Wartburg Castle

Eisenach - Wartburg Castle


 Wartburg Castle was found in 1067 by Ludwig the Jumper. The legends goes that than he saw the castle he exclaimed: "Warte, berg - du sollst mir eine Burg werden!" ("Wait, mountain- you shall become a castle for me!"). The first two words thus supposedly gave the castle its name - Wartburg. The castle without a doubt has a special place in history of Germany. Richard Wagner described singing contests held here in his opera Tannhauser. Between 1211 and 1228 Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia lived here. And of course probably the most famous resident here was Martin Luther who spent 10 months from 1521 till 1522 here while in hiding after his excommunication by pope Leo X. It was here Luther wrote his German translation of the New Testament previously written only in Latin. Even though the castle was remodeled it still preserves its old charm and many of the rooms including that of Martin Luther are in original state



Significance in German history
The Wartburg is connected to the history of Germany like hardly any other castle in Germany. From 1211 to 1227 Elisabeth of Thuringia, who was later canonized, lived in the castle. In 1521/22 the reformer Martin Luther hid here as "Junker Jörg" and during this time he translated the New Testament of the Bible ("September Testament") into German in just eleven weeks. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stayed here several times, for the first time in 1777. On October 18, 1817, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of the theses (October 31, 1517) and in memory of the Battle of Leipzig (October 16, until October 19, 1813) the first Wartburg Festival took place at the castle. The second Wartburg Festival was held in 1848, the year of the revolution. So it is not surprising that the castle was already a national monument in the 19th century.

The Wartburg is the most famous castle of the noble Ludowinger family. Their ancestor Ludwig the Bearded († 1080), the father of Ludwig the Springer, came from the family of the Counts of Rieneck from Lower Franconia, who provided the burgraves of the Archbishop of Mainz. With his support he founded a small clearing lordship in the Eisenach area and built the (now dilapidated) Schauenburg near Friedrichroda.

Ludwig der Springer († 1123) moved the headquarters of his house to the Wartburg. The dominant position of the castle hill and the name suggest that there was a fortification or an observation point on the mountain before the feudal castle was founded. The founding legend mentions the oath swords of the Wartburg. According to this legend, Ludwig the Springer is said to be with the words “Wait! Berg, you should become a castle for me! ”Announced the founding of the Wartburg. The plan threatened to fail because the mountain did not belong to him. He could not have conquered it with his only twelve knights. So he came up with the idea of ​​bringing earth from his own domain and scattering it on the mountain. The knights testified for him in court, rammed their swords into the ground and swore that these swords were completely in Ludwig's earth. The trick was successful and the construction of the Wartburg could begin, according to the legend.

No remains of the oldest castle have yet been found. The castle was first mentioned in a document in 1080 on the occasion of an attack by the castle team on a royal army division of Henry IV.

Later, Ludwig the Springer, who was involved in an uprising against Emperor Heinrich V, had to surrender the Wartburg to the Emperor in order to regain his freedom. This documents the importance of the castle complex at this early stage.

As partisans of the Archbishop of Mainz, the Ludowingers quickly gained power and importance. In 1131 the son of Ludwig the Springer, Ludwig I, was taken over by King Lothar III. raised to the status of landgrave and thus placed on an equal footing with the dukes. The rapprochement with the German imperial family of the Staufers led to the departure from the Archbishop of Mainz. In the period that followed, the landgraves in Thuringia expanded at the expense of the archbishops. Only minimal structural remains of the castle from that time have been preserved. Most of the buildings were probably made of wood.

All of the information listed above is ultimately based on the unbelievable Reinhardsbrunn chronicle and conjectures. The Ludowingers have only been really proven as masters of the Wartburg since the 1150s. Before that, it was apparently owned (as an allod or as a fief, but not the Ludowinger) of a noble family, which also included the Archbishop of Mainz, Heinrich, and which was closely associated with King Konrad III. stood, but was ousted by Friedrich Barbarossa.

