Eisenach was founded in the late 12C and is inevitably associated with the Fortress of Wartburg, which symbolises the spirit and character of Germany. From the 13C, troubadours took part in verbal jousts here, thereby inspiring the theme of Wagner's Tannhäuser. It was at Eisenach that Martin Luther translated the New Testament. Johann Sebastian Bach was born here in 1685. In 1817, the fortress was the site of a manifestation designed to stimulate patriotism. In 1869 it was the scene of the creation of the German Social Democrat Party.