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Eisenach is situated in the federal state of Thuringia on the edge of the forest. It stretches into the South and the South West and it rises steeply here to 400 meters above sea-level. Eisenach is located in the heart of four valleys. Regarding cultural history, it is a very interesting town. Bach, Goethe and Heilige Elisabeth are, amongst others, closely linked to the town. As a Lutherstadt, they were able to make a name for themselves at that time. The Wartburg, which is located above the city, attracts numerous tourists to Eisenach year after year.
The central location in Germany makes the journey easier. Eisenach has an ICE railway station and thus you can comfortably and quickly arrive by train. Erfurt-Weimar Airport is the airport within closest proximity. You can reach it in a good 50 km. If you arrive with your own car, you should follow the A 4, the motorway is tangent to the North. You then need to take the major roads B 7, B 19, and B 84 and continue further in the direction of the town-centre.
Eisenach is made up of 10 urban districts. Ten kilometers west of the centre of town lies the district of Neuenhof. It has only 500 inhabitants despite its very generous surface area. This is mainly due to the fact that the Thuringia Forest is connected here. The district is hilly and it lies 206 meters above sea-level. Several elevations that are over 380 meters in height, have been recorded in this district. The district is a popular destination for hikes. There are numerous signposted hiking trails available here.
After the town-centre, Stregda ist the most populous district in Eisenach. Before its incorporation into the town, Stegda was an economically independent place in which clay was an important source of income. Since the middle of the 20th Century, there were less occurrences of this and many people dedicated themselves to agriculture and this is still the case today. After its incorporation, more residential spaces have sprung up.
The history of the town of Eisenach stretches back into the early 11th Century. The town is rich in tourist attractions and it is the fortresses and castles in particular that you should not leave without visiting. The most important for the town is the Wartburg, which sits enthroned over the town on a rock that is 220 meters in height. It has been part of the UNESCO World-Heritage Site since 1999. The Wartburg was founded in 1067 and it was more often linked to the history of Germany than other buildings. Between 1211 and 1227, Elisabeth von Thüringen lived in the fortress. From 1521 until 1522, Martin Luther resided in the fortress while translating the New Testament into German. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe often came to the fortress and his first visit was in 1777. In 1853, the fortress had to undergo costly renovations. After the Second World War, several parts of the fortress fell victim to the bomb attacks.
The Stadtschloss von Eisenach “Eisenach Town Palace” dates back to the 18th Century. It was built directly in the marketplace and for that reason, some residential buildings even had to be torn down. It was built in 1744 in the late baroque style. The three-storey building was the residence for the duchess of Sachsen for a long time and later for the grand duke of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach. Today, the town´s cultural office is located in the castle as well as the town archive and the Thüringer Museum.
Directly next to the town palace in the marketplace is the Rathaus “Town Hall”. It was built in 1508 in the Renaissance style and at first it was not supposed to be the town hall at all. In the early years the building served as a wine cellar. It was only at the end of the 16th Century when the original town hall had to be relinquished, that it was transferred into this building. Numerous renovations and restorations are still being carried out to our present day, the building complex was only recently extended. All of the works were carried out in such a way, so as to preserve its historical character.
As a metropolis of culture, Eisenach can offer you several cultural institutions. If you visit the Thüringer Landestheater, the history dates back to the 17th Century. A court chapel was founded in 1672 and over the years, it has taken on increasing responsibility. The current building was opened in 1879. Today you can watch performances at the Landestheater for theatre genres such as ballet, orchestra and Junges Schauspiel.
In the Thüringer Museum Eisenach you will learn everything there is to know about the art and cultural history of the town. As a result of its location in the Stadtschloss, the collection was able to be extended. Today, the representative rooms of the palace belong to the museum, as well as the collections of paintings and sculptures from the palace. A collection from the Thüringer Landschaftsmalerei belongs to it. The pharmaceutical collection of the museum is also interesting and which once belonged to the Ratsapotheke in the town. With its additional locations in in the Predigerkirche, in the tea room of the Kartausgarten and the Reuter-Wagner-Museum, you will be presented with even more interesting collections from the museum.
Each year the restaurant Turmschänke in Eisenach is voted time and again as the best restaurant in Thuringia. It is situated at Karlsplatz and it is open every day apart from Sunday from 6pm. You will be presented with regional ingredients which are served in a classical and traditional style with a touch of modernity. This includes the Thuringian pork cutlet that you can purchase for 17 euros.
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