Erfurt (German pronunciation: [ˈɛʁfʊʁt] ( listen))
is the capital and largest city in the state of Thuringia, central
Germany. It lies in the southern part of the Thuringian Basin, within
the wide valley of the
Gera river. It is located 100 km
(62 mi) south-west of Leipzig, 300 km (186 mi)
south-west of Berlin, 400 km (249 mi) north of
250 km (155 mi) north-east of Frankfurt. Together with
Jena it forms the central metropolitan
Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants.
Erfurt's old town is one of the most intact medieval cities in
Germany having survived
World War II
World War II with little
damage. Tourist attractions include the
bridge), the ensemble of
Erfurt Cathedral and Severikirche (St
Severus's Church) and Petersberg Citadel, one of the largest and best
preserved town fortresses in Europe. The city's economy is based on
agriculture, horticulture and microelectronics. Its central location
has led to it becoming a logistics hub for
Germany and central Europe.
Erfurt hosts the second-largest trade fair in eastern
Leipzig) as well as the public television children’s channel KiKa.
The city is situated on the Via Regia, a medieval trade and pilgrims'
road network. Modern day
Erfurt is also a hub for ICE high speed
trains and other German and European transport networks.
first mentioned in 742, as
Saint Boniface founded the diocese.
Although the town did not belong to any of the Thuringian states
politically, it quickly became the economic centre of the region. It
was part of the
Electorate of Mainz
Electorate of Mainz during the Holy Roman Empire, and
later became part of the
Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia in 1802. From 1949 until
Erfurt was part of the
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic (East Germany).
The university was founded in 1379, making it the first university
to be established within the geographic area which constitutes
modern-day Germany. It closed in 1816 and was re-established in 1994,
with the main modern campus on what was a teachers' training college.
Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) was the most famous student of the
institution, studying there from 1501. Other noted Erfurters
include the medieval philosopher and mystic
Meister Eckhart (c.
1260-1328), the Baroque composer
Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706), the
Max Weber (1864-1920), singer
Clueso (Thomas Hübner)
Gunda Niemann (1966- ), three-times Olympic speed skating
1.1 Prehistory and antiquity
1.2 Middle Ages
1.3 Early modern period
Erfurt during the Napoleonic Wars
1.5 Since 1815
2 Geography and demographics
2.3 Administrative division
3 Culture, sights and cityscape
3.1 Residents notable in cultural history
3.6 Sights and architectural heritage
3.6.1 Churches, monasteries and synagogues
184.108.40.206 Catholic churches and monasteries
220.127.116.11 Protestant churches and monasteries
18.104.22.168 Former churches
3.6.2 Secular architecture
22.214.171.124 Street and square ensembles
126.96.36.199 19th- and 20th-century architecture in the outskirts
4 Economy and infrastructure
4.1 Agriculture, industry and services
4.2.1 By rail
4.2.2 By road
4.2.3 By light rail and bus
4.2.4 By airplane
4.2.5 By bike
5.1 Mayor and city council
5.2 Twin towns
6 People from Erfurt
10 External links
See also: Timeline of Erfurt
Prehistory and antiquity
Erfurt is an old Germanic settlement. The earliest evidence of human
settlement dates from the prehistoric era; archaeological finds from
the north of
Erfurt revealed human traces from the paleolithic period,
ca. 100,000 BCE. The Melchendorf dig in the southern
city part showed a settlement from the neolithic period.[note 1] The
Thuringii inhabited the
Erfurt area ca. 480 and gave their name to
Thuringia ca. 500.
Erfurt, woodcut from the
Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493
Old synagogue, the oldest in Europe (1094)
Collegium maius building of the old university (1392)
The town is first mentioned in 742 under the name of "Erphesfurt": in
Saint Boniface wrote to
Pope Zachary to inform him that he
had established three dioceses in central Germany, one of them "in a
place called Erphesfurt, which for a long time has been inhabited by
pagan natives." All three dioceses (the other two were
Büraburg) were confirmed by Zachary the next year, though in 755
Erfurt was brought into the diocese of Mainz. That the place was
populous already is borne out by archeological evidence, which
includes 23 graves and six horse burials from the sixth and seventh
Throughout the Middle Ages,
Erfurt was an important trading town
because of its location, near a ford across the
Gera river. Together
with the other five Thuringian woad towns of Gotha, Tennstedt,
Arnstadt and Langensalza it was the centre of the German woad trade,
which made those cities very wealthy.