Landgrave Ludwig II (r. 1140–1172) was the most important builder of the Ludowingians. His influence on the castle building of that time was very significant. Under his leadership, the Palas, which is extremely valuable from a cultural and historical point of view, was built around 1156–1162, a separate, separately standing representative building with a residential function. In addition to the palace, the eastern curtain wall and parts of the gatehouse also date from the 12th century. A keep, which stood at a different location from today's tower and was much larger in size, did not survive the centuries. The Landgrave House was built in 1172.

The last Ludowinger, Heinrich Raspe IV, ruled from 1227 to 1247. He used the castle as his sole residence and thus anticipated the historical development. Up until now it had been customary to exercise wandering rule, that is, to move from castle to castle until the court had exhausted the local resources.

Burgrave of the Wartburg


The progressive expansion of the Ludowinger territory over parts of what is now the federal states of Thuringia and Hesse, which are often spatially far apart, led to a frequent absence of the ruling landgraves from the respective castles with residence functions. This also affected the Wartburg, located roughly in the center of the Landgraviate. It was therefore necessary to entrust all tasks for the administration of the castle, in particular also the permanent security and defense-technical improvement of the fortress system, to an authorized representative and deputy; this held the office of burgrave of the Wartburg. With the family of the Counts of Wartburg, who also appeared at the same time in the early 13th century as burgraves of the neighboring Brandenburg, a sideline of the Counts of Bielstein, who was not related by blood to the Ludowinger family, was honored here.

Singers' War
Under Hermann I (1190–1216) the Wartburg experienced its heyday. As a wealthy patron of art and culture, he made the castle a magnet for artists and the main center of German poetry. Against this real background, it becomes the alleged scene of the fabulous Singers' War. But the story so vividly and dramatically portrayed is a fiction. Thuringian historians such as Dietrich von Apolda (after 1298) and the Eisenach legal scholar and chronicler Johannes Rothe (15th century) devised a historical event from the literature that was still widely accessible to them. With precise expertise, Rothe was even able to "incorporate" this event into the Thuringian chronicle he wrote or added.

Landgrave Elisabeth
Until 1228 the Hungarian king's daughter Elisabeth lived as the wife (from 1227 as a widow) of Landgrave Ludwig IV of Thuringia on the Wartburg. From when she lived there is not certain. When her husband was killed on a crusade, Elisabeth devoted herself entirely to a life of poverty and service to the poor and sick.

After the death of Heinrich Raspe in 1247 and the subsequent War of the Thuringian Succession, the castle came into the hands of the Wettins. In 1250 the Landgrave House was extended. After Thuringia fell to the Margraves of Meissen, Albrecht the Degenerate, who received the newly acquired land from his father Heinrich the Illustrious, took his seat again at the Wartburg. In the 13th century, the south tower was built in the rear courtyard.

The castle was badly damaged by a fire caused by a lightning strike in 1318. Margrave Friedrich der Freidige had repairs carried out on the palace and the keep in 1319 and a large heated building was built in the inner castle. Among other things, the installation of the church in the Landgrave's house (1320) dates from this era.

After the death of Landgrave Balthasar of Thuringia in 1406, the castle was only a secondary residence in the 15th century. This was also expressed in the more modest construction. The cheaper half-timbering took the place of natural stone blocks. The gatehouse (end of the 15th century using older parts), the knight's house, the bailiwick (started in 1480) and the two battlements of the outer bailey (after 1477) have been preserved from this period.

