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Wartburg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, is Germany's most important castle - and a place with a special aura and dignity. Five reasons why you must have been there at least once in your life.


... because the Wartburg is architecturally unique

The three-story palace, which Ludwig II had built from about 1157, is considered the best preserved late Romanesque secular building north of the Alps. The man was married to the sister of Frederick Barbarossa, and this connection to the imperial house must have gone a bit to his head. His Wartburg had to be truly great. 40,000 tons of light-colored Räthsandstein, which was much too sensitive for German weather conditions, were used - today everything is sealed. Many capitals are adorned with the eagle, the imperial symbolic animal. That was provocative. But the Wartburg also offers castle romance from the 19th century, because at that time it was restored in the historicizing style. 

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... because the Wartburg is located exactly in the middle of Germany


Whether it really lies there depends - we admit it - on the calculation method, but it is always about right. As a proxy for the Landstreit estate ten kilometers away, Wartburg Castle has been declared the center of Germany. Be that as it may. The Wartburg is enthroned beautifully and visible from afar not far from the former inner-German border at the northwestern end of the Thuringian Forest, high above the city Eisenach. Thus it became a symbol of unity in 1989. It is worthwhile to walk up to the castle on one of the many hiking trails - and enjoy completely new perspectives on the famous building. Also a section of the Thuringian Luther Way leads up to the Wartburg Castle. 


... because the Wartburg is connected with German history like hardly any other castle

Again and again important things happened at Wartburg Castle, interesting people came here: Not only Martin Luther hid there, but also the Hungarian princess Elisabeth, who was married off to Thuringia at the age of 14, spent some time here 300 years earlier at the side of Louis IV, before he died during a crusade and she became Saint Elisabeth as a benefactress of the poor. She died at the age of 24 in Marburg. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was interested in the castle and wanted to establish an art museum. And in October 1817, the German fraternity members met here for their Wartburg meeting.


... because the Wartburg has an ornate concert hall

The banqueting hall upstairs on the second floor of the Romanesque Palas became one of the most beautiful concert halls in Thuringia in the 19th century, equipped with excellent acoustics. The richly decorated hall, which, by the way, the Bavarian King Ludwig II had copied at Neuschwanstein Castle, received a coffered ceiling, which we owe not least to the advice of Franz Liszt. Today, music often plays at Wartburg Castle, including Richard Wagner's opera "Tannhäuser" - an impressive experience at the original venue, of course.


... because Luther translated part of the Bible at Wartburg Castle

When Martin Luther began his protective custody on May 5, 1521, it was lonely and inhospitable at Wartburg Castle. Apart from a guard commander, there was often no one there. In the Luther Room at the front of the castle bailiwick, the reformer, disguised as Junker Jörg, spent eleven weeks translating the New Testament from Greek and Latin into German, which did not yet exist. The room is therefore also something like the birthplace of the German written language. The oak door through which one enters the castle is the same one through which Luther once passed, new research has shown. So it's worth taking the first step quite consciously.

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By the way, you can find tips on how to travel comfortably and inexpensively on long-distance and local trains with Deutsche Bahn here.

Cover picture: The Wartburg at the blue hour - a German piece of castle romance

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