Erfurt was the junction of
important trade routes: the
Via Regia was one of the most used
east–west roads between
Russia (via Frankfurt, Erfurt,
Leipzig and Wrocław) and another route in north–south direction was
the connection between the
Baltic Sea ports (e. g. Lübeck) and the
potent upper Italian city-states like Venice and Milan.
During the 10th and 11th centuries both the Emperor and the Electorate
Mainz held some privileges in Erfurt. The German kings had an
important monastery on Petersberg hill and the Archbishops of Mainz
collected taxes from the people. Around 1100, some people became free
citizens by paying the annual "Freizins" (liberation tax), which marks
a first step in becoming an independent city. During the 12th century,
as a sign of more and more independence, the citizens built a city
Erfurt (in the area of today's Juri-Gagarin-Ring). After
1200, independence was fulfilled and a city council was founded in
1217; the town hall was built in 1275. In the following decades, the
council bought a city-owned territory around
Erfurt which consisted at
its height of nearly 100 villages and castles and even another small
Erfurt became an important regional power between
the Landgraviate of
Thuringia around, the
Electorate of Mainz
Electorate of Mainz to the
west and the
Electorate of Saxony
Electorate of Saxony to the east. Between 1306 and 1481,
Erfurt was allied with the two other major Thuringian cities
Mühlhausen and Nordhausen) in the Thuringian City Alliance and the
three cities joined the
Hanseatic League together in 1430. A peak in
economic development was reached in the 15th century, when the city
had a population of 20,000 making it to one of the largest in Germany.
Between 1432 and 1446, a second and higher city wall was established.
In 1483, a first city fortress was built on Cyriaksburg hill in the
southwestern part of the town.
The Jewish community of
Erfurt was founded in the 11th century and
became, together with Mainz, Worms and Speyer, one of the most
influential in Germany. Their Old Synagogue is still extant and a
museum today, as is the mikveh at
Gera river near Krämerbrücke.
In 1349, during the wave of
Black Death Jewish persecutions
Black Death Jewish persecutions across
Europe, the Jews of
Erfurt were rounded up, with more than 100 killed
and the rest driven from the city. Before the persecution, a wealthy
Jewish merchant buried his property in the basement of his house. In
1998, this treasure was found during construction works. The Erfurt
Treasure with various gold and silver objects is shown in the
exhibition in the synagogue today. Only a few years after 1349,
the Jews moved back to
Erfurt and founded a second community, which
was disbanded by the city council in 1458.
In 1379, the
University of Erfurt
University of Erfurt was founded. Together with the
University of Cologne
University of Cologne it was one of the first city-owned universities
in Germany, while they were usually owned by the Landesherren. Some
buildings of this old university are extant or restored in the "Latin
Quarter" in the northern city centre (like Collegium Maius, student
dorms "Georgenburse" and others, the hospital and the church of the
university). The university quickly became a hotspot of German
cultural life in
Renaissance humanism with scholars like Ulrich von
Helius Eobanus Hessus
Helius Eobanus Hessus and Justus Jonas.
Early modern period
Erfurt in 1650
Kurmainzische Statthalterei, seat of the governors of
Christina, Queen of Sweden, depicted on a 1645
Erfurt 10 ducat coin.
Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) moved to
Erfurt and began his
studies at the university. After 1505, he lived at St. Augustine's
Monastery as a friar. In 1507 he was ordained as priest in Erfurt
Cathedral. He moved permanently to
Wittenberg in 1511.
Erfurt was an
early adopter of the Protestant Reformation, in 1521.
In 1530, the city became one of the first in Europe to be officially
bi-confessional with the
Hammelburg Treaty. It kept that status
through all the following centuries. The later 16th and the 17th
century brought a slow economic decline of Erfurt. Trade shrank, the
population was falling and the university lost its influence. The
city's independence was endangered. In 1664, the city and surrounding
area were brought under the dominion of the
Electorate of Mainz
Electorate of Mainz and
the city lost its independence. The Electorate built a huge fortress
on Petersberg hill between 1665 and 1726 to control the city and
instituted a governor to rule Erfurt.
During the late 18th century,
Erfurt saw another cultural peak.
Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg
Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg had close relations with
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Johann Gottfried
Christoph Martin Wieland
Christoph Martin Wieland and Wilhelm von Humboldt, who often
visited him at his court in Erfurt.
Erfurt during the Napoleonic Wars
Main article: Principality of Erfurt
Die Napoleonshöhe im Steiger bei Erfurt, painted by Nikolaus
Dornheim (de) in 1812. Inaugurated in March 1811 to celebrate
Napoleon's birthday, this Greek-style temple with grotto, flowerbeds
and fountain in the Stiegerwald was burned in November 1813 and
completely destroyed by Erfurters and their besiegers in 1814.
