Wartburg – famous castle in German history and legend

Baku, May 7, AZERTAC

Wartburg Castle renowned in German history and legend, standing on a steep hill overlooking the town of Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany.

The hill was fortified as early as 1080. Landgrave Hermann I of Thuringia (died 1217) rebuilt the castle and made it the seat of a bustling court frequented by wandering poets and musicians, including Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach.

Hermann’s Wartburg character was recalled a generation or two later in the poem known as Sängerkrieg, in which poets compete to sing the praises of their rival patrons. Richard Wagner adapted the story for his opera Tannhäuser (1845).

From 1485, the castle and the surrounding land belonged to the Dukes Ernestine of Saxony. Elector Frederick III of Saxony hosted Martin Luther in the Wartburg from May 1521 to March 1522, and Luther began his German translation of the original Greek New Testament there.

In 1817, the Wartburg was the scene of a party celebrating Luther’s tercentenary. A nationalist demonstration by protestant German students led to repressive measures by conservative German state governments.

Charles Alexander of the Ernestine House of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1818-1901) was the main sponsor for a major restoration of the Wartburg, which had been in disrepair since Luther’s time.

The castle, which includes the Romanesque palace of the Landgraves of Thuringia, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999.

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