Martin Luther
After the Diet of Worms in 1521, Luther was given an imperial ban; the papal nuncio Hieronymus Aleander had drafted the draft. On May 26, 1521, the Reichstag imposed the Edict of Worms on him, backdated to May 8 and drawn by the Emperor. With the imperial ban an outlaw (declaration of peace and lawlessness) was issued, which extended to the entire area of ​​the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and which went hand in hand with the prohibition of his works and the distribution of his writings. He was now "outlawed". In accordance with the promise made to his elector, he was given safe conduct. Charles V later regretted this promise because the ensuing Reformation destroyed the unity of his empire. The outlaw was secretly kidnapped by Frederick's soldiers on the evening of May 4, 1521 on the way home near Altenstein Castle in Bad Liebenstein and arrested at the Eisenach Wartburg to keep him out of danger. From May 4, 1521 to March 1, 1522 Martin Luther stayed at the Wartburg. His stay was to remain a secret, so he became "Junker Jörg" during this time. Luther's spartan quarters were a small room above the first courtyard, which was intended as a cavalier prison. Here he used the forced rest to arm himself for future theological debates and to realize the project of a Bible translation of the New Testament into German.

Fritz Erbe


In 1540 the Anabaptist Fritz Erbe, who had already been imprisoned in Eisenach, was transferred to the Wartburg and locked in a cellar dungeon in the south tower. The only access to the dungeon was an opening in the floor of the tower center floor. After several years of imprisonment, Fritz Erbe died in 1548. During clean-up work in 1925, the castle warden at the time, Hermann Nebe, discovered the name Erbes above the rock, which Erbe himself had carved into the rock. The presumed grave inheritance was found in 2006 below the castle. Today a plaque on the south tower of the Wartburg reminds of Erbe's fate.

Goethe and the Wartburg
During his visits to Eisenach and Wilhelmsthal Castle, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe found several opportunities to familiarize himself with the history of the Wartburg on site; On such occasions some sketchy drawings of the castle were made. In 1793 he arranged for weather observations and records at the castle. Since 1815, Goethe was concerned with the idea of ​​setting up an art museum in the Wartburg. In this context, the Grand Ducal Minister of State Christian Gottlob von Voigt was consulted in Weimar in order to enable the procurement of mostly sacred art objects. These later formed the basis of the carved sculpture collections of the Thuringian Museum.

“These objects would be all the more desirable because they could be used to decorate the chapel on the Wartburg and that knight's castle could be given an analogous decoration. With the current love and passion for the remnants of old German art, this acquisition is important and the Wartburg will count many pilgrims in the future. "

- J.W. Goethe: on plans for a Wartburg museum

Goethe was impressed by the landscape, the mineralogy, the weather and many building details; he was aware of the historical value of the castle as the home of the landgraves and Martin Luther. Goethe's involvement and interest in the castle later declined noticeably, also as a result of the Wartburg Festival organized by the Jena Urburschenschaft in October 1817.

Wartburg festivals
These Wartburg festivals were mostly student assemblies that took place at the Wartburg. The best known is the first Wartburg Festival on October 18, 1817, to which all later referred: On the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation and the 4th anniversary of the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig, students from various German universities met. The gathering of about 500 students and a few professors was a protest against reactionary politics and small states and for a nation state with its own constitution.

Since then, the Wartburg has been used as a meeting point by German student associations. The Wingolfsbund has held a Wartburg Festival every two years since 1850, and the German Burschenschaft held its annual ceremony there until the 2013 Burschentag.

Reconstruction since the 19th century
In 1838, the Grand Ducal Saxony-Weimar-Eisenachian building officer Johann Wilhelm Sältzer was commissioned to investigate the remains of the Wartburg. His discoveries gave the impetus to restore the old castle ruins. He had the palace arcades on the courtyard side opened and supplemented, carefully measured the ruins and presented very original and imaginative new building plans for the castle, characterized by a castle romance.

