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Wartburg Castle in Eisenach
Wartburg Castle in Eisenach© picture alliance / Klaus Nowottn

Picturesque Eisenach with its many well preserved half-timbered houses in the German state of Thuringia is home to the famous ‘Wartburg’ (Wartburg Castle) where Martin Luther hid during his prosecution under the name of „Junker Jörg“. Here he translated the New Testament in a German easy to understand in order to make it accessible to less educated people who did not speak Latin.

You can visit the castle and even his room with the stain at the wall where he presumably threw a pot of ink when being disturbed by the devil. It is quite an uphill walk which you can either conquer by foot or by taking a ride on a donkey, and gives space to imagine how Luther must have felt making his way to his exile. Not only because of its historic meaning for the tradition of translation is Eisenach a historic place: it is also the hometown of the world famous component Johann Sebastian Bach. Whereas the Eisenach history of Martin Luther can be explored in the probably oldest half-timbered house in Thuringia – the place where he lived at Cotta family when going to school - it is not far to the biggest museum for Bach in the world.