Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wartburg Castle

In the distance

Up on the hill

As usual, it's a climb :)

You could see for miles and we were up so high!!

Wartburg castle

I like this picture of the castle

Looking down on Eisenach below

In the courtyard

Look at the lion up at the top and the figures in the middle

In which we begin our tour...
Unfortunately, we didn't make it in time for the English tour, so we accompanied the German one instead (you couldn't see Martin Luther's room without a tour).  Obviously, we couldn't understand it at all, but we were given English booklets and also our guide (who spoke English himself) was very nice and tried to fill us in a little here and there.

Inside the main building of Wartburg Castle
It was built between 1155 and 1172

Our tour guide by a sepulchral slab of Ludwig der Springer (c. 1123) who is regarded as the founder of the Wartburg. ("burg" is the German name for castle)

Sepulchral slab of Ludwig II (1140-1172) - he is known as being one of the most important commissioners of building among the Thuringian landgraves (who ruled the area during that time).

"Wall painting depicting scenes from the Lwein saga"

"Sword and shield belonging to Conrad of Thuringia - 1206/7-1240"

About the "Knights Hall"

Inside the Knights hall

The fireplace

They had a neat under-floor heating system - you can still see the openings in the floor today

Reading our guidebook

The Dining Hall

The oak ceiling joists are largely original

The Ladies chamber (also known as the Elizabeth bower)

It was breathtaking to walk into this room - BEAUTIFUL!!  The picture really doesn't do it justice.

The Cochran ladies in the Ladies Chamber

The Chapel

Some of the original "Six Apostles" painting still remains.

In the chapel

The windows were pretty

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!!

The Hall of Minstrels 

Look at this bookcase!

Picture of the Legend of the "Contest of the Minstrels" (which is actually based on fact).
In the legend, six poets and singers meet at the Wartburg for a contest of minstrels in which the loser is to be put to death - how would you like to participate in a contest like that!!!

This and the next picture are of the Banquet Hall.
Interestingly enough, Ludwig II of Bavaria used this room as a model for one very similar to it in his own castle, Neuschwanstein.  We actually visited there the next weekend and although we unfortunately couldn't take pictures of the inside, it was interesting to see how very much alike the rooms are!

We didn't get a picture of the men in the Knight's Hall, so we decided this suit of armor would work instead.  It was funny how short this armor was though - we said it would have been interesting to see the man who wore it!!

Luther's travel spoon

"Luther knew how to play the lute and considered music to be of second importance only to theology."

Collection box belonging to the Eisenach young people's choir where Martin Luther was a member.

Wedding portraits of Martin and Katharina 

Luther as a monk

Luther with the doctor's cap (read the plaque above)

Luther as Squire George which was his name while in hiding at Wartburg.

Luther's Parents

Luther and Melanchthon 

Wartburg Bible - from Luther's translation in 1541

This is a neat checkers board!!

We are entering the other part of the castle in which Martin Luther stayed.

The donkey driver's room

The hall

In which we enter Luther's room!

Read this - it's interesting!!

This whale bone is the only thing in the room that actually dates back to the time of Luther.

Luther's room


There are a lot of inscriptions on the walls of different people that have come to visit Luther's room.
This picture is of one of the oldest inscriptions (from the early 1600's I believe).

Back outside again
Here is an interesting tidbit about the cross on top of the castle.  During WWII, Adolf Hitler engaged in a battle with local authorities to take down Wartburg Castle's cross and replace it with a swastika. Thankfully the local authorities won and the cross remains.  Apparently Hitler was a big fan of the Wartburg, declaring it "the most German of German castles."

Do you remember the ladies chamber or "Elizabeth's Bower" room?  Elizabeth was married to one of the Langraves (who ruled from the Wartbrug) and according to a plaque about these birds, she brought them to Wartburg as a souvenir to remind her of home.  They're still around and very pretty!!

Looking out the drawbridge (the only access to the castle) down into the town.

Overlooking the grounds of Wartburg castle.

Do you notice we're in short sleeves?!!  The weather was BEAUTIFUL that weekend - the best traveling weather we've had yet!!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That was so neat to see!! I love Martin Luther and just get chills thinking about standing in Wartburg castle...much less in his room there! Thank you so much for being faithful to update with pictures!

Love and hugs!