Eisenach Travel Guide
Eisenach is a lovely little city, famous first and foremost for its castle, the Wartburg. The castle stands on hill overlooking the town and is deemed a national monument and regarded as the most German of Germany's castles. The castle actually came before the town, built in 1067, with the town materializing an entire century later, around 1180. Eisenach, in any case, has an atmospheric old town which, despite suffering major damage during World War II and utter neglect during the Communist years, holds considerable visitor interest. There are monuments and museums, a lovely marketplace, half-timbered houses, a few old churches, and an imposing hauptbahnof – railway station – with beautiful stained glass windows. The town also has associations to composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Richard Wagner and church reformer Martin Luther who schooled here from 1498 to 1501.
Eisenach is situated in central Germany, former East Germany, in the state of Thuringia, between the northern foothills of the Thuringian Forest and the Hainich National Park. It is approximately 60 kilometers (37.5 miles) west of Erfurt, or 240 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of Frankfurt.
Eisenach's main draws are the Bachhaus in the Frauenplan courtyard, which has its associations with the composer Johann Sebastian Bach; and the picturesque, half-timbered Lutherhaus, which houses a museum devoted to the life and teachings of Martin Luther who lived and schooled here from 1498 to 1501. There's also a museum in town dedicated to Richard Wagner, as well as the triple-naved, Romanesque Nikolaikirche on Karlsplatz, and the 18th-century Narrow House which has the distinction of being the narrowest half-timbered building in all of Germany – only 2.05 meters wide! The Eisenach Hauptbahnof is worth seeing too, a massive Wilhelminian Gründerzeit style structure with stained glass windows depicting the city's two principal industries, automotive and watchmaking.
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