It is one of the most famous landmarks in Thuringia: the Wartburg near Eisenach. But how should the castle present itself in the future? The visitors' opinions will be asked for in the coming year.
Eisenach (dpa/th) - Despite fewer foreign guests, the Wartburg near Eisenach is satisfied with this year's tourism business. "It was a difficult, challenging year, which we still mastered well," said Franziska Nentwig, who has been in charge of events at the UNESCO World Heritage castle with exhibitions, art collection and library since summer 2021 under the official title of Burghauptmann. Around 420,000 visitors are expected at the Wartburg by the end of the year.
While there were still fewer guests from abroad and fewer bus tour groups, significantly more families and children were counted. Since the beginning of October, there have been two child-friendly tours a day, which have been very well received, said Nentwig. Around 50,000 children and young people visited the Wartburg this year.
The historic castle high above Eisenach is one of the internationally most famous tourist attractions in Thuringia. Before the pandemic in 2019, according to Nentwig, around half a million guests came. In 2021, almost 230,000 guests were counted at the Wartburg. This year, the corona restrictions would have made themselves felt in the visitor balance until April. Normally, 20 to 25 percent of the guests at the Wartburg come from abroad. "Currently, the proportion is still far below five to seven percent."
Nentwig announced a new, interactive special exhibition for the coming year: "The Wartburg stands for almost 1000 years of history and for extraordinary architecture. We want to find out why the castle is still so firmly anchored in people's minds today." Starting in mid-June, the show, entitled "The Wartburg Myth: 10 Questions for the Ideal Castle", will focus on the variety of topics associated with the castle.
The visitors' opinions are also asked about how they imagine the castle of the future to be. In this respect, the special show is also a small workshop and preliminary study for the permanent exhibition that is to be newly designed, said Nentwig. Another important task is digitization. In 2023, the Wartburg should get a new homepage and a new app for visitors.
The Wartburg was the place where Saint Elizabeth lived and worked, the place of exile of the church reformer Martin Luther - who translated the New Testament of the Bible from Greek into German there 500 years ago - and the scene of the Wartburg Festival in 1817, where students campaigned for a unified and democratic German nation state used.