After extensive discussion, the castle was rebuilt in the historicizing style from 1853 onwards by the architect Hugo von Ritgen. In addition to the local red rock, from which the majority of the new buildings were built, Seeberger sandstone from the Großer Seeberg near Gotha was also used. Several new buildings were erected, which today significantly shape the image of the castle. In place of the courtyard room, which was demolished in 1778, the Dirnitz with gate hall was built in 1867, dividing the castle roughly in the middle. The keep was built between 1853 and 1859. When the foundations were being built, the first remains of the foundations of the previous building were discovered, which had been offset slightly to the north. This tower was already in a desolate condition in 1568, it was gradually demolished, in 1774 people spoke of the "fallen castle tower".


A separate area was required for the private rooms of the ruling house. For this purpose, the new bower and the new staircase were added to the keep; these at the same time close the gap between the hall and the battlement of the outer bailey. Gaden took the place of the brewery; the basement of the previous building was retained. The knight's bath was added to the south of the restored palas after the Wartburg water pipe was completed. The so-called bear kennel located there was only built in the early 19th century as a popular amusement. Further buildings (castle kitchen, brewery, house of hand mills) on the west side were deliberately avoided; the space available here is taken up by the commandant's garden with a balcony-like arbor. Another building measure at the end of the 19th century was the construction of the Wartburg Hotel on the Gaisköpfchen. On June 11, 1859, the tower cross of the Wartburg on the keep was inaugurated to complete the construction work. The painter and mosaic artist August Oetken created the colorful mosaics in the Elisabethkemenate from 1902 to 1906.

In addition, due to its historical reconstruction, the building contains numerous imaginative paintings of people and scenes from the German Middle Ages.

One of the almost forgotten facts is that the reconstruction of the Wartburg was made possible not least thanks to Grand Duchess Sophie, who, as a patroness, supported the project with significant financial resources.

The interwar period
Eisenach had become an important conference and congress city around 1900. The Kurbad-Eisenach-Gesellschaft was founded in 1905, which resulted in numerous hotels and guest houses, a casino, baths, parks and sanatoriums. The Wartburg administration looked at this building boom with concern, because it permanently changed the previous appearance of the Wartburg. In tough struggles with the city administration and the state government, the “Blue Line” was issued as the limit of permitted development as well as regulations for the protection of the landscape around the Wartburg, which are still valid today. Thanks to the burgeoning tourism in the city, the Wartburg experienced a hitherto unknown influx of tourists. In order to improve the accessibility of the castle, plans for the tram connection and a modern access road for powerhouses and automobiles were commissioned. The construction of the Wartburgallee was realized and forms the basis for the "mass tourism" which continues to this day.

The unintended consequences of the annual visitor records were recognized from the early 1920s. The frescoes created by Moritz von Schwindt began to fade, fungal attack and chemical processes in the painting grounds were diagnosed during the first damage image analyzes. A scientific committee of experts was commissioned to give the restorers assistance in preserving the works of art.

The members of the grand ducal family renounced their political power after the November Revolution in Thuringia. After the dethronement, however, the dispute over the private assets, forest ownership, lands and art treasures of the abdicated princes broke out in all German states. The Wartburg was "defended" with particular interest by the grand ducal family - the dispute with the repeatedly changing bourgeois governments in Weimar dragged on until 1921 and was amicably settled with the signing of the dispute agreement by Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst and the Weimar Minister of State. The "Wartburg question" was seen as resolved with the establishment of the Wartburg Foundation; However, the foundation members who were initially active were closely related to the Princely House and also prevented the Thuringian regional church, formed in 1918, from being included in the foundation council. All foundation members were confirmed by the respective minister of culture of the Free State of Thuringia. In the 1930s, Wilhelm Frick and the Thuringian Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel received influence on the Wartburg Foundation as committee members. In 1930 Hans von der Gabelentz became the castle captain at the Wartburg. He founded the Wartburg Museum and the Castle Archive.

1933 to 1945 (National Socialism and World War II)
During the time of National Socialism, the Thuringian Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel planned to make the Wartburg a "cultural center of the empire". Numerous propaganda events and celebrations took place here, such as the 1934 Luther celebrations of the Nazi-affiliated “German Christians”. In 1938 Sauckel had the cross on the castle tower replaced by a swastika. However, protests from the population meant that it was removed again after a month and the Christian cross came back in its place.


