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Luther Trail: Section 10 – From Paulinzella to Frauenwald

Hiking route · Thüringer Wald
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Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Klosterruine und Jagdschloss - Paulinzella
    Klosterruine und Jagdschloss - Paulinzella
    Photo: Paul Hentschel, Lutherweg - Thüringer Tourismus GmbH
m 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 30 25 20 15 10 5 km Tourist-Information Frauenwald
This section of the Luther Trail takes you through thick forests to the peaks of the Thuringian Forest following a route that the Reformer is said to have chosen for his journey to Rome.
moderate
Distance 32.3 km
8:00 h
770 m
368 m
830 m
351 m
Between 1102 and 1105, Paulina, a Thuringian-Saxon noblewoman, founded a Benedictine abbey in Paulinzella consisting of a few wooden huts and a small chapel. In around 1105/1106, work began on the abbey as we know it today and it was finished in the middle of the 12th century.

During the Peasants’ War the abbey lost all its properties and became subject to secular regulations as a result of the introduction of the Reformation in the county of Schwarzburg. Eight years after the Benedictine abbey was dissolved in 1534 and the monks displaced, the estate passed into the ownership of Count Gunther XL of Schwarzburg. This spelt the gradual decline of the entire abbey complex and stones from the ruins were used to construct other buildings.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was highly impressed by the picturesque ruins of the abbey. Although in those days, as he wrote himself, it was 'unfashionable to view these monastic ruins as being highly significant and sacred’, they had been ‘extolled as a spectacular sight’ and so he spent his 68th birthday there.

Today the ruins of the abbey are some of the most significant Romanesque constructions in Germany and are an insider’s tip for all fans of this architectural style.

Crossing the Rennsteig, the most famous hiking trail in Germany, you continue up to the ridge of the Thuringian Forest to Frauenwald. Located right on the main trading route between Erfurt and Nuremburg – which itself was part of the long-distance road between Denmark and Italy – crossing the Rennsteig Trail was considered the major route here in Frauenwald due to the long, gentle incline. Luther took this route via Frauenwald eleven times on his journeys to Rome and twice he is said to have stayed overnight in a nearby monastery.

Author’s recommendation

In Gehren, the Schlossparkfest (Castle Gardens Festival) takes place every year in August.
Profile picture of Paul Hentschel
Author
Paul Hentschel
Update: July 26, 2022
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
830 m
Lowest point
351 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Track types

Asphalt 14.59%Dirt road 57.58%Forested/wild trail 18.41%Path 3.40%Road 4.34%Unknown 1.61%
Asphalt
4.7 km
Dirt road
18.6 km
Forested/wild trail
5.9 km
Path
1.1 km
Road
1.4 km
Unknown
0.5 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Waldhotel Schobsetal
Waldbaude Großer Dreiherrenstein - Frauenwald

Start

Abbey ruin – Paulinzella (351 m)
Coordinates:
DD
50.702654, 11.103955
DMS
50°42'09.6"N 11°06'14.2"E
UTM
32U 648568 5618871
w3w 
///incomers.keenness.bootie
Show on Map

Destination

Frauenwald

Turn-by-turn directions

Paulinzella – Königsee – Jesuborn – Gehren – Schobse valley – Gehren flourite mine – Dreiherrenstein tripoint – Allzunah – Frauenwald (Schinkelkirche church of St Nicolai)

 

As this section is quite long, it is also suitable for a two-day trip. Spend the night in the heart of the countryside at the Waldhotel near Gehren.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Paulinzella is easily accessible on the regional trains from Arnstadt. The station is not far from the start of the trip.

Getting there

Coming from the A71, take exit 14 (Arnstadt-Süd) and continue on the L1048 towards Stadtilm. In Stadtilm follow the B87 south towards Ilmenau and just after leaving the town turn left onto the L1114 towards Singen / Paulinzella.

Parking

Parking is available right at the abbey ruins. LINK

Coordinates

DD
50.702654, 11.103955
DMS
50°42'09.6"N 11°06'14.2"E
UTM
32U 648568 5618871
w3w 
///incomers.keenness.bootie
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Recommended maps for this region:

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Equipment

Sturdy shoes, weather-proof clothing

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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
32.3 km
Duration
8:00 h
Ascent
770 m
Descent
368 m
Highest point
830 m
Lowest point
351 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Linear route

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  • 19 Waypoints
  • 19 Waypoints
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