The interplay of culture and religion is the theme of this route, following in the footsteps of Martin Luther, and discovering testimonies on historical and modern Jewish life in Germany. Day trips from Mainz, Eisenach, Erfurt and Leipzig take you to 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within 10 days.

You can find details of train connections at:
Cheap Train Tickets | Timetables for Germany & Europe - Deutsche Bahn

Route info

Recommended duration of trip: 10 days
Total distance: 438 km
Recommended modes of transport: Train, other public transport
Number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited: 8

Faith Route Jewish Life, and Christian Reformation

Mainz (2 nights)

  • Day 1: Stroll through the city to the ShUM sites. The Old Jewish Cemetery offers a journey through Jewish history, as does the State Museum with its remarkable collection of Jewish cultural objects, and the New Synagogue, a spectacular building designed by architect Manuel Herz, inaugurated in 2010.
  • Day 2: Excursion to Worms (30 mins by train): wander through the Old Town and visit the Luther Monument, then continue to St. Peter's Cathedral and the ShUM sites, including the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe, and the Jewish Baths.

Eisenach (2 nights)

  • Day 3: Continue your journey on to Eisenach (3.5 hours by train). City tour with historic Town Hall, City Palace with Thuringian Museum and Georgenkirche – the baptismal church of Johann Sebastian Bach.
    In Erfurt, in the world's largest museum honoring Johann Sebastian Bach, you can experience a multimedia exhibition and daily live concerts featuring historical musical instruments.
  • Day 4: Hike to medieval Wartburg along the Luther Trail (2.5 hours). Guided tour of the castle with highlights such as the Luther Room, where Luther translated the Bible.
    Tip for families:
    In season, children can ride a donkey to the castle.
    Tip for nature lovers:
    Excursion to the Hainich National Park (1 hour by Hainich Bus) and visit to the treetop trail and hike in Hainich.

Erfurt (2 nights)

  • Day 5: Continue your journey on to Erfurt (30 mins by train) Stroll through the medieval Old Town. Visit Krämerbrücke and the Luther sites of St. Mary's Cathedral and Augustinian Monastery, tour of the oldest synagogue in Central Europe, preserved up to the roof, and the Erfurt treasure trove on display there.
    Tip for hikers:
    Erfurt is one of the stages of the Thuringian Luther Trail.
  • Day 6: Excursion to Naumburg (1 hour by train), visit to the medieval Naumburg Cathedral, a masterpiece of 13th century architecture and art. It was here that Martin Luther consecrated the world's first Protestant bishop.

Leipzig (4 nights)

  • Day 7: Continue your journey on to Leipzig (45 mins by train). Stroll along in the footsteps of Martin Luther,and walk round the spacious Clara Zetkin park.
    Leipzig is the city of waterways. Discover Leipzig's neighbourhoods in a relaxed and climate-friendly way on a canoe tour.
  • Day 8: Excursion to Eisleben (1 hour by train). Visit the house where Luther was born, the house where he died, and Luther's Gothic-style baptismal church, St. Petri-Pauli.
    Hike to the active Cistercian convent of Sankt Marien zu Helfta (2.5 km, 30 mins). The convent also offers accommodation in the guest house.
  • Day 9: Excursion to Wittenburg (30 mins by train). Take a stroll through "Lutherstadt". Visit the Luther House, the largest museum in the world dedicated to the history of the Reformation, and the castle church on whose front door Luther nailed his 95 theses.
    Take an excursion to the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve, part of the Elbe River Landscape UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Many endangered animals and plants such as kingfishers, white-tailed eagles and the rare Siberian iris have found a new home in the natural floodplain landscape.
  • Day 10: Excursion to the silver mining town of Freiberg (1.75 hours by train), part of the UNESCO World Heritage Ore Mountain Region/Krušnohoří. Visit the silver mines and the Municipal and Mining Museum, as well as the St. Marien Cathedral with its four Silbermann organs.
    In summer, weekly evening concerts are held in the cathedral on the Silbermann organs.