In the spring of 1939, 13 Protestant regional churches on the Wartburg founded the "Institute for Research and Elimination of Jewish Influence on German Church Life"; on May 8th of that year it was inaugurated here, and was headed by the theologian Walter Grundmann. The files of the “Entjudungsinstitut”, which disappeared after 1945, only became known to the public in 1990 after the regional church archive had moved.

After the Second World War
American artillery bombardment from April 1 to 5, 1945 caused damage to the gate and knight house, Dirnitz, keep, Neuer Kemenate, Palas and Gadem. These were largely remedied by 1946. Outsourced works of art and valuable holdings of the Wartburg Foundation remained in secret depots until mid-1946 for security reasons in order to protect them from destruction or looting. The weapons collection known as the armory of the Wartburg was still a victim of the post-war occupation of Thuringia by the Red Army. This collection, which is both materially and historically valuable, was confiscated in 1946 and transferred to the Soviet Union, where its traces are lost.

Since the 1950s, extensive restoration work has been carried out in advance of important anniversaries (Reformation year, Luther anniversary, Elisabeth anniversary). In accordance with the preservation of historical monuments, many of the 19th century fixtures were removed in order to better accentuate the Romanesque components. Buildings of historicism are not generally sacrificed but, where possible, preserved as evidence of the castle's history.

Modern times and world heritage
Building research has made significant progress since 1990. This applies to both the architectural archaeological investigation of the castle and the restoration of the works of art. The technical equipment of the castle was also renewed step by step, water and sewage pipes, access roads and paths around the castle were renewed.

In 1999 the Wartburg became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since 2008 the Wartburg belongs to the street of the monuments, a network of German monuments and places of remembrance founded on the initiative of the City History Museum Leipzig. The aim of the network is to "network the places of remembrance as former focal points of the past more closely and to make them more tangible as a whole through joint marketing measures".

On May 17, 2010 the urn burial of Elisabeth von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, who died at the age of 99, took place in the Elisabeth Chapel. It was the first burial at the Wartburg.

Since two large wind turbines were to be built within sight of the Wartburg on the 461 meter high Milmesberg near Marksuhl, the Wartburg was in danger of losing its UNESCO World Heritage title. The dispute ended in November 2013 with a settlement. In addition, the area in question was protected from similar projects by revised planning regulations of the Free State of Thuringia.

In 2015, the “Arraiolos Group” met the incumbent German President Joachim Gauck as host at the Wartburg.

In 2017, the Wartburg played an important role in celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

The Wartburg rises on a narrow, rugged rock ridge about 220 m above the city of Eisenach; it is a typical section castle that originally consisted of four sections, of which only the outer and main castle are preserved today. The Wartburg underwent the greatest changes, which were not always beneficial for the structure, in the 19th century, when the castle was restored on Goethe's initiative in line with the ideas of historicism and the revived nationalism of the German Empire.

The castle was besieged several times in its history, but never conquered, and in its heyday was divided as follows:

1st section
The first section of the castle was located where the hill marks the entrance to the castle today. There were fortifications here, which gave this section its current name. The foundations of a tower (fishing tower) were exposed again in the 1990s and are now visible as a square hole. The buildings in this section, which were visible as covered battlements until Goethe's time, no longer exist. In its place is the place in front of the drawbridge today.


Outer bailey
The outer bailey is entered via the drawbridge through a gate building, which was originally a gate tower from the time it was converted into a residence and was later reduced in height and rebuilt. The buildings adjoining the gatehouse to the right (Ritterhaus, Vogtei) date from the late Middle Ages. However, indications of the presence of older building fabric were found. The fountain in the first courtyard of the Wartburg does not date from the Middle Ages, as the water was supplied by pack animals and a cistern (in the main courtyard). The curtain wall, which partly dates back to the 12th century, was provided with the projecting half-timbered structure and roofed over in the 15th century. The western part is called Margaretengang and the eastern Elisabethgang. The outer bailey was probably closed off by a ditch towards the main castle.

