Wartburg, an old castle in the N. W. part of the Thuringian forest, near Eisenach, SaxeWeiinar. The site, a wooded hill surrounded by rocky glens, is extremely picturesque. The castle was built about 1070 by Louis, landgrave of Thuringia, and it remained the residence of his successors nearly four centuries. In 1206 or 1207 the landgrave Hermann I. assembled there the principal minnesingers of Germany for a musical tournament, at which party feeling ran so high that it became known as the Wartburg war. A poem descriptive of the contest, entitled Kriec von Wartburg, appeared about 1300 (German translation, edited by Karl Simrock, 1874). Connected with the castle also is the romance of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, wife of the landgrave Louis, son of Hermann, whose story has been set to music by Liszt under the title Die heilige ElisaoetJi. (See Elizabeth, Saint.) Luther found shelter in the Wartburg after the diet of Worms, and occupied himself, during his residence there from May 4, 1521, to March 6, 1522, with his translation of the Bible. The celebration here by German students of the third centenary year of the reformation, Oct. 18,1817, is known as the Wartburg festival; the participants in it were suspected of liberalism and subjected to long continued political persecution.

The castle was thoroughly restored in 1847, and adorned by Moritz von Schwind with frescoes illustrating the scenes in its history. In 1867 was celebrated the eighth centenary year of its foundation.