Luther Trail Tour Tip: 'Between Thuringia and Saxony' - Hiking Trail - Eastern Thuringia

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Hiking Trail

Luther Trail Tour Tip: 'Between Thuringia and Saxony'

Hiking Trail • Eastern Thuringia
  • Residenzschloss - Altenburg
    / Residenzschloss - Altenburg
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • Außenansicht - St. Bartholomäi - Altenburg
    / Außenansicht - St. Bartholomäi - Altenburg
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
  • Herzogin-Agnes-Gedächtniskirche - Altenburg
    / Herzogin-Agnes-Gedächtniskirche - Altenburg
    Photo: WikiABG, CC BY-SA, von User:WikiABG (Selbst fotografiert) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • St.-Nikolaus - Windischleuba
    / St.-Nikolaus - Windischleuba
    Photo: Hedwig Storch, CC BY-SA, von Hedwig Storch (Eigenes Werk) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Schloss Windischleuba mit Wassergraben
    / Schloss Windischleuba mit Wassergraben
    Photo: Hedwig Storch, CC BY-SA, By Hedwig Storch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Emmauskirche am neuen Standort in Borna
    / Emmauskirche am neuen Standort in Borna
    Photo: Ronnsen , CC BY-SA, By Ronnsen (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
  • St. Marien - Borna
    / St. Marien - Borna
    Photo: Sebastian Poster, CC BY-SA, By Sebastian Poster (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • St. Stephanus - Wyhra
    / St. Stephanus - Wyhra
    Photo: Martin Geisler, CC BY-SA, By Geisler Martin (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
  • Luftansicht des Rittergut mit den Umrissen des ehem. Schlosses - Benndorf
    / Luftansicht des Rittergut mit den Umrissen des ehem. Schlosses - Benndorf
    Photo: Denis Brauße, CC BY-SA, By Denis Brauße (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), 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
  • Rathaus mit Centaurenbrunnen im Vordergrund - Frohburg
    / Rathaus mit Centaurenbrunnen im Vordergrund - Frohburg
    Photo: Co riolis, CC BY-SA, von Co riolis (Eigenes Werk) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) oder CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Konzertsaal mit großem Radleuchter - Schwind-Pavillon
    / Konzertsaal mit großem Radleuchter - Schwind-Pavillon
    Photo: Robert Kohlmann, CC BY-SA, von Robert Kohlmann (Eigenes Werk) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) oder GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Burg Gnandstein
    / Burg Gnandstein
    Photo: Joachim Schneeleopard, CC BY-SA, By Joachim Schneeleopard (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
Map / Luther Trail Tour Tip: 'Between Thuringia and Saxony'
0 150 300 450 m km 10 20 30 40 50
Weather

Following in the footsteps of the great reformer and discovering the beginnings of the Protestant church between Thuringia and Saxony.
moderate
56.4 km
10:30 h
368 m
368 m
This section of the Luther Trail goes from Altenburg to Poschwitz. Here you come to the moated castle that for hundreds of years was the home of the von der Gabelentz family, an ancient noble line from Meißen.

The Renaissance castle in Windischleuba initially belonged to the Börries family of Münchhausen. Today it is used as a youth hostel.

Martin Luther travelled to Borna many times. Here he visited his friend, Michael von der Straßen, a professional travelling companion and a passionate advocate of the Reformation. Luther preached in the church of Borna and helped provide the town with its first Protestant priest as early as 1519. In 1522, unrest in Wittenberg caused Luther, disguised as Squire George, to stop in Borna on the way from Wartburg Castle to Wittenberg. On 6 March 1522, Ash Wednesday, he wrote his famous letter to the elector Frederick the Wise. In the letter he justified his reasons for leaving Wartburg Castle against the will of the elector and referred to himself as a free man due to his faith in God.

The town of Borna requested that Luther be escorted to Wittenberg. He arrived there the next day and managed to calm the unrest that was threatening the Reformation.

The von Einsiedel family, who owned Gnandstein Castle until 1945, were one of the first Saxon noble families to openly embrace reformatory Lutheran ideas. It is well known that there was an intensive exchange of correspondence between Martin Luther, George Spalatin and other fellow campaigners.

Martin Luther described the von Einsiedels as “…a rare and unique light in the darkness of the confused nobility of this century.” In the castle’s late gothic chapel, a picture of Luther preaching bears witness to the events of the Reformation.

Author's recommendation

Make sure you find time to visit Altenburg Castle.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Paul Hentschel
Updated: 2016-12-01

Public transport friendly Round tour Stage tour Nice views With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value The wisper Spalatins
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Altitude
234 m
138 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Sections of the route cross a dam forebay. Beware of swamp formations in bad weather and avoid the area if necessary.

Equipment

Sturdy shoes and hiking sticks

Start

Altenburg (205 m)
Coordinates:
Geogr. 50.987749 N 12.440380 E
UTM 33U 320357 5651581

Destination

Borna / Gnandstein Castle

Turn-by-turn directions

This long round trip can be split into multiple sections that you can complete over a few days. Alternatively you can just choose one section for a day’s hike.

We would recommend splitting the route as follows:

  1. Altenburg - Windischleuba - Wyhra - Zedtlitz - Borna
  2. Borna - Whyra - Benndorf - Frohburg - Kohren-Sahlis
  3. Kohren-Sahlis - Gnandstein (Gnandstein Castle) - Dolsenhain - Wilchwitz - Altenburg

Public transport

This tour is conveniently accessible by public transport.

You can get to Altenburg and Borna using Deutsche Bahn and take the bus to Gnandstein from Altenburg. Timetable

Getting there

From the A4, take exit 60 ‘Ronneburg’ and continue on the B7 towards Altenburg. Take the east Altenburg bypass and at the Müns exit turn west towards ‘Innenstadt/Schloss’.

Parking

Sufficient parking spaces are available at the castle.

Coordinates

Geographic
50.987749 N 12.440380 E
UTM
33U 320357 5651581
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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No current conditions found in the area.
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
56.4 km
Duration
10:30 h
Ascent
368 m
Descent
368 m
Public transport friendly Round tour Stage tour Nice views With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value The wisper Spalatins

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Statistics

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Highest point
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Lowest point
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