Erfurt became part of the
Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia in 1802, to compensate
Prussia lost to
France on the Left Bank of the
Rhine. In the
Capitulation of Erfurt
Capitulation of Erfurt the city, its 12,000
Prussian and Saxon defenders under William VI, Prince of
Orange-Nassau, 65 artillery pieces, and the
Petersberg Citadel and
Cyriaksburg Citadel Cyriaksburg were handed over to the French on 16
October 1806; At the time of the capitulation, Joachim Murat,
Marshal of France, had about 16,000 troops near Erfurt. With the
attachment of the Saxe-
Weimar territory of Blankenhain, the city
became part of the
First French Empire
First French Empire in 1806 as the Principality of
Erfurt, directly subordinate to
Napoleon as an "imperial state domain"
(French: domaine réservé à l'empereur), separate from the
Confederation of the Rhine, which the surrounding Thuringian states
Erfurt was administered by a civilian and military
Senate (Finanz- und Domänenkammer Erfurt) under a French
governor, based in the Kurmainzische Statthalterei, previously the
seat of city's governor under the Electorate.
visited the principality on 23 July 1807, inspecting the citadels and
fortifications. In 1808, the
Congress of Erfurt
Congress of Erfurt was held with
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia visiting the city.
During their administration, the French introduced street lighting and
a tax on foreign horses to pay for maintaining the road surface.
The Peterskirche suffered under the French occupation, with its
inventory being auctioned off to other local churches — including
the organ, bells and even the tower of the Corpus Christi chapel
(Fronleichnamskapelle) — and the former monastery's library being
donated to the
University of Erfurt
University of Erfurt (and then to the Boineburg Library
when the university closed in 1816). Similarly the Cyriaksburg
Citadel was damaged by the French, with the city-side walls being
partially dismantled in the hunt for imagined treasures from the
convent, workers being paid from the sale of the building
In 1811, to commemorate the birth of the Prince Imperial, a 70-foot
(21-metre) ceremonial column (Die Napoleonsäule) of wood and plaster
was erected on the common. Similarly, the Napoleonshöhe — a
Greek-style temple topped by a winged victory with shield, sword and
lance and containing a bust of
Napoleon sculpted by Friedrich
Döll — was erected in the Stiegerwald woods, including
a grotto with fountain and flower beds, using a large pond
(lavoratorium) from the Peterskirche, inaugurated with ceremony on
14 August 1811 after extravagant celebrations for Napoleon's
birthday, which were repeated in 1812 with a concert in the
Predigerkirche conducted by Louis Spohr.
With the Sixth Coalition forming after French defeat in Russia, on 24
Napoleon ordered the Petersburg Citadel to prepare for
siege, visiting the city on 25 April to inspect the fortifications, in
particular both Citadels. On 10 July 1813,
Napoleon put Alexandre
d'Alton (fr), baron of the Empire, in charge of the defences of
Erfurt. However, when the French decreed that 1000 men would be
conscripted into the Grande Armée, the recruits were joined by other
citizens in rioting on 19 July that led to 20 arrests, of whom 2 were
sentenced to death by French court-martial; as a result, the
French ordered the closure of all inns and alehouses.
Within a week of the Sixth Coalition's decisive victory at Leipzig
(16–19 October 1813), however,
Erfurt was besieged by Prussian,
Austrian and Russian troops under the command of Prussian Lt Gen von
Kleist. After a first capitulation signed by d'Alton on 20
December 1813 the French troops withdrew to the two fortresses of
Petersberg and Cyriaksburg, allowing for the Coalition forces to
Erfurt on 6 January 1814 to jubilant greetings; the
Napoleonsäule ceremonial column was burned and destroyed as a symbol
of the citizens' oppression under the French;
similarly the Napoleonshöhe was burned on 1 November 1813 and
completely destroyed by Erfurters and their besiegers in 1814.
After a call for volunteers 3 days later, 300 Erfurters joined the
Coalition armies in France. Finally, in May 1814, the French
capitulated fully, with 1,700 French troops vacating the Petersberg
and Cyriaksburg fortresses. During the two and a half months of
siege, the mortality rate rose in the city greatly; 1,564 Erfurt
citizens died in 1813, around a thousand more than the previous
After the Congress of Vienna,
Erfurt was restored to
Prussia on 21
June 1815, becoming the capital of one of the three districts
(Regierungsbezirke) of the new Province of Saxony, but some southern
and eastern parts of Erfurter lands joined
Blankenhain in being
transferred to the
Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach the following
September. Although enclosed by Thuringian territory in the west,
south and east, the city remained part of the Prussian Province of
Saxony until 1944.
