The Wartburg is situated near Eisenach (Thuringia) and was founded in 1068 by the count of Schauenburg. In 1207 the castle became the venue of the Sängerkrieg (Minstrels‘ Contest) in which Minnesänger (Walther von der Vogelweide or Wolfram von Eschenbach) took part and was treated with poetic licence in Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser.

From May 1521 until March 1522, Martin Luther stayed at the castle after his excommunication by Pope Leo X and translated the New Testament into German, the first translation into a modern language.

In 1817, about 450 students came together and called for German unity. This and similar events at Wartburg during the Revolutions of 1848 are considered seminal moments in the movement for German unification.

The Landgrafenhaus (romanesque palace) is the oldest building and contains the Sängersaal (Hall of the Minstrels), which is the setting for Richard Wagners Tannhäuser.


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