It is almost 1,000 years old and rose to fame as Martin Luther's refuge: very few castles are as closely associated with German history as Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Thuringia. It offers history, art and culture at every turn.
A residence, fortress, refuge and shelter: built in 1067 and festooned with fine arts, Wartburg Castle was once home to various landgraves. Poets Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach both resided here. St. Elizabeth also lived in the castle, and Martin Luther found exile here. This is also where he translated the New Testament, thus laying the foundations for standardised written German. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe started an art collection here around 200 years ago, with treasures spanning eight centuries. Tapestries, paintings by Lucas Cranach and sculptures by Tilman Riemenschneider can be seen here, impressing art lovers again and again. At Wartburg Festival in 1817, students expressed their desire to have a unified national state and a liberal constitution.
Wartburg Castle is never forgotten, ever-present and splits opinion down the middle. In 1999, UNESCO included it as the first German castle in its World Heritage List. The exhibition on 500 years of the Reformation in Germany in the anniversary year of 2017, documents the tumultuous relationship between Luther and the Germans. But regardless of all of this, visitors exploring Wartburg Castle will feel the energy that emanates from this place.
Opening hours: 1 April to 6 November: 8:30am to 5pm; 7 November to 31 March: 9am to 3pm; daily tours run during these times; English-language tour every day at 1:30pm
Entry to the castle: paid
Entry to the museum: paid
Entry to the castle courtyard: free
Nearest train station: Eisenach
The main building can only be seen as part of a tour;
Information is available in 18 languages