Powerful words

Written language

Many colourful expressions in the German language that remain in common usage – such as Lästermaul (scandalmonger), nicht jedes Wort auf die Goldwaage legen (to take something with a pinch of salt), die Zähne zusammenbeißen (grit your teeth) or ein Dorn im Auge (a thorn in your side) – were actually invented by the same man who translated the New Testament at Wartburg Castle. Martin Luther exemplifies the power of words. Indeed, many of the phrases he coined are found in the Duden dictionary of the German language to this day.

On the subject of the eminent lexicographer Konrad Duden: he championed the idea of a unified German language and wrote his first ‘Duden’ in Thuringia. Thanks to these two men, we speak and write a common language here in Germany. You could say that, in many ways, Thuringia was the birthplace of a standardised German language.

Find out more about the poets, reformers and other wordsmiths who left their mark on Thuringia.

An interview with Rolf C. Hemke, artistic director of the Kunstfest Weimar arts festival

Weimar is a pocket-sized cultural hub

The Kunstfest Weimar arts festival is one of the town’s cultural highlights during the summer months. Internationally acclaimed artists join Weimar’s young, creative scene to transform its streets into a vibrant and inspiring stage. In this interview, the festival’s artistic director, Rolf C. Hemke, provides a fascinating look behind the scenes and also reveals which famous person from the past he would like to have coffee with.
Lutherdenkmal vor der Kaufmannskirche, Erfurt
Martin Luther’s Thuringian towns and cities

Words and places

Martin Luther’s longest trip took him all the way to Rome, but he was generally more likely to be found travelling around the towns and cities of Thuringia, where he filled the churches with his sermons, met friends, debated with religious opponents and visited monasteries. Here are some of our tips for days out in the heart of Reformation country at five important locations associated with Martin Luther in Thuringia.
Das Lutherhaus in Eisenach
From Wartburg Castle to the Luther House in Eisenach

How words changed world history

A truly historical location: the legendary Luther Room at the mighty Wartburg Castle, which has towered majestically above the Thuringian town of Eisenach for nearly a thousand years and attracts almost half a million visitors every year. This is where Martin Luther produced his translation of the New Testament in only eleven weeks, while he was in hiding under the alias of Squire George after being arrested 500 years ago.