principal buildings are the church of St Andrew (Andreaskirche), which contains numerous monuments of the counts of Mansfeld; the church of St Peter and St Paul (Peter-Paulkirche), containing the font in which Luther was baptized; the royal gymnasium (classical school), founded by Luther shortly before his death in 1546; and the hospital. Eisleben is celebrated as the place where Luther was born and died. The house in which he was born was burned in 1689, but was rebuilt in 1693 as a free school for orphans. This school fell into decay under the régime of the kingdom of Westphalia, but was restored in 1817 by King Frederick William III. of Prussia, who, in 1819, transferred it to a new building behind the old house. The house in which Luther died was restored towards the end of the 19th century, and his death chamber is still preserved. A bronze statue of Luther by Rudolf Siemering (1835–1905) was unveiled in 1883. Eisleben has long been the centre of an important mining district (Luther was a miner’s son), the principal products being silver and copper. It possesses smelting works and a school of mining.

The earliest record of Eisleben is dated 974. In 1045, at which time it belonged to the counts of Mansfeld, it received the right to hold markets, coin money, and levy tolls. From 1531 to 1710 it was the seat of the cadet line of the counts of Mansfeld-Eisleben. After the extinction of the main line of the counts of Mansfeld, Eisleben fell to Saxony, and, in the partition of Saxony by the congress of Vienna in 1815, was assigned to Prussia.

See G. Grössler, Urkundliche Gesch. Eislebens bis zum Ende des 12. Jahrhunderts (Halle, 1875); Chronicon Islebiense; Eisleben Stadtchronik aus den Jahren 1520–1738, edited from the original, with notes by Grössler and Sommer (Eisleben, 1882).