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City Breaks: Online Travel Guide for Eisenach
you enjoy city life,
visit early medieval buildings and
The Wartburg Castle near Eisenach is part of the UNESCO world heritage.
Children can ride on a donkey, up to the Wartburg Castle.
In the surroundings of Eisenach, you find palaces in small villages.
In 1685 the Eisenach court musician Ambrosius Bach had the christening of his son Johann Sebastian Bach in the Georgen-Kirche. A cousin, Johann Christoph Bach, played the organ in the Georgen church. From 1693 to 1695 Johann Sebastian went to Latin school - as Martin Luther before him.
Napoleon dropped in briefly.
In the Inn "Goldener Loewe" in 1869, August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht founded the Social Democratic German Workers Party.
From the stylish station hall, built in 1910, walking along Bahnhof street, you arrive directly in the medieval town center. You can reach the sights comfortably on foot in the pedestrian zone.
The Nikolai church stands next to the only remaining town gate, which is a Romanesque structure of 1180.
Alexander-Puschkin Street leads you to the baroque Schloss - Palace in English. In the Palace the Thuringian Museum displays porcelain, arts and crafts along with folk art.
Cross the market place next to the castle and you find Georgen church, originally a Gothic hall church, which was built onto in the following centuries. Here the landgrave married Saint Elisabeth; here, Martin Luther preached; and here, Ambrosius Bach had his son, Johann Sebastian, christened.
Walk along Pfarrberg - Parish Mountain in English; You will reach the early gothic Prediger-Kirche - Preachers Church in English. In the church the Thuringian Museum displays a regional and early historical exposition and a sculpture collection with works from the 12th to 16th century.
Walk across Lutherplatz and you will arrive at the house of the family Cotta, where Martin Luther stayed, as a Latin pupil. The half-timbered house, rebuilt after 1945, has an exposition which tells about the life and works of the reformer.
In the inn "Goldener Loewe" in 1869, the General German Social Democratic Workers Convention met and the Social Democratic German Workers Party was founded, with August Bebel as Chairman. They merged with the General German Workers Association in the convention in Gotha in 1875, resulting in the formation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in Erfurt in 1890. Today, an exhibition in memory of this, is in the "Goldenen Loewen".
From the "Goldener Loewe" it is not far to the Reuter-Villa. Here, you can see an exhibition about the North German writer Fritz Reuter who died in Eisenach in 1874 and - about Richard Wagner, who made Wartburg Castle the scene of his opera Tannhaeuser, first performed in 1845.
You reach Wartburg Castle on foot in approximately 20 minutes from the Reuter-Villa.
Cars have been manufactured in Eisenach since 1899. At first the brands were called the Wartburg and Dixi; but after the sale of the company in 1928, to the Bayerische Motorenwerke, the cars were BMWs. Today Opel cars are produced in Eisenach and BMW has returned. You can follow the history of the Eisenacher vehicle engineering in the Automobilbau Museum.
In the 19th century in the South of Eisenach, manufacturers and other well-to-do citizens built villas in many different styles.
It was fashionable in Germany around 1900, to erect national monuments at vantage points. The Burschenschafts-Denkmal - Student Fraternity Monument in English - at the Goepels-Kuppe was built in memory of the Jena student's Wartburg convention of 1817, At that time the Jena students had demanded national unity and liberal, democratic reforms, beyond the borders of the small German states.
The Thuringian Theater in Eisenach, offers plays, ballets, musicals and concerts.
In the "Alte Maelzerei" is a jazz cellar and a theater.
In Eisenach you can listen to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in the places of his childhood. He was born in the Bach house and baptized in the Georgen church over 300 years ago.
In the Georgen church regular organ concerts take place. There are special performances for Easter and Christmas.
Concerts with historical musical instruments take place in the Bach house.
In March and April Eisenach hosts concerts of the Thuringian Bach Weeks.
In the last weekend in March, three weeks before Easter, Eisenachers adorn their houses and celebrate the expulsion of the winter months with the "Sommergewinn" - Summer Gain in English.
Costumed groups move in a parade through the town, and a fair offers everything: ghost trains, carousels, lottery tickets, food and beverages. The Sommergewinn Guild thoroughly prepares the parade and fair in the months before.
Eisenach is fully booked out at Pentecost: Fraternities from all over Germany and Austria meet yearly at the Burschenschafts-Denkmal.
For the round trip hiking tour from Eisenach, up to the Wartburg Castle, past Eliashoehle, Saengerwiese and Wilde Sau, over Hohe Sonne, through Drachenschlucht, down and back to Eisenach, you need about four hours.
The Drachenschlucht is a rocky vally - two miles long, very narrow, sometimes less than one yard wide. Legend has it, that a dangerous dragon once lived here. Therefore, the Eisenach coat of arms, is in memory of the dragon fighter, Saint George.
Of the Saengerwiese it is said, that here, the singer's war originated, which is described in the famous Middle-High German poem by an unknown author. Those mentioned in the poem are Wolfram von Eschenbach, Walther von der Vogelweide, Reinmar von Zweter and Heinrich von Ofterdingen. Novalis uses "Heinrich von Ofterdingen" as the figure in a novel. Wagner uses the singer's war as material in his opera Tannhaeuser.
The stone cross Wilde Sau carries the date 1483, shows and is in memory of a hunting accident with a wild boar.
The Hohe Sonne has the name from the golden sun on the tower of the hunting lodge, which at one time stood in its place.
Between Wilde Sau and Hohe Sonne you walk along the Rennsteig hiking trail through the Thuringian Forest. The mountain hiking trail from Eisenach to Budapest also passes the Hohe Sonne.
The Automobilbau Museum shows the history of the automobile manufacture in Eisenach.
The Thuringian Theater offers performances for children.
You can walk or cycle from Eisenach to Bad Salzungen, on the the 28 km long "Pummpaelz" trail, where carved figures and text panels tell local legends - in German and in English.
In Ruhla you can view a park with models of historical Thuringian buildings.
The Museum of Local History and Culture in Ruhla shows the workshops, tools, kitchens and living-rooms of traditional craftsmen.
The Hainich National Park Administration and the Nature Park Administration Eichsfeld-Hainich-Werratal offer guided tours for families and youth groups. The exhibition in the manor house of Berka, in front of the Hainich National Park pays special attention to children and teenagers.
Children can, in summer, ride on with a donkey up to the Wartburg Castle .
Tourist Service and museums offer guided tours for children.
You walk in Celtic footsteps at the Celtic and Germanic place of worship near Niederdorla. There you have the chance to go through a historically reconstructed Germanic village including old hand tools from that day and age.
In Marktsuhl and Oberellen, there are Renaissance palaces; the baroque palace in Wilhelmsthal is from the beginning of the 18th century, the manor house in Berka vor dem Hainich was built around 1800.
The palace in Wilhelmsthal is unused today: You can view it from the outside. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stayed here, and Hermann Graf von Pueckler-Muskau designed a landscape park from here up to the Wartburg. Unfortunately, not much of his plan came true.
The ancestral estate of Martin Luther's family was in Moehra. From here Martin Luther's parents moved to Eisleben.
You visit two churches in Ruhla: When the dukedom was divided in the 17th century, the church St. Trinitatis was part of the dukedom of Saxe-Gotha. In the dukedom of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach the church St. Concordia was opened in 1660. St. Concordia is one of the rare German angular churches: Separated by two church halls, men and women could concentrate on the service.
The Ruhla Museum of Local History and Culture displays the development of skilled crafts, from medieval armories to tobacco pipes and the making of watches.
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