#79 Die Wartburg
Thuringia, Germany

This is NOT an official Lego site

The almost 950 year history of Wartburg Castle is marked by intriguing legend and history. The castle is said to have been founded by Count Ludwig der Springer, so named because he leapt from his prison cell window into the river below and thus to safety. Later when chasing a deer in the Forests of Thuringia, he climbed atop a 600 foot ridge and was so astonished with the view he cried "Wait, Mountain, you shall be my fortress" (= Wart, Burg...). With no natural water supply, it was fortunate the magnificent castle successfully withstood its only siege, by the Lords of Eisenach in 1306-7.
Wartburg Castle was first known for the Sängerkrieg (Minstrels' War) which began in 1207 and takes place to this day in the beautiful Singers' Hall in the Palas. Richard Wagner made the contest famous in his opera "Tannhäuser." Wartburg was the home of Hungarian Princess Elizabeth, married at age 14 in 1221 to Count Ludwig IV. She was so dedicated to helping the poor and sick that she became one of the first Franciscan nuns after Ludwig's death and was sainted four years after her death at age 24. Martin Luther was sequestered in Wartburg after being excommunicated by Pope Leo X in 1517 -- it was Luther's translation of the New Testament into German in the Bailiff's Quarters at the castle which was the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. The poet Johann von Goethe greatly loved Wartburg, writing from the castle and establishing a museum there.

The greatest growth of the castle took place between 1190 and 1217 under Count Hermann I, with major repairs done after lightning damage in 1317. The castle fell into disrepair in the eighteenth century, with massive renovations done between 1838 and 1890 by the Dukes of Saxony. The first pictures above and below this text show Wartburg's gatehouse, next above is Luther's room, then four views of the Palas (Great Hall) and inner courtyard, and finally the cistern, where collected water saved the castle from siege. My model, just completed in time for Reformation Sunday 2001, is built in three connectable sections and totals nine feet, three inches in length! You can see pictures of Wartburg Castle at my church, plus read the article on the front page of the Life section on the Decatur Herald & Review newspaper, plus see the breakdown of the final brick count of the castle by clicking on the link in this sentence. The castle also spent 10 days at the Lutheran School in Decatur.

It is now 16 years later, the fall of 2017, and rapidly approaching is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's nailing of his 95 Theses on the public entry doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Our new pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Decatur, Illinois, Rita Augsberger, asked if I might consider a Lego project for display in honor of that event.  I was quick to reply that I would not be reconstructing my model of Die Wartburg, as there were way too many other castles in my comparatively short future (at age 74) to redo a large project like Wartburg.  But if you are interested in what I did create, you can select this Reformation link.

Plan of Wartburg Wartburg Drawing


Photos of the Lego Model
Under Construction in September-October 2001
Laid out September 3, the
castle will be 9'-2" long!!
By September 8 inklings of
the mountain ridge and
castle can be seen.
Beneath the forming south
tower is the substance of
the Lego mountain.
The gatehouse at the
north end of the castle
is taking shape too.
It's an uphill walk from
the gatehouse to the
top of the ridge.
The South Tower and all
important cistern are
done on September 13.
Work returns to the
north end of the .
...with the gatehouse,
prison and east walkwalk
completed September 17.
Work returns to the
Palas and bathhouse
near the cistern...
...and the impressive
structure is finished
on September 22.
Now the time has
arrived to begin work
on the center section.
The east side of the
castle rises from the
apex of the ridge.
By October 3, the
inner gate and donjon
are completed and...
...final touches are
done to the east
curtain wall.

Photos of the Lego Model
September- October, 2001
Wartburg from the
west southwest.
And from the west. And from the northeast.
The only entrance is
through the gatehouse.
The beautiful Tudor
east wallwalk.
From the gatehouse
it's a climb up into
the outer ward.
The rocky top of the
600 foot ridge can be
seen here and there.
The inner ward is
guarded by a second
The inner ward
slopes back down
the ridge...
...as can also be
seen from the
south end.
The tall donjon
crowns the ridge
in the inner ward.
The "Palas" is so
beautiful, it was copied
at Neuschwanstein.
The ladies of Wartburg
stayed in the residence
with the best fireplace.
While the plain
"Dirnitz" housed
the servants.
The "cottage" is a
quaint sight near
the cistern.
The drawbridge
is closed at
day's end...
...so Martin Luther tell of
his concerns in the safe
confines of Die Wartburg!


Build Your Own
Lego Plan Part 1
Lego Plan Part 2
Lego Plan Part 3
North Elevation
West Elevation Part 1
West Elevation Part 2
West Elevation Part 3
South Elevation
East Elevation Part 1
East Elevation Part 2
East Elevation Part 3

Other Wartburg Castle pages:

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page created & maintained by
Robert Carney