HISTORICAL PRINTER Room
The Cranach-Hof in Schlossstraße 1 is home to a treasure from the past - a historic printer's room operated by Andreas Metschke. In the footsteps of Gutenberg, Cranach and many others you can experience history live.
The walls are full of different prints. Monochrome, sometimes colorful, portraits, invitations, sayings - everything that can happen with ink on paper is made here as it was 500 years ago. The printing press stands powerfully in the corner, waiting to be put into operation. The other half of the room is covered with massive cabinets, in which letters of various fonts are stacked in the setting boxes.
Andreas Metschke is a trained printer. In addition, for 26 years, he has been practicing his profession historically. Scripture and words are his passion as well as the language, or their development. "It's sad that almost nobody has a Duden anymore", he says and denounces the decay of the language. His own duden may well not contain many of the words that are very common today - at least it suggests its historical appearance.
The principle of a mechanical printing press is not very difficult: a printing plate is filled with letters into a printing form and clamped in the printing press. A roller carries the ink onto the printing form, which is then pressed onto a printing material. This is how an impression is made. Although the printing press in this workshop is not from the 15th century, but the principle is the same.
Setting the printing form takes between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the subject. Printing itself is then the shortest part of the process. If you watch how quickly the finished printed sheets pile up - always with a lubricating sheet in between so that nothing rubs off - you can be hypnotized by the spectacle. Finally, the print then dries for another 24 hours, which may take longer or shorter depending on the ink and the substrate.
Luther can be seen in every corner of the printing workshop: whether drying prints with slogans, portraits or templates. Everywhere you come across the reformer. Even if you look at the cabinets full of letters in various fonts. Here is also the font "Rundgotisch". Luther used exactly that for his Bible because it was easy to decipher for everyone. Without frills, serifs or other embellishments it is good and clearly legible. Just the thing for Luther's message.
Even as we look around the printing workshop, larger and smaller groups of travelers keep their heads in and watch Andreas Metschke at work. This also allows one or the other fun with the tourists, casually, while he operates the heavy machine.
Who is interested in book printing and its history, is absolutely right here. And even those who want to print something themselves have the opportunity with a guided tour. You can also order prints.
Historische Druckerstuberead morecollapse
06886 Lutherstadt Wittenberg