Eisenach is best known as the site of Schloss Wartburg (Wartburg Castle), most famous for sheltering Martin Luther while he translated the New Testament into German. Founded in 1067, it is also one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Germany. It is reached by a rigorous climb up a 180m (600-ft.) forested slope.
Wartburg Castle was founded by Duke Ludwig of Thuringia in 1067 AD. It belonged to the landgraves of Thuringia and once hosted the medieval Minnesinger poets, immortalized by Wagner in Tannhäuser.
Most famously, the Wartburg is where Martin Luther hid out as "Knight George" upon his return from the Diet of Worms in 1521. Here he completed his translation of the Bible. During his stay here, he said he "fought the Devil with ink" and is said to have experienced dark periods of depression.
In 1777, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe spent five weeks in the Wartburg Castle translating the Bible into German. Goethe once said, "The Germans weren't a people until Luther."
In 1817, the Wartburg was the rallying site of the Burschenschaften, students who protested the continued division of Germany into a host of tinpot principalities. More recently, Adolf Hitler engaged in a battle with local authorities to take down Wartburg Castle's cross and replace it with a swastika. Hitler was a big fan of the Wartburg, declaring it "the most German of German castles."
Today, the castle is a regional museum. Wartburg Castle was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 for its association with Luther and for its role as "a powerful symbol of German integration and unity." source: sacred destinations
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