500 years since the Reformation
Bad Hersfeld in north-east Hessen is known for the festival that takes place amid the world's biggest Romanesque church ruins. Martin Luther was attracted to this romantic town and preached here during his travels through Hessen.
Two years after Luther's visit, Bad Hersfeld became Protestant. Luther did not stay in Bad Hersfeld itself but at Eichhof Castle, three kilometres to the south. Originally built as a moated castle by the abbots in the 14th century, it symbolised ecclesiastical as opposed to worldly power. Today the splendid Luther room, now a popular wedding venue, is a reminder of his fleeting visit - even if he probably never actually stayed in this room.
Bad Hersfeld is on both the German Half-Timbered Houses Route and the Via Regia cultural route. The 14th century church and the many timber-framed buildings in the town centre are reflections of its long history.
Garden lovers will adore the glorious Park of the Seasons, which is part of the European Garden Heritage Network and was runner-up in Germany's 'most beautiful park' competition in 2008.
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