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Wartburg Castle

The Hope of Bringing Our Old-World Heritage to Rural East Tennessee

History tells us that it was at Worms, Germany, where Martin Luther took his stand to defend his writings and religious convictions. Luther was recalled upon to renounce and repent, cease and desist from his teachings against the prevailing church of the day.

When Luther refused, the Emperor declared Luther to be "Vogelfrei" (an outlaw). This meant he could be killed on sight by anyone. Frederick the Wise arranged a friendly "kidnapping" of Luther and then had him taken to the Wartburg Castle to provide a safe haven.

It was during Luther's stay at the Wartburg Castle that he translated scriptures. He translated the entire New Testament into what most call today's German language. Because of his stay at the Wartburg, the castle became a powerful, historical symbol of the Reformation. This symbol was brought to Tennessee where the German and Swiss named their settlement Wartburg.

It is only natural for a family to take along as much of their home as possible when relocating. However, it was impossible for these early settlers to bring their houses and furniture to Tennessee. So these settlers brought the name of the castle which held so much historical and religious significance to them from Germany to Morgan County, naming their new home Wartburg.

The city of Wartburg, located in the heart of Morgan County, covers 4 square miles and has a population of 916. The proposed site of Wartburg Castle is on Bird Mountain overlooking the local high school.

Wartburg is quietly nestled in the hills of East Tennessee and is surrounded by a variety of scenic wonders. These include Frozen Head State Park, the Big South Fork Recreational Area, Catoosa Wildlife Area, the Cumberland Trail, and the Obed Scenic River system. The residents of Morgan County enjoy the simple pleasures of rural East Tennessee life.

The journey to bring the Wartburg Castle to Morgan County has taken years. But dedicated individuals are in the process of doing just that. The driving force behind the project is not that Wartburg Castle is just the most beautiful castle in Germany, but because it is one of the oldest castles and is clearly the one with the most significant history and profound symbolism. It is a symbol of freedom of worship and freedom from secular oppression and ecclesiastical tyranny.

Just as the Wartburg Castle stands as a symbol for Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, the eagle you see on Wartburg Castle's logo symbolizes strength, determination, and victory while the dove represents the love and the desire to share the message of Christ's love with all people.