Streetscape in the southern city extension (
Housing projects in
Bauhaus style from 1930
Hotel "Erfurter Hof", place of the first meeting of East and West
German heads of government in 1970
After the 1848 Revolution, many Germans desired to have a united
national state. An attempt in this direction was the failed Erfurt
Union of German states in 1850.
Industrial Revolution reached
Erfurt in the 1840s, when the
Thuringian Railway connecting
Frankfurt was built. During
the following years, many factories in different sectors were founded.
One of the biggest was the "Royal Gun Factory of Prussia" in 1862.
German Unification in 1871,
Erfurt moved from the southern
Prussia to the centre of Germany, so that the fortifications
of the city were not needed anymore. The demolition of the city
fortifications in 1873 led to a construction boom in Erfurt, because
it was now possible to build in the area formerly occupied by the city
walls and beyond. Many public and private buildings emerged and the
infrastructure (such as tramway, hospitals, schools) improved rapidly.
The number of inhabitants grew from 40,000 around 1870 to 130,000 in
1914 and the city expanded in all directions.
Erfurt Program" was adopted by the Social Democratic Party of
Germany during its congress at
Erfurt in 1891.
Between the wars, the city kept growing. Housing shortages were fought
with building programmes and social infrastructure was broadened
according to the welfare policy in the
Weimar Republic. The Great
Depression between 1929 and 1932 led to a disaster for Erfurt, nearly
one out of three became unemployed. Conflicts between far-left and
far-right oriented milieus increased and many inhabitants supported
the new Nazi government and Adolf Hitler. Others, especially some
communist workers, put up resistance against the new administration.
In 1938, the new synagogue was destroyed during the Kristallnacht.
Jews lost their property and emigrated or were deported to Nazi
concentration camps (together with many communists). In 1914, the
Topf and Sons
Topf and Sons began the manufacture of crematoria later
becoming the market leader in this industry. Under the Nazis, JA Topf
& Sons supplied specially developed crematoria, ovens and
associated plant to the Auschwitz-Birkenau,
Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps. On 27 January 2011 a memorial
and museum dedicated to the Holocaust victims was opened at the former
company premises in Erfurt.
Bombed as a target of the Oil Campaign of World War II, Erfurt
suffered only limited damage and was captured on 12 April 1945, by the
US 80th Infantry Division. On 3 July, American troops left the
city, which then became part of the Soviet Zone of Occupation and
eventually of the
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic (East Germany). In 1948,
Erfurt became the capital of Thuringia, replacing Weimar. In 1952, the
Länder in the GDR were dissolved in favour of centralization under
the new socialist government.
Erfurt then became the capital of a new
"Bezirk" (district). In 1953, the
Hochschule of education was founded,
followed by the
Hochschule of medicine in 1954, the first academical
Erfurt since the closing of the university in 1816.
On 19 March 1970, the East and West German heads of government Willi
Willy Brandt met in Erfurt, the first such meeting since the
division of Germany. During the 1970s and 1980s, as the economic
situation in GDR worsened, many old buildings in city centre decayed,
while the government fought against the housing shortage by building
Plattenbau settlements in the periphery. The Peaceful Revolution
of 1989/1990 led to German reunification.
Socialist-era street signs removed from around the city of Erfurt
With the re-formation of the state of
Thuringia in 1990, the city
became the state capital. After reunification, a deep economic crisis
occurred in Eastern Germany. Many factories closed and many people
lost their jobs and moved to the former West Germany. At the same
time, many buildings were redeveloped and the infrastructure improved
massively. In 1994, the new university was opened, as was the
Fachhochschule in 1991. Between 2005 and 2008, the economic situation
improved as the unemployment rate decreased and new enterprises
developed. In addition, the population began to increase once again.
Geography and demographics
Gera river in the city centre
Erfurt is situated in the south of the Thuringian basin, a fertile
agricultural area between the
Harz mountains 80 km (50 mi)
to the north and the
Thuringian forest 30 km (19 mi) to the
southwest. Whereas the northern parts of the city area are flat, the
southern ones consist of hilly landscape up to 430 m of elevation. In
this part lies the municipal forest of Steigerwald with beeches and
oaks as main tree species. To the east and to the west are some
non-forested hills so that the
Gera river valley within the town forms
a basin. North of the city are some gravel pits in operation, while
others are abandoned, flooded and used as leisure areas.
