Landgrafenschlucht


Useful Information

Location: South of Eisenach, in the Mariental. (50.954139, 10.309430)
Open: No restrictions.
Closed because of ice in winter.
[2020]
Fee: free.
[2020]
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=1,710m, VR=80m.
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Eisenach-Wartburgregion Touristik GmbH, Markt 24, 99817 Eisenach, Tel: +49-3691-79230. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1306 Friedrich the bitten is said to have hidden here.
1832 developed by the Oberforstrat Gottlob König.

Description

The Landgrafenschlucht has worked its way through erosion into the Wartburg conglomerate of Permian age. The narrow valley is a result of the hardness of the conglomerate. On almost two kilometers length the gorge is quite narrow, not as spectacular as the nearby Drachenschlucht, but the gorge is sometimes so narrow, paths have been installed above the stream to allow passage. Mostly the way is quite wide and comfortable. The gorge was opened to the public by the construction of the path, which was initiated by Oberforstrat Gottlob König. According to an old legend, Friedrich der Gebissene (Frederick the Bitten) is said to have hidden here in 1306. Friedrich was Margrave of Meissen and Landgrave of Thuringia, therefore the gorge was finally renamed Landgrave Gorge after it was opened to the public.

Friedrich III was the son of Albrecht the Degenerate, Wettin landgrave of Thuringia, and Margarete, the daughter of Emperor Friedrich II. His father cheated on his mother and finally wanted to murder her. She fled from the murder plot and bit her son as farewell, so he would never forget, hence the name Friedrich the Bitten. There were various disputes in the Wettin house during the 13th century. In addition, the King wanted Thuringia, but had failed so far. Albrecht decided to sell the Landgraviate of Thuringia to the German King. After he had reconciled with his sons and his other son had been murdered, Albrecht recognized his son Friedrich as his sole heir and successor. The King demanded that Albrecht give him the Wartburg as security for the promises he had made. But Albrecht gave the castle to his son Friedrich. Albrecht had thus broken the promises made to the King. In order to cover this up, the legend was invented. It tells that Frederick, together with the knights who accompanied him, hid in the gorge to take Wartburg Castle. He received support from his stepmother and mother-in-law. The gorge as a shelter was a detail to make this legend as credible as possible. About 100 years later the chronicler Johannes Rothe reported that the people call the gorge Landgrafenloch. Landgrave sagas are still so strongly anchored in the population, that they are confused with actual history.

The Landgrafenschlucht was protected in 2015 with the nature reserve Forests with gorges between Wartburg Castle and Hohe Sonne. The gorge is a very special biotope with two extraordinary microclimates. Humid cool valleys and dry warm conditions along sunny cliffs provide a wealth of animals and plants. Rare species from the groups of small mammals, birds, amphibians and beetles as well as numerous ferns, mosses and lichens can be found here. The canyon forest in the Landgrafenschlucht is a special form of the acidic oak-beech forest.