Gerhardt's place of birth, Gräfenhainichen, was an agricultural city
in Saxony-Anhalt and belonged to the Earl of Meißen in the early
17th century. Up until the Thirty Years War, the city had around 1000
The city was surrounded by a wall and could be entered through the Eastern and Western Gates.
Gräfenhainichen was governed by three mayors, one of whom was PG's father, Christian Gerhardt. The job of mayor rotated each year between the three mayors: one held the office of mayor while the other two acted as counselors.
Paul Gerhardt was born on March 12, 1607. His mother was from Eilenburg and was the daughter of superintendent Starke. PG's father was a farmer, mayor and pub owner in Gräfenheinichen. Very early on, PG and his three siblings (a brother and two sisters) lost their parents. His father died when he was 12 years old and his mother only one year later.
Paul Gerhardt attended school in Gräfenhainichen until 1622. There he was instructed in the subjects of religion, singing, reading, writing, and Latin. During this time he became familiar with religious songs. It was usual for the pupils to sing the liturgy during the worship service.