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Luther Trail Tour Tip: 'Where it all began' – From Luther's roots in Möhra to Wartburg Castle near Eisenach

Hiking Trail · Thüringer Wald
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Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Wartburg Eisenach Sängersaal
    / Wartburg Eisenach Sängersaal
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Sängerwiesenhütte - Eisenach
    Photo: Metilsteiner, By Metilsteiner (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Wilde Sau - Eisenach
    Photo: Metilsteiner, By Metilsteiner (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 CommonsBy Metilsteiner (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
  • / Hohe Sonne (1960)
    Photo: unbekannt, By (unbekannt) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • / Schloss Wilhelmsthal - Eisenach
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Lutherkirche - Möhra
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Lutherdenkmal - Möhra
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • / Lutherhaus - Möhra
    Photo: Metilsteiner, By Metilsteiner (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 400 350 300 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
Retrace the reformer’s family history as you hike from their place of origin over the ridges of the Thuringian Forest to Wartburg Castle just outside Eisenach.
moderate
Distance 17.6 km
5:30 h
302 m
213 m
428 m
299 m
You begin your trip in Möhra, the Luther family’s place of origin. Möhra was home to many generations of Luthers and the father of the reformer was born here. Be sure to visit the little Luther Church and the memorial that was erected in 1846.

Leave the Werra valley and head north. The route goes uphill past the Lieteblickhütte café until finally reaching the Thuringian Forest at Hofmannshöhe.

Passing the upper Suhlquelle spring and the little village of Etterwinden, you continue to Lake Altenberg. Take a break here at the Seeblick restaurant before continuing with the next section to Wilhelmsthal. Here you can visit the castle of the same name, located on a large artificial lake within historical grounds.

After leaving the valley and walking a little uphill past Karthäuserberg mountain you’ll reach the densely forested Hohe Sonne site. This used to be the location of a hunting lodge popular amongst the Saxon nobility. From here you have a wonderful view of Wartburg Castle. The path continues west to the Wilde Sau stone cross. This was erected in 1483, the year of Luther’s birth and is the oldest stone cross on the entire Rennsteig Trail. A serious hunting accident happened here and is commemorated by the carvings on the cross.

You now continue north along the ridgeway of the Rennsteig Trail passing various viewing points and hiking through the thick, beautiful and primeval Thuringian Forest until you reach the Sängerwiese meadows, not far from Wartburg Castle. Here in August 1847, during the Thuringian Song Festival, 28 male-voice choirs with over 1,200 singers in total met for a one-off singing competition in the forest.

Today a forest inn is located on the Sängerwiese meadows.

The last section of the route rises steeply once more until you reach the most famous castle in Thuringia – Wartburg Castle. Here, in just eleven weeks, Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German.

Author’s recommendation

If you want to make a two-day trip out of this hike, the camping park on Lake Altenberg is an idyllic place to stay.
Profile picture of Paul Hentschel
Author
Paul Hentschel
Update: April 29, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Hohe Sonne, 428 m
Lowest point
Möhra, 299 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Gaststätte Seeblick im Campingpark Eisenach am Altenberger See
Romantik Hotel auf der Wartburg - Eisenach

Start

Luther Church Möhra (299 m)
Coordinates:
DD
50.861836, 10.255803
DMS
50°51'42.6"N 10°15'20.9"E
UTM
32U 588379 5635212
w3w 
///repetitions.irritant.reached

Destination

Wartburg Castle

Turn-by-turn directions

Möhra – Etterwinden – Wilhelmsthal – Hohe Sonne site – Wartburg Castle

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

From Ettenhausen an der Suhl near Möhra is an appoximately 2.5 km walk. From Eisenach, trains run by Süd-Thüringen-Bahn depart hourly. Timetable To get back to Eisenach take bus number 10 from Wartburg Castle. Timetable

Getting there

By car from the A4 take the 'Eisenach-Ost' exit onto the B84/B19 towards Eisenach. Continue towards Barchfeld-Immelborn / Bad Salzungen and turn left at Waldfisch towards Möhra.

Parking

Please use the designated parking spaces in the town.

Coordinates

DD
50.861836, 10.255803
DMS
50°51'42.6"N 10°15'20.9"E
UTM
32U 588379 5635212
w3w 
///repetitions.irritant.reached
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Study shoes and hiking sticks are recommended.

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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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
17.6 km
Duration
5:30 h
Ascent
302 m
Descent
213 m
Highest point
428 m
Lowest point
299 m
Public-transport-friendly Scenic Cultural/historical interest Refreshment stops available Linear route Geological highlights

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