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Eisenach is a larger town of 40,000 people about an hour's drive north of Meiningen. There are no Ungerecht connections to Eisenach, but it does hold the church records for the region, including the church at Walldorf. We stayed there, saw some local sights, and did day trips. It has plenty of its own history that we just touched on, here are a few pictures. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The old gate and original town wall shows an interesting combination of modern, old, and the positively medieval. Eisenach first shows up in the records in the 12th century, but archeology shows an old Frankish settlement that dates to the 8th century.
We visited the AWE (AutoWerks of Eisenach) museum. A local car company, started in the 1890's, it became part of BMW before WWII. After this area became East Germany, it was then used to make its own cars (called the Wartburg, after the local castle) that was sold throughout the communist bloc. Now it is owned by Opel.
The South Tower was built in 1318. About 1/3 of the way up is a door, that is the top of the dungeon pit where they threw prisoners. One prisoner was Fritz Erbe, an early Anabaptist who was imprisoned from 1540 until his death in 1548, for refusing to baptize his children as infants. The Anabaptist movement gave rise to the Amish and Mennonites, who believe in adult baptism. Interestingly, we have Erbe in our Ungerech family tree, but probably not related.
Martin Luther spent quite a bit of time in Eisenach, and after the Catholic church rejected his proposal for change and excommunicated him in 1521, he fled here. This is the room where he spent most of his time, working on a German translation of the Bible. The whale vertebra is original to his time here.