Optional Excursion to
Bayreuth Wagner Festival Tour Program
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OPTIONAL EXCURSION TO Eisenach
Our tour today will take us past medieval Castle's to the picturesque region of " Thuringian " and the beautiful city of Eisenach . This is how Richard Wagner recalls his first visit to Eisenach in April 1842 on his way from Paris to Dresden . "The encounter with the Wartburg Castle was a true a ray of light, we passed by it in the only sun-filled hour of the voyage. The view of this mountain fortress which, if one approaches it from Fulda , already presents itself very favourably from a far distance, excited my emotions. I rediscovered my "Horselberg" in a mountainous outcropping off some distance from the castle. Thus, while travelling down the valley, I constructed the scenes for the third act of my "Tannhaüser". Richard Wagner would revisit Eisenach and Wartburg Castle again in 1849 with Franz Liszt, again in 1862 and in 1877 always feeling very linked to this very historical area of Germany .
We will commence with a city tour of Eisenach with our local tour guide . According to tradition, Wartburg Castle and the city of Eisenach was founded in 1067 by a Thuringian count named Ludwig der Springer or Louis the Jumper, from whom the Landgraves of Thuringia were descended. A shrewd policy of marriage, robbery of land and extensive deforestation enabled the power of the Landgraves to grow rapidly and by the late 12 th century their lands extended over the present-day states of Hesse and Thuringia . They were among the most influential German princes of what was then the Holy Roman Empire . During the 200-year rule The Landgraves built several castles and founded numerous towns and monastic complexes.
As a result of the district reform on 1 st July 1994, the Wartburg city Eisenach grew dramatically with the addition of new districts. As a "city in county jurisdiction", Eisenach is the fourth largest city in the middle of Thuringia and has become a center for production, services and educational facilities. The international recognition of Eisenach comes from the Wartburg Castle , the works of Landgrave Elizabeth of Thuringia, music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Martin Luther's translation of the New Testament and the auto industry. Rich in monuments and memorials to its humanistic , historical and artistic tradition, the Wartburg City of Weisenach is a magnet for domestic and international tourists. The world-wide reputation of companies such as Opel, Bosch and BMW belies the importance of Eisenach as an economic center.
Our city tour will include the Rathaus, Hellgrevenhof, Stadtschloss, Elizabeth Church, Luther's House, Bach's House , Reuter House and The City Library built in 1909. The tour will also include entrance fees to visit inside Luther's House and Bach's House. We will stop for lunch at one of the local restaurants drinks will not be included.
After lunch we will continue our tour to Wartburg Castle which will include The Knight's Hall, The Dinning Hall, The Chapel, The Elizabeth Gallery, The Singers Hall, The Landgraves Room and The Festival Hall. Our tour will take us through the various stages of construction of the castle and the main function of the castle in the last 100 years. We will then depart for our return trip to Bayreuth where we will conclude the day with dinner at the Treff Hotel Reingold.
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