Wartburg

Wartburg (värtˈbŏrk) [key], castle near Eisenach, in the state of Thuringia, central Germany. Built c.1070, later enlarged, and renovated in the 18th cent., it was the seat of the medieval landgraves of Thuringia. It was the scene in 1207 of the Sängerkrieg, a contest of minnesingers in which Heinrich von Ofterdingen, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Walther von der Vogelweide, among others, took part and which Richard Wagner used (with some poetic license) as the setting for a famous scene in the opera Tannhäuser. St. Elizabeth of Hungary lived in Wartburg until 1227. In 1521, Martin Luther was brought to the castle for his protection by the elector of Saxony, and there he completed his translation of the New Testament. In 1817 the first general assembly of the Burschenschaften, the nationalist German student organizations, met at Wartburg. The castle was restored over the course of the 19th cent.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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