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Lutherweg 1521 in Rheinhessen

In the footsteps of Martin Luther leads the nearly 44 km long "Lutherweg 1521 in Rheinhessen" from Nierstein to the cathedral city of Worms.

The "Lutherweg 1521 in Rheinhessen" is a section of the nearly 400 km long route, which Martin Luther followed about 500 years ago on his pilgrimage from the Wartburg in Thuringia to the Reichstag in Worms and back. According to the historical traditions his way in Rheinhessen took place mainly along the Rhine terrace between Oppenheim am Rhein and Worms. Luther raved about the particularly beautiful view at many Rhine Hessian sections of his way and was thrilled with the variety of vineyards. On the Luther Trail you can dive into the past and let the memories of the - in spite of everything - arduous Martin Luther's way of life come alive.

The nearly 44 km long "Lutherweg 1521 in Rheinhessen can be well divided into three stages:

  • Stage 1: Nierstein - Oppenheim - Guntersblum, 12 km
  • Stage 2: Guntersblum - Alsheim - Mettenheim - Bechtheim - Osthofen - Abenheim, 21 km
  • Stage 3: Abenheim - Herrnsheim - Worms Center, 11 km

Degree of difficulty

2 of 5

Recommended equipment

Hiking clothes, sturdy shoes, backpacking food with enough water, headgear, sunscreen

Route guidance

Background to Luther's journey

Luther traveled from Wittenberg to the Reichstag in Worms on April 2, 1521, reached Frankfurt on April 14, and arrived in Worms on April 16, 1521. After his speech at the Worms Reichstag, Luther, who had been banned but had 21 days to go, set out on the return journey on 26 April. He reached Frankfurt on 27 April via Oppenheim. On 4 May he was "kidnapped" at Altenstein in the Thuringian Forest for his protection and taken to the Wartburg.

The Luther Trail is well signposted with the green Gothic "L". At some passages it runs on the yellow marked Rheinterrassenweg.

Stage 1:

Nierstein - Oppenheim - Guntersblum, 12 km

From the ferry pier Nierstein (crossing from Trebur possible) follow the approximately 1 km long foot and bike path towards Oppenheim station. Continue towards Marktplatz Oppenheim, via Mainzerstraße, where once the inn "Zur Kanne" was located. Luther stayed here on his outward journey. Arrived at the marketplace, it goes up to the St. Catherine's Church, a Rhineland-Hessian jewel with a long architectural history, which was completed in the 15th century. In addition to the three gothic halls, the stained glass windows are especially noteworthy. From here you leave the old town of Oppenheim through the Gautor and follow the Rheinterrassenweg (marked in yellow). Passing the cemetery, you soon meet the Oppenheimer Toad Fountain, where a stone toad and a small monster attract attention. At this point you are 80 meters above the Rhine Valley. The slopes are relatively steep here and the vineyards are good. Here originate some top wines. At the height of the village Ludwigshöhe you climb the Rhine front down into the valley. Once there, it goes straight back to the Roman tower; a vantage point, from which one overlooks the route to Oppenheim. On the outskirts of Guntersblum you leave the Rheinterrassenweg from the vineyards in the direction of Heidenturmkirche in Kirchstraße. Here ends the first stage. If you stay in Guntersblum, you should definitely take an evening walk through the village.

Stage 2:

Guntersblum - Alsheim - Mettenheim - Bechtheim - Osthofen - Abenheim, 24 km

You start in the middle of Guntersblum and walk on the "Promenade", a green area behind which rises the Guntersheimer castle. Continue on the path of the Rheinterrassenweg (marked in yellow), which runs above the village through the vineyards. After about 1.5 km you reach the hamlet Hangen-Wahlheim, just behind a ravine, where a branch path leads to the ruin of the church of St. Magdalena. The Rheinterrassenweg continues on the Wahlheimer Weg towards Alsheim. Half way up the path leads above the wine village of Alsheim, through the Goldberg hollow, whose steep walls dug the wagon carts into the loess loam. Shortly before the place Mettenheim there is on the height of a hill with a bench and a view. If you continue then, you can see the Rhine Valley soon, to match the local wine situation called "Rheinblick". A little further on, you can see the silhouette of the Odenwald on the horizon. Continuing towards Bechtheim, you will first see uniform vine rows as far as the eye can see. Arrived at the height of the local sea of vines is called "God's help". Here were on the Bechtheim wine trail on the wayside vineyards of various grape varieties planted. Coming from the vineyards, we descend towards Bechtheim via the "Steig bei der Warte" to the market square and then to the St. Lambertus church. The basilica, which looks quite original in shape, is open during the day. The Rheinterrassenweg (or Lutherweg) now runs past an old wash fountain. Not only Bechtheim women used to do their laundry here; Pilgrims also used to wash there to walk under the St. Albertus relic. From Bechtheim through the vineyards the Rheinterrassenweg goes along a former railway track to the landmark of Osthofen, the vineyard house "Leckzapfen". From there continue on an old Hohlenweg, down the hill to the local Bechtheim-Osthofen, which leads to the cemetery of the Ostheimer Bergkirche. From there you walk a good hour through the wide Rebland direction Abenheim. From the Chapel of the Chapel you can reach via Rebfluren a Way of the Cross down to Abenheim.

