Eisenach and the Wartburg Fortress have a claim to fame through numerous renowned people and historic events. The Wartburg Fortress, in particular, which is the most German of all fortresses and was recently made a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year with its centuries of gripping history.
Landgravine Elisabeth of Thuringia, who was canonised after her death, is steeped in saga and legend. And it was here that Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German, thus smoothing the path to a standard written German. The Wartburg Festival of the German student fraternities was held here in October 1817. Martin Luther was said to have lived in the Luther House – one of the town’s oldest half-timbered houses – for three years as a student of Latin. In a contemporary multimedia exhibition, the museum shows the Reformer’s life and career. The composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach and so another major museum in the Bach House is devoted to him. Along with an exhibition on the life and work of the Bach family in Thuringia, the fine town house contains a collection of historic musical instruments. Visitors can enjoy music presentations which includes music played on original instruments from Bach`s time.
Eisenach is significant in literary terms too.
Goethe stayed here several times and the low-German author Fritz Reuter spent the end of his life here. In his home, a museum commemorates not only the poet but also houses the largest Richard-Wagner Collection after Bayreuth. The Automobile Construction Museum is devoted to the more than hundred-year tradition of automobile construction in Eisenach. In the town’s beautiful environs, nature lovers can enjoy numerous walks, including the famous Rennsteig, or can cycle and canoe.