“Haus des Handwerks”: English Stammtisch

“Haus des Handwerks” on the foundations of the old gate “Schwarze Elster” facing East.

Kristin Straeuli ne Lange introduced me here to the “English Stammtisch” – where local tourguides like Thomas Glaubig, Margot Rentsch, Thomas Schmid and others meet tourists from around the globe to socialise every Thursday evening from around 19h00 into the night.

Haus des Handwerks” is literally translated “home of trade” – and was constructed after the 2nd World War, when the head forester (Oberförster) Dr. Heckert failed to defend his villa “Diana” against the invading Russians. These were not impressed and flattened his home. The local trade unions cooperated and opened up their new location as a house of culture “Hans Sachs.”

The location is optimal for any inn as people coming in by train via the main station as they move past the Luther oak – and get onto “College Street” and into the old town. It is there on the right hand side – just before you get to Luther House on the left. By the way – Kollegienstraße is the only road in the world with four (4) World Heritage Sites: Luther & Melanchthon House plus the city (St.Mary) and castle churches.

Luther House – just on the opposite side of the college road

Now in summer we meet outside in the garden. In winter, there´s plenty room inside too. On the walls you have oil paitings by the above mentioned Thomas Schmid, but also old maps and memorabilia from Prussia and Germany´s lost East. The waiter – old Tobias – is professional, helpful and friendly. The menu typical for around here – traditional fare – fresh, tasty and plentyful: Beef and pork, dumplings, mushrooms and other vegetables in season. For tourists its a welcome opportunity to go local. The natives stick to beverages – hot or cold – depending on the season. They even serve tea, borscht or local wine, which Luther preferred to beer.

Next time you´re in Wittenberg – and it´s Thursday – remember to look in at the “Haus des Handwerks”. You might just catch somebody talking English – a good chance to make new friends. Some of them might even be Lutheran!

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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