Eisenach Tourist Attractions
Eisenach, the old capital of the Landgraves of Thuringia, lies on the northwestern edge of the Thuringian Forest, at the foot of the Wartberg with its legendary stronghold of the same name. Many great names are associated with the town and the castle, including the medieval poets Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach, Martin Luther, Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt and the 19th C Low German writer Fritz Reuter.At the Eisenach Congress of 1869, August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht founded the German Social Democratic Workers' Party.
In the center of Eisenach's old town is the Markt (known in the Middle Ages as the Mittwochmarkt, the Wednesday Market), surrounded by handsome old buildings.
At the north end of the Markt in Eisenach stands the Schloss (1742-51), in relatively plain Baroque style. In the left-hand wing is the Thuringian Museum, with Thuringian faience and porcelain of the 18th and 19th centuries, Thuringian glass of several centuries and a picture gallery (mainly old German masters). There are tablets commemorating Goethe's friend Charlotte von Stein and Luise von Göchhausen (who copied the original version of Goethe's "Faust" and thus preserved it for posterity), both of whom were born in Eisenach.
St George Church
In the Eisenach Markt is the parish church of St George, a hall-church with a richly furnished interior (tombs of Landgraves of Thuringia). Luther preached in this church on May 2, 1521, in spite of the fact that he had been outlawed by the imperial authorities. Johann Sebastian Bach was baptized here on March 23, 1685; there are frequent performances of his works in the church.
Eisenach Market - Fountain
Outside the west door of the church in the Eisenach Market can be found an old market fountain with a figure of St George, the town's patron saint (by H. Leonhardt, 1549).
The Eisenach Town Hall, carefully restored after the Second World War, is basically a Late Gothic building with Renaissance features and a leaning tower. On the lower floor can be seen reliefs and ornament by the Renaissance sculptor H. Leonhardt.
At Lutherplatz 8 in Eisenach is the Luther House (formerly belonging to the Cotta family), restored after suffering bomb damage in 1944. The house is now a memorial museum, with the historic Luther Room and rare Bibles and religious works of Luther's time.
In Predigerplatz in Eisenach is the Predigerkirche (Dominican), with a collection of religious sculpture (works of the Thuringian school of woodcarvers, 12th-16th C.).
Hospital Church of St Anne
In Georgenstrasse in Eisenach stands the Hospital Church of St Anne, with an inscription recording its foundation by St Elizabeth (St. Erzsébet) of Hungary in 1226.
At the corner of Georgenstrasse and Schiffsplatz is the Hellgrevenhof, thought to be the oldest building in Eisenach. According to legend, the sorcerer Klingsor and Heinrich von Ofterdingen lodged here after flying from Hungary to Eisenach on Klingsor's cloak.
At Frauenplan 21 in Eisenach is the modest Bach House, with an interesting collection of material on the life and work of the Bach family, particularly Johann Sebastian, and a collection of historic musical instruments.In the square can be seen a statue of Bach (by Donndorf).
St Nicholas Church
Northeast of the Town Hall in Eisenach stands the Nikolaikirche, a fine example of Romanesque architecture (basilica type, with a flat roof; 12th C., extensively restored 1867-69).
St Nicholas's Gate
On the south side of the Nikolaikirche in Eisenach is a stretch of the old town walls, with the Nikolaitor (c. 1200), the oldest surviving town gate in Germany.
Fritz Reuter and Richard Wagner Museum
At Reuterweg 2, outside Eisenach's old town, is the Fritz Reuter and Richard Wagner Museum, in which the Low German writer Fritz Reuter (1810-74) lived and died. In addition to memorial and exhibition rooms there is a Wagner Library, the largest and finest after the one in Bayreuth.
Wartburg Car Exhibition
In Wartburgallee in Eisenach is the exhibition room of the Wartburg car manufacturing firm, with a collection of veteran and vintage cars.
On the Göpelskuppe in Eisenach can be seen the Burschenschaft Monument (by W. Kreis), erected in 1902 to commemorate the Wartburgfest of 1817, a meeting of some 500 representatives of student fraternities (burschenschaften) in German universities to protest against the restoration of the old regime and the fragmentation of Germany into petty princely states.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach is one of the most interesting castles in the history of Germany.