Eight questions for…

Ute Lieske, deputy mayor of the town of Eisenach, where Wartburg Castle is situated

When I visit the Wartburg Castle World Heritage Site, what should I definitely not miss?

Wartburg Castle is Eisenach's landmark. It towers above the town and can be seen from afar. To get an impression of the historical importance of the castle you should take a guided tour of the Palas, one of the Romanesque halls from the 12th century. And if you are visiting Wartburg Castle with children, you should splash out on a traditional donkey ride.

What do you particularly like here?

Wartburg Castle is always impressive. When I climb up to it and take in the town and the Thuringian forest, I get a strong sense of "Heimat" - that sense of belonging, being at home. The concert evenings that take place here on a regular basis are also very nice. And in the evenings, when everyday life calms down, the castle has this special atmosphere of tranquility and permanence.

Do you have an insider tip?

There's the "Elizabethplan" on the way to Wartburg Castle. This walkway honors St. Elizabeth of Hungary, a Countess of Thuringia sainted by the Catholic Church in the 13th century. The Elizabethplan leads past the foundations of a hospital that was built on Elizabeth's orders to care for the poor and the destitute.

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

You are surrounded by history at the Wartburg Castle. Whether it's Elizabeth of Hungary, Martin Luther, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe or the legendary "Sängerkrieg" minstrels' contests - they have all left a lasting impression on German history. Added to that, Wartburg Castle is so well-preserved that it is easy to imagine those bygone days.

Which time of the year is the most attractive here?

Wartburg Castle is worth the trip any time of the year. In the run up to Christmas the medieval Christmas market is worth a visit, in the summer there are evening events in the castle. And in spring and fall there's always the beautiful nature surrounding the castle.

What else should I see here?

The picturesque town of Eisenach at the foot of the castle, which is also rich in history.

Visiting World Heritage sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

Of course you have to try the Thuringian Bratwurst sausage. Thuringian dumplings with various game specialties are also exquisite. In the afternoons Schmandkuchen, a kind of cheesecake, is very tasty.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

The medieval historic center of Bruges in Belgium.

Ute Lieske

was born and grew up in Eisenach.

The expert in administration management has also spent most of her working life here. From 2006 until 2012 she was deputy mayor of her hometown and responsible for culture, sports and social welfare.