From the origin of the Smalkaldic Articles, over the hills of the Thuringian Forest to the Reformer's place of healing.
Distance 19.6 km
This hiking trail takes in parts of the historic journey Luther made in 1537. At the great meeting of the Schmalkaldic League, known as the ‘Schmalkaldic Diet of Princes’, Luther presented his Schmalkaldic Articles, a summary of Protestant Lutheran beliefs. The articles, which were written by Martin Luther on behalf of Prince Elector John Frederick of Saxony, should have been adopted at the ‘Schmalkaldic Diet of Princes’ in February 1537 and later read at the Council of Mantua called by Pope Paul III. Today, Lutheran priests all over the world are ordained according to these articles.
From 7 February 1537, Luther lived at the home of Balthasar Wilhelm – today known as the Luther House – and preached twice at the Town Church of St George. Due to a case of kidney stones, which left him in such pain that he thought he would die, Luther was unable to actually attend the Diet of Princes to defend his beliefs. He started travelling home on 26 February 1537, before the meeting even ended. His journey took him along the Rennsteig Trail to Tambach and then via Gotha to Wittenberg. Just before he reached Tambach, it is said that Luther drank from the Dambachsdorn spring (today known as the Luther spring). Legend has it that the taste of the pure water as well as bumpy ride in the cart helped to dislodge the kidney stones. Delighted with this act of divine providence, on the morning of 27 February Luther wrote to Philipp Melanchthon who had remained in Schmalkalden:
‘From Tambach, the place of my blessing, which is my Phanuel in which God appeared to me.’
Enjoy an authentic, char-grilled Thuringian sausage at the Rennsteighaus Neue Ausspanne.
The weather can change quickly in the hills of the Thuringian Forest.
Schmalkalden (291 m)
32U 602098 5619981
Schmalkalden – Floh-Seligental – Neue Ausspanne – Tambach-Dietharz
all notes on protected areas
Take Deutsche Bahn from Erfurt towards Oberhof - Zella-Mehlis, then change onto the Süd-Thüringen-Bahn towards Schmalkalden. Return from Tambach-Dietharz on the 851 bus towards Gotha ZOB, then continue your journey by Deutsche Bahn.
Coming from the B19, take the Niederschmalkalden exit towards Haindorf / Schmalkalden. At the second roundabout on Kasseler Straße / Bahnhofstraße take the second exit onto Recklinghäuser Straße.
Please use the public carpark 'Steinerne Wiese'. Link