Main castle
The main castle is bounded by the line of buildings Neue Kemenate, Torhalle and Dirnitz, all buildings from the second half of the 19th century. The medieval buildings at this point had already fallen into disrepair in Goethe's time, so that the medieval condition of the courtyard also had to be reconstructed through excavations. The main castle is dominated by the late Romanesque palace, the landgrave house, next to the south tower the only medieval building of the main castle, as well as the current main tower, which was built near the original keep, which contains a water reservoir to supply the city of Eisenach. Nothing of the rest of the medieval buildings has survived. The Gadem, which is now used as a restaurant, was renovated from 1874 to 1877; the basement with barrel cellar was retained. The building previously served as a warehouse, armory and court kitchen. Immediately to the south of it was the brewery.

Southern section
The southernmost section of today's main castle could have been separated from the main courtyard by a wall at the height of the escape Palas-Gadem due to the topographical conditions in the Middle Ages. At the southernmost end of this section is the south tower, the last originally preserved tower from the history of the castle. It covered the southern slope in the direction of Eisenach Castle. The part used today as the castle garden is already three meters lower than the Gadem. For centuries the area was used as a dump to gradually enlarge the area of ​​the castle courtyard. During the renovation of the south wall, which was still ongoing in 2012, foundations and remains of a group of supporting pillars were documented on the inside of the curtain wall.

In the years 1912 to 1914, the Wartburg-Gasthof was built based on a design by the architect Bodo Ebhardt.

Concert hall
The Wartburg holds one of the most famous concert halls in Thuringia. The building's acoustics played a major role in its success. It is also the work of Franz Liszt, who brought his musical skills and expertise to the design of the ballroom when the Palas was converted into a concert hall on behalf of the Weimar Ducal House.

In its entirety, the Wartburg is a typical example of the preservation of historical monuments in the 19th century: the existing architecture was supplemented with buildings in a historicizing, sometimes romanticizing form, to reflect the historical significance of the Wartburg, which was given a national aspect at the time of the establishment of the German Empire to meet. Comparable sites in German history are the Reichsburg Kyffhausen, Hohenzollern Castle, the Hohkönigsburg and the Marienburg Order Castle.

The Wartburg concerts have been broadcast on the radio since 1958. For this purpose a studio was set up on the Wartburg.

A guided walk through the castle touches the following exposed buildings:

The main building (the Palas or the Landgrave's House) originally dates from the middle of the 12th century. Dendrochronological studies date the beams of the basement to 1157/1158. Borrowings from Roman palace buildings can be seen in the exterior. The Palas is the only princely palace that has been preserved from that period of architecture. From 1847 to 1870 it was extensively restored by the Giessen architect Hugo von Ritgen at the instigation of Grand Duke Carl Alexander (Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach).


The entrance to the lowest of the three floors, the partial basement in the south of the castle, initially leads into the former armory and the former horse stables. A stone staircase in the middle of the building leads to the actual ground floor of the Palas. The so-called knight's hall is a square room with a fireplace, the use of which remains largely unknown to this day. This is followed by the so-called dining room, which was assigned as the living room of the old landgraves with the renovation in the 19th century. On the ground floor of the Landgrave House there is also the bower of St. Elisabeth, who, at the instigation and expense of the last emperor of the German Empire, Kaiser Wilhelm II, was completely re-clad from 1902 to 1906 with glass mosaics in the neo-Byzantine style by the Oldenburg church painter and mosaic artist August Oetken (1868–1951). It has been proven that she has had her name since 1669. The focal point of the mosaicization of the Elisabeth bower is an Elisabeth cycle with nine depictions from the life of St. Elisabeth, Landgrave of Thuringia and Princess of Hungary. The representations refer to the descent of the House of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach from the family of the Landgraves of Thuringia. On the second floor, the visitor arrives at the Wartburg chapel. Legend has it that Martin Luther preached here. Historical facts do not confirm this. In the adjoining singers' hall, Moritz von Schwind's frescoes, which take up the architecture of the room, illustrate the saga of the singer's war. The Elisabeth Gallery, decorated with 13 romantic depictions of Moritz von Schwind (pictures of the works of the Mercy of St. Elisabeth, i.e. the fairytale legends and miracles of saints) from 1855 was restored from 2015 to 2017. The Landgrave's room shows visitors the founding and other legends of the Wartburg. The third floor is occupied by the 40 meter long ballroom, which was placed on the original structure after the Wartburg became the residence of the Ludowingers.