Stage 3:

Abenheim - Herrnsheim - Worms-Center, 11 km

From Abenheim it goes over pending vineyards and the Grailsbachtal in the Worms Ortsteil Herrnsheim. In any case, a visit to the Schloss Herrnsberg and its associated park area is worthwhile. Now follow the yellow road sign of the Rheinterrassenweg from Schloss Herrnsheim to the main station. The footpath runs meanwhile romanti ...

Elevation

Approach

From Frankfurter Kreuz (A3) via Mönchhof Dreieck, A60

From the A60, exit Worms B9

From the A61, exit Gau Bickelheim, B420

From the A67 or A5, exit Darmstadt-Griesheim

On the B9 between Mainz or Worms direction ferry terminal.

Parking

Parking at Postplatz (fee required): Postplatz 1, Oppenheim

Parking at the train station, Bahnhofstraße 15, Oppenheim

show on map

Contact details:

Luther Way in Hesse eV
Alsfelder Street 1
36329 Romrod
Internet: www.lutherweg1521.de/service/impressum/

Oppenheim on the Rhine

On his way from Frankfurt to Worms, Martin Luther crossed the Rhine on 15 April 1521 near Oppenheim, before settling in the former hostel "Zur Kanne". Here he met ambassadors of the Emperor, who wanted to move him to a meeting at the Ebernburg to "keep away" from the Reichstag. Luther rejected this detour, however. It is assumed that Martin Luther took the same route on his return journey to Frankfurt as on the outward journey. He reached Oppenheim on April 26, 1521 and arrived in Frankfurt the next day.

Worms

On 16 April 1521 Martin Luther reached Worms. About 100 companions gave Luther the escort to the city gate. Surrounded by 8 mounted Luther was, with three companions sitting in a car, moved into the city. He then moved into his hostel near his Saxon prince in a house of the Knights of St. John. The result of the interrogations of Luther is well known: the reformer remained steadfast and did not recant his theses. After Luther had received from the emperor's ambassadors on the evening of April 25, 1521 the promise of a renewed escort of 21 days, he went with his companions on Friday, the 26th April on the return journey.

Further information at:
www.lutherweg1521.de

Contact details:

Luther Way in Hesse eV
Alsfelder Street 1
36329 Romrod
Internet: www.lutherweg1521.de/service/impressum/

Oppenheim on the Rhine

On his way from Frankfurt to Worms, Martin Luther crossed the Rhine on 15 April 1521 near Oppenheim, before settling in the former hostel "Zur Kanne". Here he met ambassadors of the Emperor, who wanted to move him to a meeting at the Ebernburg to "keep away" from the Reichstag. Luther rejected this detour, however. It is assumed that Martin Luther took the same route on his return journey to Frankfurt as on the outward journey. He reached Oppenheim on April 26, 1521 and arrived in Frankfurt the next day.

Worms

On 16 April 1521 Martin Luther reached Worms. About 100 companions gave Luther the escort to the city gate. Surrounded by 8 mounted Luther was, with three companions sitting in a car, moved into the city. He then moved into his hostel near his Saxon prince in a house of the Knights of St. John. The result of the interrogations of Luther is well known: the reformer remained steadfast and did not recant his theses. After Luther had received from the emperor's ambassadors on the evening of April 25, 1521 the promise of a renewed escort of 21 days, he went with his companions on Friday, the 26th April on the return journey.

Further information at:
www.lutherweg1521.de

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