When it comes to visiting Germany, there is one thing that tourists can attest to: the country is home to some of the most beautiful castles in the world. One of these is the Wartburg Castle in Thuringia, which was added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1999.
One of Wartburg Castle’s claims to fame is that it was home to St. Elisabeth of Hungary, and was the place where the New Testament of the Bible was translated into German by Martin Luther. Some sources even point to Wartburg Castle as the most likely site for the minstrel contest called Sangerkrieg (provided that the contest was real and not purely legend.)
The castle was originally constructed in 1067 and serves as the larger sister castle to Neuenburg in Freyburg. Wartburg was strategically important because it helps protect the furthermost borders of Thuringia. These days, its more important purpose is a tourist spot where visitors from all over the globe can get guided tours for the interior of the buildings, as well as the internal museum. Kids will also enjoy their visit due to the donkey rides that must me be taken up the hill, and the adults can also enjoy a regular staging of the opera Tannhauser, along with other events and concerts held throughout the year.
There are places in the Wartburg Castle that remain unchanged by time and industrialization, such as the drawbridge and the barbican that serves as the only points of entry to the castle. These are the attractions that should be visited when one desires an unspoiled glimpse into the castle’s past. Otherwise, the rest of the castle is still fairly consistent with what it looked like in the medieval times even after going through modern repairs and reconstruction, no doubt owing to the need to preserve the castle as a landmark and tourist attraction.
After the day’s worth of musing over historical set pieces and modern fun activities are over, tourists can rest at the hotel situated right next to Wartburg castle. While relatively newer compared to the castle itself, the hotel is still historic as it was built in the 19th century, coinciding with the castle’s reconstruction.
The Wartburg Castle also holds the honor of being the second most popular tourist attraction in Thuringia, beaten only by the city of Weimar. The castle is also a place of pilgrimage because of the aforementioned role in the development of Christianity.