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Following Martin Luther's Travel Route to the Reichstag in Worms

Logo of the “Luther Trail 1521” (Photo: © Lutherweg in Hessen e.V.)

The Luther Trail in Hesse is supposed to follow the route that Martin Luther chose to travel on his way from Wittenberg to the Reichstag in Worms in 1521. According to tradition, the path he traveled both there and back took him through the town of Berka on the Werra River (in the Wartburgkreis district of Thuringia), down the old trade route called „Durch die kurzen Hessen” and through the cities of Bad Hersfeld, Alsfeld, Grünberg, Friedberg, Frankfurt am Main, and Oppenheim am Rhein down to Worms (Rhineland-Palatinate).

The exact route of the Reformer is no longer known today, moreover the entire distance would probably no longer be suitable for a hiking trail for walkers or cyclists. The registered association „Luther Trail in Hesse e.V.” was founded in 2012 and has its base in the city of Romrod (in the district of Vogelsbergkreis in Hesse). Because of the aforementioned reasons, the association specified a passage along a historically documented route, within which the Luther Trail runs along existing hiking trails, forest trails and agricultural roads through the Hessian countryside.

From the Wartburg Castle to Worms 

The Luther Trail in Hesse runs between the starting and finishing points in the well known Luther cities Wartburg near Eisenach in Thuringia and Worms in Rhineland-Palatinate. The milestones along the roughly 330 km long trail through the Hessian region have been designed by local work groups. The Luther Trail in Hesse is currently still being developed. The association „Luther Trail in Hesse e.V.”, functioning as both a sponsoring association and a booster club, together with the participating communities and tourism facilities as well as with assistance by the regional hiking clubs, is coordinating the work of providing the signposts along the pilgrimage route. 

The Luther Trail in Hesse is supposed to go from Eisenach to the border between the states of Thuringia and Hesse, which is just a few kilometers away, and pass near Berka on the Werra River; from this junction of the Luther Trail in Thuringia, it runs through the county of Bad Hersfeld-Rotenburg, the Vogelsbergkreis district, the county Gießen, the Wetteraukreis district, the city of Frankfurt am Main, the county of Groß-Gerau, and then crosses the Rhine River near Oppenheim and goes through the counties of Mainz-Bingen und Alzey-Worms in Rhineland-Palatinate to the cathedral city of Worms.

The „Luther Trail 1521" leads to Thuringia, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. It follows the historical Route Luther used in 1521 from Wittenberg to Worms and back to the Wartburg in Eisenach. Hesse has trained “pilgrim guides” starting in December 2013 that lead groups on this trail, if need be, but also offer their on projects.

(Photo: © Dr. Reiner Cornelius)