"The Gem of Thüringen" Wartburg by kawanua

Wartburg Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 127 photos

My first visit to Thuringia

I was looking for a day trip to Thuringia from Würzburg (Bavaria) and a friend suggested the Wartburg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site #897. It was less than a couple of hours drive via the A71 highway and B19. I left Sunday morning and came back in the afternoon. Traffic on the road was pretty light in the morning but got a little bit crowded late in the afternoon.

The castle is located up on the hill at the end of a long winding road from B19. I had a GPS navigation system with me, but there were plenty of signs along the road towards the castle so it was pretty easy to find. Parking cost 5 euro, but there was still quite a bit of hike (~15 min) from the parking lot to the entrace of the castle.

The Tour

The castle tour cost 5.50 euros plus 1 euro for a photography fee (although the tour guide didn't check my photography ticket). The tour was in German but you could request a translation booklet (written in english and other languages) which had descriptions of each room visited during the tour: the Knight's Hall, the dining hall, Elisabeth's bower, the Chapel, Elisabeth Gallery, Hall of Minstrels, Landgrave's Room, and finally the spectacular Festsaal / Banquet Hall. The tour lasted a little over an hour, but there were plenty of seats around in case people wanted to take a break.

It's too bad that I don't speak German cause the tour guide seemed very entertaining. I actually enjoyed this trip much more than my earlier visit to the Neuschwanstein Castle. The rooms inside the Wartburg Castle were beatifully restored and gave a better feel of how the ruling family lived back then.


To the right just after the entrace to the castle there's a living quarter where Martin Luther lived for about 10 months. The following is the english text written on the entrance to the room (sandwiched between the German & French texts):
"For ten months in 1521/22 Martin Luther lived and worked in this panelled room and small side chamber - where knights were once imprisoned - having incurred the wrath of the Pope and the Emperor. This is where he began his translation of the New Testament in German. Except for the whale vertebra, nothing in the room dates back to Luther's days. Since the late 16th century it has been a focal point for Luther followers, many of whom carved their name and the date in the wooden panels and took tiny pieces of furnishings away as souvenirs. The supposed traces of the legendary ink stain on the wall next to the tiled stove were especially popular."

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beatifully restored, historically significant
  • Cons:Not suitable for people with moving disabilities
  • In a nutshell:One of the best place to visit in Germany
  • Last visit to Wartburg: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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