Erfurt has a humid continental climate (Dfb) or an oceanic climate
(Cfb) according to the
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification system.
Summers are warm and sometimes humid with average high temperatures of
23 °C (73 °F) and lows of 12 °C (54 °F).
Winters are relatively cold with average high temperatures of
2 °C (36 °F) and lows of −3 °C (27 °F). The
city's topography creates a microclimate caused by the location inside
a basin with sometimes inversion in winter (quite cold nights under
−20 °C (−4 °F)) and inadequate air circulation in
summer. Annual precipitation is only 502 millimeters (19.8 in)
with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Light snowfall mainly
occurs from December through February, but snow cover does not usually
remain for long.
Climate data for
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Districts of Erfurt
Erfurt abuts the districts of
Sömmerda (municipalities Witterda,
Elxleben, Walschleben, Riethnordhausen, Nöda, Alperstedt,
Kleinmölsen and Großmölsen) in the north,
Weimarer Land (municipalities Niederzimmern, Nohra, Mönchenholzhausen
and Klettbach) in the east,
Ilm-Kreis (municipalities Kirchheim,
Rockhausen and Amt Wachsenburg) in the south and
Zimmernsupra and Bienstädt) in the
The city itself is divided into 53 districts. The centre is formed by
the district Altstadt (old town) and the
Andreasvorstadt in the northwest, Johannesvorstadt in the northeast,
Krämpfervorstadt in the east, Daberstedt in the southeast,
Löbervorstadt in the southwest and Brühlervorstadt in the west. More
former industrial districts are Ilversgehofen (incorporated in 1911),
Hohenwinden and Sulzer Siedlung in the north. Another group of
districts is marked by
Plattenbau settlements, constructed during the
GDR period: Berliner Platz, Moskauer Platz, Rieth, Roter Berg and
Johannesplatz in the northern as well as Melchendorf, Wiesenhügel and
Herrenberg in the southern city parts.
Finally, there are many villages with an average population of
approximately 1,000 which were incorporated during the 20th century;
however, they mostly stayed rural to date:
Alach (incorporated 1994)
History of the population from 1493 to 2014.
Ten largest groups of foreign residents
Around the year 1500, the city had 18,000 inhabitants and was one of
the largest cities in the Holy Roman Empire. The population then more
or less stagnated until the 19th century. The population of
21,000 in 1820, and increased to 32,000 in 1847, the year of rail
connection as industrialization began. In the following decades Erfurt
grew up to 130,000 at the beginning of World War I and 190,000
inhabitants in 1950. A maximum was reached in 1988 with 220,000
persons. The bad economic situation in eastern
Germany after the
reunification resulted in a decline in population, which fell to
200,000 in 2002 before rising again to 206,000 in 2011. The average
growth of population between 2009 and 2012 was approximately 0.68% p.
a, whereas the population in bordering rural regions is shrinking with
accelerating tendency. Suburbanization played only a small role in
Erfurt. It occurred after reunification for a short time in the 1990s,
but most of the suburban areas were situated within the administrative
The birth deficit was 200 in 2012, this is -1.0 per 1,000 inhabitants
(Thuringian average: -4.5; national average: -2.4). The net migration
rate was +8.3 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2012 (Thuringian average: -0.8;
national average: +4.6). The most important regions of origin of
Erfurt migrants are rural areas of Thuringia,
Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony
as well as foreign countries like Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary,
Romania and Bulgaria.
Like other eastern German cities, foreigners account only for a small
share of Erfurt's population: circa 3.0% are non-Germans by
citizenship and overall 5.9% are migrants (according to the 2011 EU
census). Differing from the national average, the most important
groups of migrants in
Erfurt are Vietnamese, Russians and Ukrainians.
Due to the official atheism of the former GDR, most of the population
is non-religious. 14.8% are members of the Evangelical Church in
Germany and 6.8% are Catholics (according to the 2011 EU
census). The Jewish Community consists of 500 members. Most of them
Ukraine in the 1990s.
Culture, sights and cityscape
Residents notable in cultural history
See also: List of people from Erfurt
Martin Luther (1483-1546) studied law and philosophy at the University
Erfurt from 1501. He gained his B.A. (1502) and M.A. (1505). He
lived in St. Augustine's Monastery in Erfurt, as a friar from 1505 to
The theologian, philosopher and mystic
Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1328)
entered the Dominican monastery in
Erfurt when he was aged about 18
(around 1275). Eckhart was the Dominican Prior at
Erfurt from 1294
until 1298, and Vicar of
Thuringia from 1298 to 1302. After a year in
Paris, he returned to
Erfurt in 1303 and administered his duties as
Saxony from there until 1311.
