UNESCO World Heritage sites
Thuringia is home to numerous culturally important sights. Some of these have been internationally recognised for their historical significance by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation - the UNESCO. Wartburg Castle near Eisenach and no less than 16 unique historical sights and objects in the classical city of Weimar were chosen to be part of the prestigious list of World Heritage sites. Many of these objects are open to visitors and have become popular tourist attractions.
Weimar – the cultural capital
16 sights and objects in the classical city of Weimar are on the list of World Heritage sites. Public and private buildings, castles and parks in and around the city bear witness to the outstanding cultural history of the Weimar Classical Period. In the late 18th and early 19th century, enlightened ducal patronage attracted many of the leading German poets and philosophers such as Goethe, Schiller and Nietzsche to Weimar, turning it into a European centre of culture. Weimar was therefore chosen to be the "Cultural Capital of Europe" in 1999.
The protected sights include Goethe House, Schiller House, Goethe’s Garden House, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, the Bauhaus Museum and the three palaces Belvedere, Ettersburg and Tiefurt with their unique grounds.
The World Heritage sites include:
- Van de Velde Building
- Haus Am Horn
- Wittums Palace
- Town Palace Museum
- Town Church of St Peter and Paul
- Schiller House
- Roman House
- Palace and Park Tiefurt
- Goethe's Garden House in Weimar
- Goethe House
- Ettersburg Castle Gardens
- Duchess Anna Amalia Library
- Ducal Tomb - Weimar
- Belvedere Palace Weimar
Wartburg Castle near Eisenach is one of Germany’s most famous castles and the only one to be a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its beautiful natural surroundings and outstanding examples of feudalistic architecture have been praised for centuries. The castle also has a great historical significance: It was here where Martin Luther during his exile in 1521 translated the New Testament from Greek into German. Luther’s study can be visited along with the rest of the magnificent castle.
In the Middle Ages, the legendary Minstrel Contest was held at the Wartburg, which later became the subject for Wagner's opera "Tannhäuser". The castle still serves as a venue for an outstanding series of concerts from April to December.
In the 19th century, students from all over Germany assembled at Wartburg Castle to fight for a united German state. The colours and the design of the German national flag were decided upon during one of these assemblies.The castle has been a World Heritage Site since 1999.
Hainich National Park
Unspoilt nature in Europe's largest coherent deciduous forest: The Hainich National Park has been on the prestigious list of UNESCO World Heritage sites since 2011. It is a fascinating landscape and one of the last primeval forests of Central Europe. A large variety of plants and animals can be found here, among them rare species that are threatened from extinction. The park's heraldic animal is the wild cat, which can be visited in the Wild Cats' Village in Hütscheroda. One of the park's most popular attractions is the fascinating Tree Top Trail.