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Luther Trail Tour Tip: 'Luther's silence' – Cycle tour Erfurt – Weimar – Jena

Bicycle Rides · Erfurter Land
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  • Augustinerkloster Erfurt Bibliothek
    / Augustinerkloster Erfurt Bibliothek
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Heiligkreuzkirche - Vieselbach
    Photo: Wikswat, By Wikswat (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Kruzifix - St. Marien - Tröbsdorf
    Photo: Fotobernd, By Fotobernd (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Luftaufnahme aus Süden - Stadtschloss - Weimar
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
0 150 300 450 600 m km 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Pension Hinz & Kunz - Weimar

A picturesque cycle tour through the Thuringian Basin on the Thuringian Chain-of-Towns Cycle Trail from Erfurt to the university town of Jena.
49.6 km
6:30 h
320 m
366 m
Take this discovery tour of around 50 km and get to know three towns that were influential and important to the reformer. The cycle tour starts in Erfurt where Martin Luther completed his studies and later became a monk. The Augustinian Monastery in the old town is one of the best-known Lutheran sites after the town of Wittenberg and Wartburg Castle.

The first section takes you to Weimar. Luther often came here as a young monk on behalf of his order, and he frequently stopped there on his numerous journeys through central Germany. His last visit was in 1540 to see his very sick friend Philip Melanchthon, who made a miraculous recovery after Luther’s visit.

Almost 300 years later, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said this about Luther:

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Luther and the Reformation in general. We are free of the shackles of spiritual narrow-mindedness, and as a result of our continuously growing culture we have been able to return to the source and grasp Christianity in all its pureness. We once again have the courage to stand firmly on God’s earth and to sense ourselves in our God-given human nature.”

The second section of the cycle tour leads from the town of Melanchthon and Cranach along the River Ilm, through fields and meadows into the Kernberge mountain range and the town of Jena, which Luther visited at least eleven times. This is where he settled a score with a former ally, Andreas Bodenstein (known as Karlstadt), who instead of choosing Luther’s non-violent route to Reformation encouraged the people to attack monasteries and other religious institutions. The University of Jena, founded in 1558, is also a product of the Reformation, albeit a late one.

From the tower of the town church – where Luther preached and where his bronze gravestone is displayed – you can get a good view of the individual stations of the Luther Trail, which criss-crosses the town.

Author’s recommendation

You must visit Goethe’s Garden House, a favourite place of the famous German poet, in the Ilm Park in Weimar. User
Paul Hentschel
Updated: November 05, 2018

Highest point
328 m
Lowest point
148 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Mittelalterrestaurant "Lutherkeller" - Erfurt
Gasthaus Feuerkugel - Erfurt
Hotel "Zur Noll" - Jena
Hotel Schwarzer Bär**** - Jena
Hotel Elephant, a luxury Collection Hotel - Weimar

Safety information

The cycle tour uses some public roads. Please make sure that your bicycle conforms to national road traffic regulations.


Lightweight luggage, drink

Tips, hints and links

The Thuringian Chain-of-Towns Cycle Trail stretches from West to East to the federal border of Thuringia. The entire route for a multi-day trip can be found here.


Augustinian Monastery – Erfurt (190 m)
50.981605, 11.029673
32U 642471 5649740


 St Michael's Church - Jena

Turn-by-turn directions

Augustinian Monastery Erfurt – Azmannsdorf – Vieselbach – Wallichen – Niederzimmern – Hopfgarten – Tröbsdorf – Weimar – Ehringsdorf – Mellingen – Lehnstedt – Kleinschwabhausen – Großschwabhausen – Jena

Public transport

Public transport friendly

You can get to Erfurt from anywhere in Germany via Deutsche Bahn. Once you arrive in Erfurt, take tram number 1 (towards Europaplatz) or number 5 (towards Zoopark) to get to the Augustinian Monastery. Timetable information (Germany only)

You can travel back from Jena using the DB Regio trains. Timetable

Getting there

From the A4, take exit 46 ‘Erfurt-West’ towards Erfurt via Arnstädter Straße. Cross Schillerstraße at the Kaffeetrichter intersection and continue onto Juri-Gagarin-Ring. Turn right until Boyneburgufer and then continue straight ahead on ‘Am Hügel’. At the end of the ring, turn left into Augustinerstraße.


Please use the car park on Huttenplatz. Link
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

A guide to the Thuringian Chain-of-Towns Cycle Trail can be purchased at the Thuringia tourist infomation point at Erfurt Station (

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49.6 km
6:30 h
320 m
366 m
Public transport friendly In and out Scenic Cultural/historical value Family friendly Mountain railway ascent/descent


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