The Luther Musuem in Amsterdam is located in the Wittenberg building on the Nieuwe Keizersgracht canal just east of the centre. The building dates from 1772 and used to function as the Evangelical-Lutheran Diaconal house for the elderly and orphans.
It is named after Martin Luther (1483-1546), the German theologist and central figure of the Protestant Reformation. When the house first opened the Lutheran parish had around 33,000 members, around 19 percent of Amsterdam’s population – many were German and Scandinavian immigrants.
The home eventually closed in 2015 as the building did not comply with modern care home regulations.
The Luther Museum opened its doors in 2019 and a number of period rooms are open to the public. The museum is focussed on preserving Dutch Lutheran heritage.
The Refectory is a large multifunctional room where meals were taken and church services were held. The room contains an impressive church organ and Burgomasters’ Gate made of marble.
The Regents’ Room is a boardroom where the male governors presided over the general running and finances of the home. Money was raised from collections, contributions from wealthy community members and orphans’ wages. Money and registrations were handled in the adjacent Administration Room.
The Regentesses’ Room is a where the lady governors met and who were in charge of the day-to-day operations of the home. One of their main tasks was managing the bedding and linen in the Linen Room. Seamstresses also earned money for the home by repairing linen and garments for Amsterdam residents.
The museum also has a collection of Lutheran bibles and medals on view as well as paintings by Breenbergh and Ruysdael. The main hallway corridor has a visual timeline of the Lutheran history and a bust of Martin Luther.
An audio tour is available in Dutch, English and German which provides further background. Specially guided tours can also be made by appointment only which cost €65.
For anyone with an interest in period rooms and Amsterdam history, the Luther Museum may be worth a visit.
Luther Museum Essential Info
|1100-1700 Thu-Sun, closed Mon-Wed.
|Admission Prices (2024)
|€8 for adults, €5 for students. Free entry for children 0-17, Museumkaart and I Amsterdam City Card holders.
Order the I Amsterdam City Card online here which includes free entrance to the Luther Museum.
|From Amsterdam Central, take tram 14 to the Artis stop and the museum is 5 minutes walk; or take metro lines 51, 53 and 54 to Weesperplein.
Luther Museum, Nieuwe Keizersgracht 570, 1018 VG Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 214 2112, luthermuseum.nl
Last update 11 January 2024, first published in 2021.
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