Am Schloss 2
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The World Heritage region of Wartburg Hainich combines two of Thuringia’s most significant tourist destinations: historical Wartburg Castle and the ancient beech forests, which not only reflect the two sides to the UNESCO coin – culture and nature – but also offer a world of opportunities for visitors now and in the future.
From the Middle Ages onwards, the famous Wartburg Castle regularly appears in the annals of German history. Immortalised by Richard Wagner´s Tannhäuser opera, this is where Saint Elisabeth lived and worked, and where Martin Luther took refuge and started his German translation of the Bible. These fortifications, visible from far and wide, also came to be a symbol of German unity.
Between culture and nature
In the neighbouring Hainich National Park – the largest expanse of unmanaged deciduous woodland in Germany – nature has been left to its own devices. The largely unspoilt beech forest is home to an unparalleled range of species. The forest floor is a thick carpet of spring snowflakes, liverleaf, wood anemone, orchids and wild garlic. There are also woodpeckers, bats and over 2,100 types of beetle to be seen here. You are unlikely to catch a glimpse of Hainich’s indigenous wildcat (the region’s emblem) as it roams the forest, but you can observe these timid creatures in naturalistic enclosures at Hütscheroda wildcat village. A large interactive exhibition inside the wildcat centre tells you all about the animals. The seven-kilometre wildcat trail around the village combines spectacular views with unconventional art on the wayside.
Thiemsburg National Park Centre, the largest and most visited environmental education centre in Thuringia, is dedicated to developing sustainable tourism. It is also the site of the spectacular Hainich treetop trail, which combines nature with art, education and play at dizzying heights. Thanks to the purpose-built lift, wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs can reach the treetop trail and Brunstal adventure trail for a view of Wartburg Castle in the distance.
Regional food and drink all year round
The fruit and vegetables grown on the farms around Hainich National Park are renowned for their quality. Throughout the year, gourmet festivals celebrating typical regional specialities offer an enticing blend of nature and culture. Similarly, you can combine a walk through the colourful autumnal forest with a cultural excursion in the footsteps of Bach and Luther, or follow a trip to the medieval Christmas market at Wartburg Castle with a wintry walk through ancient woodland.