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Travel guide for Thuringia, Germany

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A visit to the Wartburg in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany

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One of the major attractions of Thuringia and especially of Eisenach is the "Wartburg", a medieval castle.
Please plan sufficient time for a visit when you come during the summer. Thousands of people want to join a tour and you may have to wait for approximately 1 1/1 hours.
Guided tours in English are available during the high season. Please ask for details.

Wartburg Foundation, at the Wartburg
99817 Eisenach
Phone: 011 49 36 91 25 00
Fax: 011 49 36 91 20 33 42

Information and Ticket Reservations:
Wartburg Information Centre
Schlossberg 2
99817 Eisenach
Phone: 011 49 36 91 770 72 or
011 49 36 770 73
Fax: 011 49 36 91 770 72

I arrived on a cold winter day in Eisenach. When I entered the city I saw many parking lots for visitors. Signs said that a shuttle service is provided.
Because most of these parking lots were deserted I kept driving. Please be aware driving through the narrow cobble stone streets of the medieval town is an adventure. Fortunately a speed limit of 30 km/h applies in most of them.

The Wartburg, Eisenach, Thuringia, tourism, travel guide
The "Wartburg" a landmark not only for Eisenach
Despite that, I had impatient local drivers behind me when I tried to figure out my way or to find a parking spot for lunch.
Not finding a convenient parking spot, I canceled lunch and followed the signs to the Wartburg. Climbing up the mountain with my little yellow Opel (GM) I ended at a parking lot.
I was told that it will take me about an other 15 minuted to walk to the castle and that on request a shuttle service can be provided. I recommend that to elderly people or people who have walking problems. Otherwise they me be too exhausted to participate the guided tour through the castle.
Slowly, I made it to the top and the castle. I was proud of myself because I already had skipped lunch and now did a healthy exercise instead.
I was excited and looked forward to visit the castle where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German and where he got mad with the devil and threw a glass full of ink at him.

The Wartburg, Eisenach, Thuringia, tourism, travel guide
This transportation was not offered during my first visit in January!

The Wartburg, Eisenach, Thuringia, tourism, travel guide
Maybe the donkeys were waiting for nice weather and came back from Greece?

More to his famous outburst of rage later.
A huge tourist group was blocking my way. I was not sure whether they were waiting to purchase tickets or for the beginning a tour.
After a few minutes waiting with them, I figured out that this group came either from the adjacent hotel or with a bus.
So I squeezed my way trough them and purchased my ticket and a permission to take pictures.

So I paid again to be able making free advertising for the tourism business of Thuringia! I hope, we will get some advertising or web design work in return.
I lined up on entrance 1 to get in and to join the tour. Only one woman was waiting with me. Finally, a few people left the "entrance" and we were told that we have to use "entrance 2". Naturally, I told the person that they should provide this information on the ticket - but I have little hope that the suggestion will be passed on.
I forgot my anger immediately after our guide greeted us. I hope he does also guide tours in the English language. He never became boring and caught the attention of everybody. Many people, including myself, gave him a tip at the end of the tour for his excellent presentation of the Wartburg.
With our web site, we do not want to replace an actual visit to the Wartburg - we want to show you what to expect and to convince you that you should not miss to spend half a day here.

The Wartburg, Eisenach, Thuringia, tourism, travel guide
You can stay in this hotel

The tour started in the basement of the castle.
The founders of the castle which dates back to around 1067 were shown on replicas of grave slabs. At first it was only a wooden fortification which was built by count "Ludwig the Springer".

The Wartburg, Eisenach, Thuringia, tourism, travel guide
In the basement the founders of the castle are shown
He is shown on the left plate.
This was nit good enough for his successor who is shown on the right plate. He started to rebuilt the castle with solid stone.
Our guide told us many details in a very humorous way and caught the attention of our complete group. He also knew answers to all the questions.
It was a pleasure to follow his detailed explanations in the following rooms where we learned many details about the politics and living conditions of the inhabitants of the castle which have never been attacked by anybody.

A special highlight was the visit of a room which was dedicated to the holy Elizabeth. I do not want to tell you the complete story - you should experience that by yourself and my picture of the glass mosaic can only give you a little impression of what you have to expect.
This mosaic in this room has been added at the beginning of last century.

The marriage of Elizabeth was planned when she was four years old. The picture on the right shows the two children in a cradle.
Soon after her marriage at the age of 14 Elizabeth cared about the poor and the sick. She is considered to be the founder of hospitals. Naturally, not all family members supported these activities.
I recommend that you use a hand held camcorder (tripods are not allowed) to record the complete sad story. You can also check the souvenir shop for written material. It is a story for a movie without happy end.
The Wartburg, Eisenach, Thuringia, tourism, travel guide
Get the permission to catch everything on a video

We had also visited the so called "Knight's Hall". It was very comfortable for its time because it could be heated and had adjacent washrooms. I believe they were indoor variants of an outhouses. In this room the knights spend most of their time.

The Wartburg, Eisenach, Thuringia, tourism, travel guide
You must climb these stairs to the upper floor
A room which could have been a dining hall has a wooden ceiling which dates back to the 12th century.
Check for details such as stone ornaments, pillars etc.

The Wartburg, Eisenach, Thuringia, tourism, travel guide

All these rooms did not contain any furnishing. I believe this is done on purpose, because our small tour group needed already most of the available space.
Please be prepared for lots of walking and standing.

Watch the slideshow: Eisenach impressions, Impressionen

The Lutherschmaus a medieval feast full of fun in Eisenach, Thuringia

Thuringia, wining and dining - a guide

The Bertholdsburg in Schleusingen host an interesting museum, Thuringia

Watch the slideshow: Wartburgkreis impressions Impressionen

Watch the slideshow: Unstrut-Hainich Region, Thuringia, Germany, impressions, Impressionen tourism, Tourismus

Watch the slideshow: Impressions of the Gotha Region, Thuringia, Impressionen vom Landkreis Gotha

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