Luther Trail: Section 10 – From Paulinzella to Frauenwald - Hiking Trail - Thuringian Forest

Start Tours Luther Trail: Section 10 – From Paulinzella to Frauenwald
Add to list
 Plan joint trip
Hiking Trail

Luther Trail: Section 10 – From Paulinzella to Frauenwald

Hiking Trail • Thuringian Forest
  • Klosterruine und Jagdschloss - Paulinzella
    / Klosterruine und Jagdschloss - Paulinzella
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
Map / Luther Trail: Section 10 – From Paulinzella to Frauenwald
450 600 750 900 1050 m km 5 10 15 20 25 30

This section of the Luther Trail takes you through thick forests to the peaks of the Thuringian Forest following a route that the Reformer is said to have chosen for his journey to Rome.
32.3 km
8:00 h
770 m
368 m
all details
Between 1102 and 1105, Paulina, a Thuringian-Saxon noblewoman, founded a Benedictine abbey in Paulinzella consisting of a few wooden huts and a small chapel. In around 1105/1106, work began on the abbey as we know it today and it was finished in the middle of the 12th century.

During the Peasants’ War the abbey lost all its properties and became subject to secular regulations as a result of the introduction of the Reformation in the county of Schwarzburg. Eight years after the Benedictine abbey was dissolved in 1534 and the monks displaced, the estate passed into the ownership of Count Gunther XL of Schwarzburg. This spelt the gradual decline of the entire abbey complex and stones from the ruins were used to construct other buildings.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was highly impressed by the picturesque ruins of the abbey. Although in those days, as he wrote himself, it was 'unfashionable to view these monastic ruins as being highly significant and sacred’, they had been ‘extolled as a spectacular sight’ and so he spent his 68th birthday there.

Today the ruins of the abbey are some of the most significant Romanesque constructions in Germany and are an insider’s tip for all fans of this architectural style.

Crossing the Rennsteig, the most famous hiking trail in Germany, you continue up to the ridge of the Thuringian Forest to Frauenwald. Located right on the main trading route between Erfurt and Nuremburg – which itself was part of the long-distance road between Denmark and Italy – crossing the Rennsteig Trail was considered the major route here in Frauenwald due to the long, gentle incline. Luther took this route via Frauenwald eleven times on his journeys to Rome and twice he is said to have stayed overnight in a nearby monastery.

Author's recommendation

In Gehren, the Schlossparkfest (Castle Gardens Festival) takes place every year in August. User
Paul Hentschel
Updated: 2017-01-25

Difficulty moderate
830 m
351 m
Best time of year

With refreshment stops With refreshment stops
Public transport friendly
Tour route
Stage tour
Nice views
Cultural/historical value
Miracles of healing - Listen to the inner voice


Sturdy shoes, weather-proof clothing


Abbey ruin – Paulinzella (351 m)
Geogr. 50.702654 N 11.103955 E
UTM 32U 648568 5618871



Turn-by-turn directions

Paulinzella – Königsee – Jesuborn – Gehren – Schobse valley – Gehren flourite mine – Dreiherrenstein tripoint – Allzunah – Frauenwald (Schinkelkirche church of St Nicolai)


As this section is quite long, it is also suitable for a two-day trip. Spend the night in the heart of the countryside at the Waldhotel near Gehren.

Public transport:

This tour is conveniently accessible by public transport.

Paulinzella is easily accessible on the regional trains from Arnstadt. The station is not far from the start of the trip.

Getting there:

Coming from the A71, take exit 14 (Arnstadt-Süd) and continue on the L1048 towards Stadtilm. In Stadtilm follow the B87 south towards Ilmenau and just after leaving the town turn left onto the L1114 towards Singen / Paulinzella.


Parking is available right at the abbey ruins. LINK

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendations for this region:

show more

Recommended maps for this region:

show more
All books and maps


 Current condition
  Back to edit
Set point on map
(Click on Map)
The point is movable directly on the map
Delete X
Cancel X
Change geometry on map
*Mandatory field
Please enter a title.
Please type a description text under "current condition".

No current conditions found in the area.
Difficulty moderate
Distance 32.3 km
Duration 8:00 h
Ascent 770 m
Descent 368 m


Public transport friendly Nice views With refreshment stops

Weather Today


: hrs.
Highest point
Lowest point
Show elevation profile Hide elevation profile
For changing the range of view, push the arrows together.