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Hiking Trail recommended route Stage 2

Luther Trail: Section 07 – From Gotha to Arnstadt

Hiking Trail · Thüringer Wald
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Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Lutherweg: Von Gotha nach Arnstadt
    / Lutherweg: Von Gotha nach Arnstadt
    Video: Outdooractive Editors
  • / Friedenstein Castle
    Photo: Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Augustinerkirche neben dem Kloster - Gotha
    Photo: CTHOE, CC BY-SA, By CTHOE (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Neumarkt und Margarethenkirche - Gotha
    Photo: Friedhelm Dröge, CC BY-SA, By Friedhelm Dröge (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Herzogliches Museum - Gotha
    Photo: Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Historische Darstellung - Alte Sternwarte Gotha
    Photo: Manfred Strumpf, CC0, By Manfred Strumpf at German Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / St. Georg Kirche - Seebergen
    Photo: Wikswat, CC BY-SA, By Wikswat (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Bach-Stammhaus - Wechmar
    Photo: Mazbln, CC BY-SA, By Mazbln (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Burg Gleichen vom Tal aus - Wandersleben
    Photo: By CTHOE (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA, By CTHOE (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Mühlburg - Mühlberg
    Photo: Michael Sander, CC BY, By Michael Sander (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Veste Wachsenburg - Holzhausen
    Photo: By CTHOE (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA, By CTHOE (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Riesenbratwurst - Holzhausen
    Photo: Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Türme der Liebfrauenkirche - Arnstadt
    Photo: EliasDüsentrieb, CC BY-SA, By EliasDüsentrieb (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / In 1506 Martin Luther stayed as a monk in the former Franciscan monastery.
    Photo: Giorno2, By Giorno2 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Wender-Orgel - Bachkirche - Arnstadt
    Photo: GFreihalter, By GFreihalter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
m 350 300 250 30 25 20 15 10 5 km
Explore one of the most beautiful sections of the Luther Trail through the south Thuringian Basin and follow in the footsteps of the Reformer on a route that takes in the Drei Gleichen Castles.
moderate
Distance 33.2 km
8:00 h
452 m
526 m
373 m
261 m
It is said that while Martin Luther was in Gotha, the devil threw stones at him. As Luther was preaching in the Augustinian Church, some rubble fell from a gable. However, he didn’t take it personally and continued to visit Gotha, where in 1537 he dictated his first will and testament whilst gravely ill. According to the will, he wished to be buried in the town. It was also here in Gotha that Friedrich Myconius took up the reins of the Reformation.

In addition to Bad Langensalza and Erfurt, one of the three Augustinian Monasteries was founded in Gotha. The Augustinian Monastery is one of the oldest in Thuringia. In the collection at Friedenstein Castle there are many artefacts from the Reformation era, including the panel painting ‘Damnation & Salvation’ (1529) by Lucas Cranch the Elder, who was a close friend of Luther’s. The subject of the painting refers to Luther’s thesis on the justification of sinners before God alone.

In Wandersleben we recommend visiting the Menantes-Literaturgedenkstätte (Menantes literary memorial) and Burg Gleichen Castle. From there the route takes you via Mühlberg to Holzhausen and Wachsenburg Fortress. It is also worth visiting the 1st German Sausage Museum, which features an exhibition on the history of the Thuringian sausage. Free samples are, of course, included!

In Arnstadt the Luther Trail splits and leads north towards Erfurt and south towards Paulinzella continuing to the federal state border with Bavaria.

Author’s recommendation

Be sure to visit the J. S. Bach Church in Arnstadt. Concerts are held here during the annual Thuringian Bach Festival.
Profile picture of Paul Hentschel
Author
Paul Hentschel
Update: June 11, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
373 m
Lowest point
261 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Ausflugsgaststätte DÜPPEL - Seebergen
Wachsenburg - Holzhausen
Schellhorns Restaurant & Bar - Arnstadt
BEST WESTERN HOTEL ERFURT-APFELSTÄDT

Safety information

Parts of the route cover long stretches of open country. Be sure to bring sufficient amounts of water and suncream during the summer months.

Start

Friedenstein Castle - Gotha (331 m)
Coordinates:
DD
50.945781, 10.704511
DMS
50°56'44.8"N 10°42'16.2"E
UTM
32U 619740 5645178
w3w 
///bucket.exhale.remodel

Destination

Lutherbuche beech tree - Arnstadt

Turn-by-turn directions

Gotha / Friedenstein Castle – Seebergen – Wandersleben – Mühlberg - Holzhausen (Amt Wachsenburg) – Arnstadt


As this section is quite long, it's best to split it into two parts with an overnight stay halfway through in Wandersleben.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Gotha is easily accessible on the Deutsche Bahn regional and long-distance trains.

Getting there

Coming from the A4 take exit 42 (Gotha). Continue on the B247 towards Gotha. Approach the castle from the southern 'Parkallee'.

Parking

A visitors' carpark is located just below Friedenstein Castle. LINK

Coordinates

DD
50.945781, 10.704511
DMS
50°56'44.8"N 10°42'16.2"E
UTM
32U 619740 5645178
w3w 
///bucket.exhale.remodel
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Sturdy shoes, suncream

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • 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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Rating

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Svenja Trachte 
September 26, 2017 · Outdooractive Editors

Als Tipp für eine Rast empfiehlt sich auf dieser Etappe unter anderem eine der Burgen "die Drei Gleichen", von hier kann man einen herrlichen Blick auf die Burgenanlagen genießen - definitiv das Highlight unserer heutigen Etappe auf dem Lutherweg.

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Rundumblick

Difficulty
moderate
Distance
33.2 km
Duration
8:00 h
Ascent
452 m
Descent
526 m
Highest point
373 m
Lowest point
261 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Linear route

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