Gera is the birthplace of the world famous Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix, one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. In the house where the artist and graphic designer was born, visitors can experience a gallery of his paintings in the atmosphere of a working class house circa 1900.
Bauhaus pioneer Henry van de Velde designed Haus Schulenburg between 1913 and 1914 as a home for the industrialist Paul Schulenburg and ended up creating a work of art. Henry van de Velde also designed the interior as well as the architecture.
Johann Sebastian Bach himself tried out the organ in St Salvator’s Church in 1725. The late-gothic Church of St Mary, located directly on the Weiße Elster, is a landmark in the Untermhaus area of Gera. Built in around 1440, it houses a priceless, late-gothic winged altar. The chancel is said to have been built in 1193, making St Mary’s one of the oldest churches in East Thuringia.
Another famous attraction is the Gera caves where beer was stored in the maze of tunnels and niches, five to eleven metres underground. Part of the caves can still be visited today.
Although Bad Köstritz is not located right on the Luther Trail, it’s worth taking a detour there to simply walk to the end of the ‘Reußischen Fürstenstraße’ (Reuss Imperial Way). Heinrich Schütz, the 'most Protestant' composer along with Johann Walter und Johann Sebastian Bach, was born here in 1585. Sonorous interpretation can be experienced in the Bible texts that have been turned into motets, histories or psalms; something that accurately reflected Luther’s view that ‘those who play music, pray double’. In 1627, the tragicomedy ‘Daphne’, closely linked to the Reuss court composer Heinrich Schütz, was put on at Osterstein castle.
Schmölln has one of the largest market places in central Germany as well as an attractive town hall featuring a portal with seats in niches at the entrance, a perron staircase and inflexed arch windows. Crossed swords on the front of the town hall signify the former right of jurisdiction. The mother-of-pearl artist Hermann Donath laid the foundations of the button industry in Schmölln. Today at the ‘Knopf- und Regionalmuseum’ (Button & Local History Museum) you can gain an extensive insight into the eventful history of the Schmölln button industry.