The Wartburg is a castle situated on a 1230-foot (410 m) precipitous hill to the southwest of Eisenach, overlooking the town in Thuringia, Germany. In 1999, Wartburg Castle was selected to the World Heritage List as an "Outstanding Monument of the Feudal Period in Central Europe".
The castle was founded in 1067 by the landgrave de:Ludwig the Springer. According to myth, the castle (Burg) got its name when its founder first laid eyes on the hill upon which the Wartburg now sits; enamored with the site, he is supposed to have exclaimed, "Wait, mountain -- thou shalt become a castle for me!" In addition, he is said to have had clay from his lands transported to the top of the hill, which was not quite within his lands, to be able to swear that the castle is built on his ground.
Wartburg was the seat of the Thuringian landgraves until 1440, and as a place of courtly culture it became around 1207 the venue of the Sängerkrieg, the Minstrels' Contest, with contestants such as Walther von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Albrecht von Halberstadt, and many others, taking part. It was later to be treated with poetic licence in Richard Wagner's opera Tannhäuser.
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