The museum of the castle with large parts of the art collection is located in the gate hall, new bower and dirnitz from the 19th century. The Dirnitz, built in 1867, once contained the Grand Ducal Armory with a very important historical weapon collection "of European rank". The most valuable items were 70 pieces of armor from well-known historical figures. This collection was transferred to the USSR in February 1946. In the three buildings a permanent exhibition presents the life of the famous guests, residents and landgraves at the castle. Numerous exhibits and pictures u. a. by Lucas Cranach show the eventful history of the establishment in the 12th century, the stay of St. Elisabeth and Martin Luthers, the decay and reconstruction in the 19th century.

The tour ends the path through the so-called Margarethengang (western parapet walk) to the Vogtei, where the Luther parlor is located, which was used by the reformer Martin Luther from May 4, 1521 to March 1, 1522 as a shelter and place of a part (New Testament or September Testament) served to translate the Bible. The Gothic so-called Nuremberg bay window in the neighboring Vogteistube comes from a Nuremberg patrician house, originally served as a chapel bay window for the Harsdörfer house in Nuremberg and was only added to the south facade of the bailiwick in the 1870s. In the upper Vogteistube there is also the so-called Pirckheimer Stübchen, which was acquired in 1863 by Grand Duchess Sophie von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach for her husband Carl Alexander in Nuremberg and brought to the Wartburg in 1867. The closet room, which was unique in terms of construction and built around 1490, was long ascribed to the humanist Willibald Pirckheimer (1470–1530), but was probably commissioned by the printer and publisher Anton Koberger (1440–1513).


The Wartburg Festival has been held annually since 2004.

From May 4 to November 5, 2017, one of three national special exhibitions was shown at the Wartburg on the occasion of the Reformation anniversary in 2017. The exhibition “Luther and the Germans” focused on Luther's stay at the Wartburg and the developments that led to the rebuilding of the Wartburg and its transformation into a “national monument” in the 19th century. It also contained a reception of Luther from the 16th century to the present day.

Since the turn of the year 2018, a newly designed permanent exhibition can be seen in the rooms of the castle.

Ludwig II of Bavaria took the Wartburg as a model for his Neuschwanstein Castle in the Allgäu. The palace and the castle not only resemble each other in silhouette from some angles, the ballroom was also imitated for the palace of the Bavarian king.

The Wartburg has become a literary venue in many ways, best known through Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser. Before the First World War, the literary magazine Wartburgstimmen also appeared in Eisenach under the editorship of the novelist Ernst Clausen.

In 1962 the Protestant Wartburg Church in Frankfurt (Main) was named after her.

In July 2013, a tactile castle model with inscriptions in Braille, created by students from the Bauhaus University Weimar, was set up in front of the Wartburg palace. The lettering enables the blind and visually impaired to get to know the main buildings of the Wartburg in their cubature and with many facade details by touch.

The Wartburg was included in the Blue Book published in 2001. The Blue Book is a list of nationally important cultural institutions in East Germany and currently includes 20 so-called cultural lighthouses.

