Today Ludwigsstadt is best known for Lauenstein Castle and the slate museum. From the Thüringer Warte observation tower you have a spectacular view over Thuringia.
In Steinbach am Wald you cross the Rennsteig Trail, the best known hiking trail in Germany. From here, this section of the Luther Trail continues to Lehesten.
From 5–6 October 1530, Martin Luther stayed overnight in Lehesten on his way from Coburg to Torgau. From Coburg Fortress he had tried to support his friends and save the unity of the Church of Jesus Christ with the Augsburg Confession without revealing the truth. ‘God wants Christians of all confessions to stay together in his church’. This event triggered the introduction of the Reformation.
Lehesten also used to rely on slate mining. This ‘blue gold’, as it is known here, has made this little Thuringian town famous all over the world. From the 13th century the largest slate mine in Europe was opened here. The old slate quarries with their moss and birch-covered stockpiles and fascinating slate lakes still dominate the region today. The technical monument ‘Historischer Schieferbergbau‘ (Historical Slate Mining) provides an authentic glimpse of living history and time-honoured traditions. The historical buildings such as the horse mill building and the Doppelspalthütte (double split hut), which are unique in Europe, are valuable gems of this lost era.