Language connects places as well as people and a wealth of linguistic treasures are just waiting to be discovered along the German Language Route. The route connects sites in Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony that were significant in the history of the German language and German literature. Of these, there are quite a few!
As one of the Western World's greatest cultural languages, the German language is very popular in Europe. The same can also be said of German culture. The language is now over 1,200 years old and with around 100 million speakers, it is the largest native language in the European Union alongside English. The expressive power of the German language has also been a source of inspiration for poets, great thinkers and many other great minds.
Communication and liaison
Central Germany is the heartland and birthplace of the German language. Thanks to the German used in the Middle Ages by the chancery in Saxony and the reformer, Martin Luther, the first German language society was established in 1617. Also working in this region of Germany were great writers, poets and philosophers: Konrad Duden, the author of the Duden dictionary; the poets Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Wieland and Novalis; the hymnwriter Paul Gerhardt; and Eike von Repgow, the author of the Saxon Mirror, the most important law book of the German Middle Ages.
Did you know...?
Today language festivals, language days and German language competitions are everywhere, with theatres and book festivals playing a particular role in preserving the language and bringing it to life. Get on the trail of the German language and discover the places that had a decisive impact on this rich language of culture and that are bringing it to life once more. Friends of the German language are invited to German Language Day, which is held in the middle of September each year and aims to promote the German language in spite of the prevailing linguistic trends. On this day, promoters of the language organise readings, exhibitions and award ceremonies at a variety of venues. Many discoveries, both old and new, await you on the German Language Route, which are sure to get you talking!
Theme: German language and culture
Allstedt (Imperial) Castle & Palace: Martin Luther, Thomas Müntzer
Reppichau: the "Saxon Mirror Art Project" open-air museum (Freilichtmuseum „Kunstprojekt Sachsenspiegel“)
Lutherstadt Eisleben: Martin Luther, St. Andrew's Church (St. Andreas-Kirche)
Friedersdorf: Germany's first Book Town
Gotha: the library at Friedenstein Palace
Gräfenhainichen: the Paul Gerhardt Chapel (Paul Gerhardt-Kapelle)
Kamenz: the Lessing Museum
Mansfeld: Martin Luther, the Gottfried August Bürger Museum
Merseburg: memorial site to the poet Novalis
Mühlbeck-Schleiz: the Rutheneum (Konrad Duden Museum) – the birthplace of Duden
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