Language variant : Wartburg Castle
Architect : Ludvig der Springer (commissioner)
Locality : Eisenach
Country : Germany
Building style : Romanesque
Project on the map (green arrow)
The Castle has been renovated throughout its existence with many earlier parts being overbuilt by later constructions and additions. From 1952 to 1966, for example, the East German Government restored it to what it looked like in the 16th century, which included the Luther Room with its original floor and paneled walls.
The Romanesque Palace (the Palas, Landgrafenhaus, or Great Hall) is the oldest and architecturally most impressive of the buildings. Besides the chapel, it contains the Sängersaal (Hall of the Minstrels), which is in fact Wagner’s setting for Act II of Tannhäuser and the Festsaal (the Feast or Festival Hall), both of which contain fine frescoes by Moritz von Schwind with the theme of the minstrels’ contest in the Sängersaal and frescoes of the triumphs of Christianity in the Festsaal. Part of the Palace consists of the original castle as it was between 1157 and 1170, as an image of power and residence of the Thuringian landgraves.
The castle gate behind the drawbridge is the only access to the Castle, and it has remained exactly as it was throughout the centuries.
The Knights’ House on the western side of the drawbridge is half-timbered, and dates back to the 15th century. It probably served as a hall of residence for the servants and guards.
There are two towers, the South Tower (the only tower preserved of the medieval castle, having been erected in 1318 and which has the dungeon); and the bergfried (finished in 1859), partially incorporating the foundations of its medieval predecessor, and which has the landmark four-meter Latin cross at its top.
Other features include the Vogtei (the Bailiff’s Lodge) in which the Luther Room is situated and to which a 15th century oriel was attached in 1872; two covered walks, the Elisabeth and the Margaret Hallways, which form part of the 15th-century defence ring and whose projecting beams are supported by wooden consoles; and the New Bower (the Kemenate or Women’s Chamber) which contains the Wartburg collection.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wartburg (June 20, 2011).
Ed. Heikki Nikkinen