Max Weber (1864 - 1920) was born in Erfurt. He was a sociologist,
philosopher, jurist, and political economist whose ideas have
profoundly influenced modern social theory and social research.
The textile designer
Margaretha Reichardt (1907 - 1984) was born and
died in Erfurt. She studied at the
Bauhaus from 1926 to 1930, and
while there worked with
Marcel Breuer on his innovative chair designs.
Her former home and weaving workshop in Erfurt, the Margaretha
Reichardt Haus, is now a museum, managed by the
Johann Pachelbel (1653 - 1706) served as organist at the Prediger
Erfurt from June 1678 until August 1690. Pachelbel composed
approximately seventy pieces for organ while in Erfurt.
After 1906 the composer
Richard Wetz (1875 - 1935) lived in
became the leading person in the town's musical life. His major works
were written here, including three symphonies, a Requiem and a
Alexander Müller (1808 - 1863) pianist, conductor and composer, was
born in Erfurt. He later moved to Zürich, where he served as leader
of the General Music Society's subscription concerts series.
The city is the birthplace of one of Johann Sebastian Bach's cousins,
Johann Bernhard Bach, as well as Johann Sebastian Bach's father Johann
Ambrosius Bach. Bach's parents were married in 1668 in a small church,
the Kaufmannskirche (Merchant's Church), that still exists on the main
Famous modern musicians from
Erfurt are Clueso, the
Boogie Pimps and
Erfurt has a great variety of museums:
The Stadtmuseum (municipal museum) shows aspects of Erfurt's history
with a focus on the Middle Ages, early modern history, Martin Luther
and the university. Other parts of the Stadtmuseum are the Neue Mühle
(new mill), an old water mill still in operation, and the
Benaryspeicher (Benary's magazine) with an exhibition of old printing
The Alte Synagoge (Old Synagogue) is one of the oldest synagogue
buildings in Europe. The museum was opened in 2009 and has
exhibitions on the history of Erfurt's Jewish Community. It houses
facsimiles of medieval Hebrew manuscripts and the
Erfurt Treasure, a
hoard of coins, goldsmiths' work and jewellery that is assumed to have
belonged to Jews who hid them in 1349 at the time of the Black Death
The Erinnerungsort Topf & Söhne (memorial site of Topf and Sons),
on the site of the factory of the company which constructed crematoria
Auschwitz and other concentration camps. It has exhibitions about
the operations of the company and the holocaust.
Gedenk- und Bildungsstätte Andreasstraße Erfurt, (Stasi Museum). On
the site of the former
Erfurt Stasi headquarters and prison, where
over 5000 people were held. On 4 December 1989, the building was
occupied by local residents. It was the first of many such takeovers
of Stasi buildings in the former East Germany. Today it has
exhibitions on the history of East
Germany and the activities of its
Angermuseum is one of the main art museums of Erfurt, named after
Anger Square, where it is located. It focuses on modern graphic arts,
medieval sculpture and early modern artisanal handicraft.
Erfurt City Art Gallery) has exhibitions of
contemporary art, of local, national and international artists.
Margaretha Reichardt Haus is the home and workshop of the textile
designer and former
Margaretha Reichardt (1907 -
The Peterskirche (Saint Peter's church) houses an exhibition of
concrete art, i.e. totally abstract art (not art made out of
The Deutsches Gartenbaumuseum (German Horticulture Museum) is housed
at the Cyriaksburg Citadel.
The Naturkundemuseum (Natural History Museum) is situated in a
medieval woad warehouse and exhibits objects of Thuringian flora and
fauna, geology and ecology.
The Museum für Thüringer Volkskunde (Museum of Folk Art and Cultural
Anthropology) looks at the ordinary life of people in
Thuringia in the
past and shows exhibits of peasant and artisan traditions.
The Elektromuseum (Museum of Electrical Engineering) shows the history
of electric engines, which have featured prominently in Erfurt's
Schloss Molsdorf (de) in the district of Molsdorf is a Baroque
palace with an exhibition about the painter Otto Knöpfer (de).
Museum für Thüringer Volkskunde
J.A. Topf & Söhne memorial site
Since 2003, the modern opera house is home to
Theater Erfurt and its
Philharmonic Orchestra. The "grand stage" section has 800 seats and
the "studio stage" can hold 200 spectators. In September 2005, the
opera Waiting for the Barbarians by
Philip Glass premiered in the
opera house. The
Erfurt Theater has been a source of controversy
recently. In 2005, a performance of Engelbert Humperdinck's opera
Hänsel und Gretel stirred up the local press since the performance
contained suggestions of pedophilia and incest. The opera was
advertised in the program with the addition "for adults only".
