Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wartburg Castle

We hike through a snowy forest, past former mansions now divided into apartments--or else standing derelict.

Ludwig the Springer built the Wartburg in 1067, supposedly after hauling in his own dirt for a foundation. That way, he could claim the castle was built on his own soil.

Knights hung out in this room. This relief shows Ludwig's son, who also founded Eisenach.

Glass mosaic illustrates Saint Elizabeth's life, from the time she came to the castle in 1211 as a 4-year-old, intended to become the child bride of Ludwig IV in 1221. When her husband died on a Crusade, she and her children were expelled from the castle by its new heir. Never mind, she went on to become a nun, advocate of the poor and sick, and eventually a saint after dying at age 24.

Mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria was so taken by this banquet hall on the top floor that he copied it in his fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein.

Martin Luther hid out in this room in 1521, where he translated the New Testament from Greek to German. Stories claim that visitors have taken bits of plaster from the wall where his ink splattered.

Tomorrow we explore more of Eisenach!

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