The district of Wartburg is named after the Wartburg. However, the Wartburg is not in the Wartburg district. This is because when the district was formed in 1994, the town of Eisenach, in whose area the castle is located, also belonged to this district. In 1998 Eisenach became an independent city and thus left the district.

In mini-a-thür (Ruhla near Eisenach), in the Miniwelt (Lichtenstein / Sa.) And in Clingen in the Kyffhäuserkreis there are miniature replicas of the Wartburg.

The geographical center of Germany depends on the calculation method. A calculation of the center of gravity of the area of ​​Germany (excluding the twelve-mile zone) determined a point on the Landstreit estate near Eisenach as the center point (51 ° 0 'N, 10 ° 20' E). As a representative, the Wartburg, about 10 km away, was declared the center of Germany.

The donkey station is at the foot of the Wartburg.

The castle complex surrounds a forest area of ​​around 27 hectares. The Thuringian Forestry Office recommended that this so-called foundation forest be forbidden.

For security reasons, the Wartburg is located in a restricted flight area (ED - R 90). Around the Wartburg, the so-called blue line marks a construction ban within a radius of 500 meters. It goes back to the Eisenach city planning director and castle building officer Karl Hofferbert, who wanted to prevent the rapid expansion of the southern quarter and thus the building of the castle in the 1930s.

The Pummpälzweg hiking trail leads from Eisenach via the Wartburg, Ruhla and the Kissel for 28 kilometers to Bad Salzungen.

During the art project “Daily Painting” (World Heritage in Germany) in June 2011 almost 50 graphics and photos of the Wartburg were created by art students from the University of Paderborn, which were published on the WEB on 50 consecutive days.

In the facade of the Tribune Tower in Chicago an original stone from the Wartburg is inserted and provided with information about the origin of Luther’s Wartburg - Eisenach, Germany.

The Wartburg can be easily reached with the bus lines 3 and 23 of the Wartburgmobil transport company, which run from the city center or the P + R car parks in Mariental. The logo of this transport company shows a highly stylized Wartburg.


Luther himself reports that he was molested by the devil in the Wartburg. With his statement that he then "drove out the devil with ink", he referred to his translation of the Bible. This quote from Luther was later interpreted to mean that he had thrown an inkwell at the devil. The local geographer and historian Melissantes alias Johann Gottfried Gregorii mentioned in 1713 that visitors to the Wartburg were shown an ink stain in Luther's room. This stain, which had to be renewed and re-colored on a regular basis after visitors had repeatedly taken small pieces of plaster home as souvenirs, could be seen in the Luther room well into the past century.
Landgrave Friedrich the Freidige was the son of Albrecht the Degenerate and was born on the Wartburg in 1257. According to legend, his mother Margaretha von Staufen, who fled from the Wartburg before her husband in 1270, overwhelmed by the pain of parting, bit him on the cheek, and that is how he was called the bitten one.



The city of Eisenbach lies at the foot of the castle hill was found in the late 12th century. It has many old architectural marvels like 16th century town hall, remains of fortifications and numerous churches. Besides the city has a house where Martin Luther moved. Now it houses a museum of his work. Besides Eisenbach is hometown of Johann Sebastian Bach who was born here in 1685. Unfortunately his house did not survive, but a museum was build here.


Automobilbaumuseum (car museum for short)

Rennbahn 6- 8

Tel. (03691) 77 21 2

Open: 10 am- 5 pm (Tue- Sun)


Bachhaus (Bach's house)

Frauenplan 21

Tel. (03691) 7 93 40

Open: Oct.- Mar. 1 pm- 4:45 pm- Mon; 9 am - 4:45 pm- Tue- Sun

Apr.- Sep. 12 pm- 5:45 pm- Mon; 9 am- 5:45 pm- Tue- Sun


Eisenbach is also famous for its old abandoned houses (especially car factory) that you can find here. Most are technically someone's property, but its doesn't seem that laws are strictly enforced here.