On 12 April 2008, a version of Verdi's opera Un ballo in maschera
directed by Johann Kresnik opened at the
Erfurt Theater. The
production stirred deep controversy by featuring nude performers in
Mickey Mouse masks dancing on the ruins of the World Trade Center and
a female singer with a painted on Hitler toothbrush moustache
performing a straight arm Nazi salute, along with sinister portrayals
of American soldiers, Uncle Sam, and
Elvis Presley impersonators. The
director described the production as a populist critique of modern
American society, aimed at showing up the disparities between rich and
poor. The controversy prompted one local politician to call for locals
to boycott the performances, but this was largely ignored and the
première was sold out.
Messe Erfurt serves as playground for the Oettinger Rockets, a
professional basketball team in Germany's first division, the
Notable types of sport in
Erfurt are athletics, ice skating, cycling
(with the oldest velodrome in use in the world, opened in 1885),
swimming, handball, volleyball, tennis and football. The city's
FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt
FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt is member of
3. Fußball-Liga and
Steigerwaldstadion with a capacity of 20,000. The
Gunda-Niemann-Stirnemann Halle was the second indoor speed skating
arena in Germany.
Architecture from the
Gründerzeit in Brühlervorstadt district
Erfurt's cityscape features a medieval core of narrow, curved alleys
in the centre surrounded by a belt of
created between 1873 and 1914. In 1873, the city's fortifications were
demolished and it became possible to build houses in the area in front
of the former city walls. In the following years,
Erfurt saw a
construction boom. In the northern area (districts Andreasvorstadt,
Johannesvorstadt and Ilversgehofen) tenements for the factory workers
were built whilst the eastern area (Krämpfervorstadt and Daberstedt)
featured apartments for white-collar workers and clerks and the
southwestern part (Löbervorstadt and Brühlervorstadt) with its
beautiful valley landscape saw the construction of villas and mansions
of rich factory owners and notables.
During the interwar period, some settlements in
Bauhaus style were
realized, often as housing cooperatives.
World War II
World War II and over the whole GDR period, housing shortages
remained a problem even though the government started a big apartment
construction programme. Between 1970 and 1990 large Plattenbau
settlements with high-rise blocks on the northern (for 50,000
inhabitants) and southeastern (for 40,000 inhabitants) periphery were
constructed. After reunification the renovation of old houses in city
centre and the
Gründerzeit areas was a big issue. The federal
government granted substantial subsidies, so that many houses could be
Compared to many other German cities, little of
Erfurt was destroyed
in World War II. This is one reason why the centre today offers a
mixture of medieval, Baroque and
Neoclassical architecture as well as
buildings from the last 150 years.
Public green spaces are located along
Gera river and in several parks
like the Stadtpark, the Nordpark and the Südpark. The largest green
area is the Egapark (de), a horticultural exhibition park and
botanic garden established in 1961.
Sights and architectural heritage
Churches, monasteries and synagogues
St Mary's Cathedral (left) and St Severus' Church (right) on Domberg
The city centre has about 25 churches and monasteries, most of them in
Gothic style, some also in Romanesque style or a mixture of Romanesque
and Gothic elements, and a few in later styles. The various steeples
characterize the medieval centre and led to one of Erfurt's nicknames
as the "Thuringian Rome".
Catholic churches and monasteries
The Allerheiligenkirche (All Saints' Church) is a 14th-century Gothic
parish church in Market Street, which hosts a columbarium.
The Dom St. Marien (St Mary's Cathedral) perches above Domplatz, the
Catherdral square. It is the
Episcopal see and one of the main sights
of Erfurt. It combines Romanesque and Gothic elements and has the
largest medieval bell in the world, which is named Gloriosa. One
of the works of art inside the Cathedral is Lucas Cranach the Elder's
'The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine' painted around 1520.
The Lorenzkirche (St Laurence's Church) is a small 14th-century Gothic
parish church at Anger Square.
The Martinikirche (St Martin's Church) was built in the 15th century
in Gothic style and later converted to Baroque style. It was both a
Cistercian monastery and a parish church of Brühl, a medieval
The Neuwerkskirche St. Crucis (church of the new work/Holy Cross
Church) is a 15th-century Gothic parish church at Neuwerk Street, that
was later converted to Baroque style. Until 1285, it was used as an
The Schottenkirche St. Nikolai und St. Jakobi (Scots Monks' Church of
St Nicholas and St James) is an 11th-century Romanesque monastery
church with a Baroque façade, which was later used as a parish
The Severikirche (St Severus' Church) is the second-largest parish
church after the cathedral and stands next to it on the Domberg hill.
