VIA REGIA – a tour through Europe's cultural heartland

Dating back more than 2,000 years, the VIA REGIA is the oldest land route connecting eastern and western Europe. It is also the longest at around 4,500 kilometres. Starting in Kiev, it passes through eight countries on its way to Santiago de Compostela.

The VIA REGIA – the 'royal route' – was a medieval trading route used by kings, merchants transporting their valuable wares, pilgrims and even the military. This exquisite and fascinating treasure trove of European cultural history remains a route of cultural dialogue and communication to this day. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in autumn 1989, the German section of the VIA REGIA has covered some 600 kilometres. The flourishing towns and cities along this historical road – including Frankfurt am Main, Fulda, Naumburg, Eisenach, Erfurt, Leipzig, Bautzen and Görlitz – are all remarkable places to visit and offer outstanding insights into Europe's past. Fascinating sites of historical interest along the route include Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, the Battle of the Nations monument in Leipzig, places associated with notable personalities such as Goethe, Luther and Schiller, churches and cathedrals, palaces, castles, imposing fortifications, parks and gardens.

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