Welcome to Rome Across Europe!
Wartburg Castle blends superbly into its forest surroundings and is in many ways “the ideal castle”. Although it contains some sections of great antiquity, it acquired the current layout over the course of 19th Century reconstructions.
Today the castle continues to be a symbol of the nation’s past and present, standing as a splendid example of what this fortress might have been at the peak of its military and seigneurial power. What makes Wartburg Castle such a magnet for memory, tradition, and pilgrimage is that it stands as a monument to the cultural history of Germany, Europe, and beyond.
Wartburg Castle is perched at a height of some 1,312 feet above the delightful countryside, south of the city of Eisenach in Thuringia in central Germany. Its varied aspect and the sense of harmony it evokes are only 2 of its attractions for visitors.
Lutherans the world over know of the castle as the very place where Martin Luther made his translation of the Bible. The veneration of Saint Elizabeth, which extends far beyond the frontiers of Germany, includes Wartburg Castle where she lived and worked.
The patronage of Hermann I, Landgrave of Thuringia, occupies an extraordinary place in the creation of a national literary tradition. In poetry and in legends, Wartburg Castle, the medieval Court of the Muses, bears an undying reputation through the names of Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach.
Wartburg Castle is also associated with the beginnings of a bourgeois and democratic nation, through the content and effects of the Wartburg festival of German students’ associations. From the very earliest days of its existence, this fortress of the Landgraves of Thuringia has repeatedly acted as a venue for and witness of historic events and activities worthy of renown as a monument to national and world history.
The artistic and architectural importance of the palace, built in the latter half of the 12th Century, is no less significant. In execution and ornamentation, it is unrivalled and represents one of the best-preserved secular constructions from the late Norman period to be found on German soil. Thanks to this broad range of religious content and historic data, and because of its significance in the history of the arts, Wartburg Castle attracts around half a million visitors every year, from all over the world.
How This Relates To Ancient Rome:
It extended from the Danube in the south to the Baltic Sea, and from the Rhine in the west to the Vistula. The Roman portions formed two provinces of the Empire, Germania Inferior to the north (present-day Netherlands, Belgium, and western Germany), and Germania Superior to the south (Switzerland, southwestern Germany, and eastern France).
Germania was inhabited mostly by Germanic tribes, but also Celts, early Slavs, Balts and Scythians. The population mix changed over time by assimilation, and especially by migration. The ancient Greeks were the first to mention the tribes in the area.
Later, Julius Caesar wrote about warlike Germanic tribesmen and their threat to Roman Gaul, and there were military clashes between the Romans and the indigenous tribes. Tacitus wrote the most complete account of Germania that still survives.
The origin of the term Germania is uncertain, but was known by Caesar’s time, and may be Gallic in origin.
We hope you enjoyed today’s adventure. We look forward to sharing more World Heritage Sites, along with many other explorations.
Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!