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Luther Trail: Section 23 – From Erfurt to Sömmerda

Bicycle Rides · Thüringer Wald
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Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Lutherstein - Stotternheim
    / Lutherstein - Stotternheim
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Panorama am Domplatz - Dom und Severi Erfurt
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Lutherdenkmal vor der Erfurter Kaufmannskirche
    Photo: Christiane Würtenberger, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
m 180 160 140 120 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 km
Following the Luther Trail through the Thuringian Basin to the place where history was written due to a natural phenomenon.
Distance 37.3 km
14:00 h
46 m
104 m
192 m
137 m
A few weeks after starting his law studies in Erfurt, Martin Luther travelled to Mansfeld to visit his parents. On the way back, legend has it that he was caught in a heavy thunderstorm on 2 July 1505 in Stotternheim near Erfurt.

Seeking shelter under a tree in an open field, lightning struck close by. In fear of his life, Luther called upon St Anna to protect him, swearing:

“I will become a monk!”

Two weeks later on 17 July 1505, Martin Luther entered the Augustinian Monastery, the strictest monastic community in Erfurt. No one could persuade him otherwise; neither his friends nor his father. On 27 February 1507, he was ordained as a priest. His confessor, Johann von Staupitz, the vicar general of the order recommended Luther as a theology student and in 1508 sent him off to Wittenberg to study. A year later Luther graduated with the degree Baccalarius biblicus.

In 1987, St Wigberti’s priory in Werningshausen, an ecumenical Benedictine monastery, was approved as the first Lutheran monastery after the Reformation. Today, brothers of various denomination live here according to the teachings of St Benedict. Anyone can experience or take part in everyday monastic life whenever they want.

The Protestant Church of St Boniface in Sömmerda is well worth a visit. It is a single-nave, late Gothic building with Renaissance elements. The church treasures include the Baroque organ built in around 1700 by Johann Georg Krippendorff and the 26 murals featuring images from the Old Testament.

The life and works of Nicolaus von Dreyse – inventor of the needle gun – start the exhibition of the 200-year-old industrial developmental history of his hometown of Sömmerda in the museum bearing his name. On the eaves of the house, the words ‘Bete und Arbeite’ (Pray and Work), Dreyses’s personal motto, can still be seen.

Author’s recommendation

Be sure to visit the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt and take part in a guided tour!
Profile picture of Paul Hentschel
Paul Hentschel
Update: November 05, 2018
Highest point
192 m
Lowest point
137 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Parts of the Luther Trail follow the Unstrut Cycle Path. Please be aware of cyclists.


Augustinian Monastery Erfurt (190 m)
50.981589, 11.029630
50°58'53.7"N 11°01'46.7"E
32U 642468 5649738


St Boniface Church Sömmerda

Turn-by-turn directions

Erfurt (Augustinian Monastery, Luther Church) – Stotternheim (with a detour to the Luther Stone) – Alperstedter Lake – Nöda – Riethnordhausen – Haßlebener Ried Conservation Area – Werningshausen – St Wigberti’s priory (ecumenical Benedictine monastery) – Wundersleben – Sömmerda (St Boniface’s Church)

If you wish to hike this section of the Luther Trail, it’s best to split it into two parts and stay overnight in Riethnordhausen at the idyllic Hotel Landvogt.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Erfurt and Sömmerda are connected to the Deutsche Bahn regional train network.

Getting there

Coming form the A4, take exit 46 (Erfurt-West) and then continue on the L3004 towards Erfurt.


Please use the parking guidance system in the town.


50.981589, 11.029630
50°58'53.7"N 11°01'46.7"E
32U 642468 5649738
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Sturdy shoes and hiking sticks

Basic Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass

Technical Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Replacement inner tube
  • Tire levers
  • Chain tool
  • Hex keys
  • Phone / device holder as required  
  • Bike lock as required
  • Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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37.3 km
14:00 h
46 m
104 m
Highest point
192 m
Lowest point
137 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Linear route


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