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Luther Trail: Section 40 – From Mühlhausen to Craula

Hiking Trail · Wartburg-Hainich
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Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Außenansicht - St. Marien - Mühlhausen
    / Außenansicht - St. Marien - Mühlhausen
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Blick aus dem Chor ins Langhaus - St. Marien - Mühlhausen
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Kornmarktkirche - Bauernkriegsmusem - Mühlhausen
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Blick von Osten - Divi Blasii - Mühlhausen
    Photo: Ekbert786, CC BY-SA, von Ekbert786 (Eigenes Werk) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Thüringentherme - Mühlhausen
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Thomas-Müntzer-Denkmal - Mühlhausen
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, 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
m 400 300 200 25 20 15 10 5 km
From the town of Thomas Müntzer through the primeval forest and back to civilisation.
moderate
Distance 25.5 km
8:30 h
352 m
127 m
Its numerous churches, the town hall, the attractive town houses and significant courtyards as well as the town wall that you can walk along, are just some of the sites of Mühlhausen, which in the Middle Ages was the second most important town in Thuringia after Erfurt. In those days, Martin Luther’s former supporter, the radical theologian Thomas Müntzer was the priest here and was the spiritual leader of the rebels during the Peasants’ War.

Luther himself never visited the former free imperial town. That fact that Mühlhausen played an important part in the Reformation and during the German Peasants’ War was all down to the influence of Thomas Müntzer.

In the 15th century, criticism against wrongdoings within the church became louder. They combined with an apocalyptic mood that had – in part – been triggered by the plague epidemic in Europe. At the same time, the economy was changing. Trade was flourishing and farmers and day labourers were becoming poorer. Thomas Müntzer got to the heart of the situation and the current mood and radicalised it. He mixed elements of medieval mystic with apocalyptic ideas and created his theology of revolution. He saw the riots as the beginning of divine judgement and said that exploiters should be executed by the sword.

The role he played in the Peasants’ War was crucial, as he did not just strive for the Reformation of the Church, but also for political revolution. He also saw violence as a means to an end. Martin Luther on the other hand, called for obedience to the authorities. When this did not work, he advocated a brutal approach to quash the rebels: ‘… they should be crushed, strangled and stabbed, both privately and publicly by anyone who is able, just as you would put down a rabid dog’. He called Thomas Müntzer the devil of Allstedt and thus made his former companion his enemy.

The permanent exhibition at the museums in Mühlhausen revolves around Martin Luther’s bitter opponent Müntzer. A special item on display is a replica of the richly decorated sword that Thomas Müntzer is said to have used in the bloody Battle of Frankenhausen on 15 May 1525.

After the rebels were seriously defeated, the defiant preacher was arrested, tortured and later beheaded.

From Mühlhausen the Luther Trail leads to Oberdorla. The Abbey Church of St Peter and Paul here is well worth a visit. At the entrance of the Romanesque church, you can see statues of the two apostles. They are seriously weathered, but still very impressive. The next stops are the towns of Langula, Kammerforst and Craula. From here, it’s worth taking a detour to the Treetop Trail and the ‘Wurzelhöhle’ (Root Caves) at the Thiemsburg National Park Centre at the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Hainich National Park.

Author’s recommendation

It is definitely worth visiting the Treetop Trail at Hainich National Park near Thiemsburg.
Profile picture of Paul Hentschel
Author
Paul Hentschel
Update: April 27, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
482 m
Lowest point
205 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Wanderparkplatz Craulaer Kreuz
Brauhaus Zum Löwen - Mühlhausen

Start

Divi Blasii Mühlhausen (205 m)
Coordinates:
DD
51.206958, 10.458374
DMS
51°12'25.0"N 10°27'30.1"E
UTM
32U 601875 5673850
w3w 

Destination

Church of Our Lady Craula

Turn-by-turn directions

Mühlhausen (St Mary's Church – Müntzer memorial, Schwanenteich lake, Popperöder spring) – Weidensee – Oberdorla – Langula – Kammerforst – UNESCO World Natural Heritage Hainich National Park (Am Zollgarten, Saugrabenweg, Rennsteig Trail, Craulaer Kreuz [Craula intersection] ) – Hainichbaude – Craula

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Mühlhausen is connected to the Deutsche Bahn regional train network. From Craula, you can take bus number 27a back to Eisenach or Bad Langensalza (TIMETABLE). Here you can change onto the Deutsche Bahn regional train network.

Getting there

Mühlhausen is right on the B247. Coming from the A38, take exit 6 (Leinefelde-Worbis) and continue towards Leinefelde/Dingelstädt/Mühlhausen.  

Parking

In Mühlhausen, please use the carpark on 'Entenbühl' (LINK).

Coordinates

DD
51.206958, 10.458374
DMS
51°12'25.0"N 10°27'30.1"E
UTM
32U 601875 5673850
w3w 
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Sturdy shoes and hiking sticks

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
  • Blister kit
  • 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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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
25.5 km
Duration
8:30 h
Ascent
352 m
Descent
127 m
Public-transport-friendly Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Linear route

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