It is a Gothic church and was built around 1300.
The Ursulinenkirche, St. Ursula's Church, is a Gothic church at Anger
Square. It is attached to the Ursulinenkloster, St. Ursula's Nunnery,
founded in 1136. It is the only medieval monastery or nunnery in
Erfurt which has been in continuous operation since it opened.
The Wigbertikirche (St Wigbert's Church) is a 15th-century Gothic
parish church at Anger Square.
All Saints' Church
St Laurence's Church
St Martin's Church
Holy Cross Church
Scots Monks' Church
St Wigbert's Church
Protestant churches and monasteries
Ägidienkirche (St Giles' Church) is a 14th-century Gothic parish
church at Wenigenmarkt Square. It is the surviving one of formerly two
bridge-head churches of the
Krämerbrücke located on both ends of the
bridge. As a result, the nave is on the 1st floor, while on ground
level is a passage to the bridge. The steeple is open to the public
and offers a good view over the city centre. Today, St Giles' Church
Methodist parish church.
Andreaskirche (St Andrew's Church) is a 14th-century Gothic parish
church at Andrew's Street. The old craftsmen's quarter around it is
named Andreasviertel after the church.
St. Augustine's Monastery dates from 1277.
Martin Luther lived there
as a monk between 1505 and 1511. The site has had a varied history and
the restored complex has both modern and medieval buildings. Today it
belongs to the Evangelical Church in
Germany and as well as being a
place of worship it is also a meeting and conference centre, and
provides simple guest accommodation. In 2016 an application was made
for it to be included in the already existing UNESCO World Heritage
Site "Luther sites in Central Germany".
The Kaufmannskirche St. Gregor (Merchant's Church St Gregory) is a
14th-century Gothic parish church at Anger Square. It is one of the
largest and most important original parish churches in Erfurt. The
parents of Johann Sebastian Bach,
Johann Ambrosius Bach
Johann Ambrosius Bach and Maria
Elisabeth Lämmerhirt married here in 1668.
Michaeliskirche (St Michael's Church) is a 13th-century Gothic parish
church in Michaelisstrasse. It became the church of the university in
The Predigerkirche (Dominican Church) is a Gothic monastery church of
the Dominicans at Prediger-straße. Since the Reformation in the 16th
century, it is the main Protestant church of
Erfurt and furthermore
one of the largest former churches of the mendicant orders in Germany.
The theologian and mystic
Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 - 1328) entered
Prediger Monastery around 1275. He was Prior from 1294 until 1298, and
Thuringia from 1298 to 1302. After a year in Paris, he
returned to the monastery in 1303 and administered his duties as
Saxony from there until 1311. The baroque composer
Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) was organist at the church from 1678
The Reglerkirche St. Augustinus (Regulated St Augustine's Church) is a
12th-century Romanesque-Gothic monastery church of the
Station Street. After the Reformation, it became a Protestant parish
St Giles' Church
St Andrew's Church
St Augustine's Church
St Michael's Church
Regulated St Augustine's Church
The Barfüßerkirche is a 14th-century Gothic monastery church at
Barfüßerstraße. The former
Franciscan monastery became a Protestant
parish church after the Reformation. In 1944, the church was badly
damaged by Allied bombing. Since that time its ruins have been
preserved as a war memorial.
The Bartholomäuskirche (St Bartholomew's Church) was a parish church
at Anger Square. The church was demolished before 1667 and only the
steeple remained. Today, the steeple hosts a carillon with 60 bells.
The Georgskirche (St George's Church) was a parish church in
Michaelisstraße. It was demolished in 1632 and only the church tower
The Hospitalkirche (Hospital Church) was the church of the former
Great City Hospital at Juri-Gagarin-Ring. It is a 14th-century Gothic
building and is used today as a depot by the Museum für Thüringer
Volkskunde (Museum of Thuringian Ethnology).
The Johanneskirche (St John's Church) was a parish church at John's
Street. It was demolished in 1819, but the steeple remained.
The Kartäuserkirche St. Salvatorberg (Carthusian Church, Mount St
Saviour) was a monastery church at Kartäuser-straße. The Baroque
church was closed in 1803 and afterwards used for many different
purposes. Today, it is part of a housing complex.
The Nikolaikirche (St Nicholas' Church) was a parish church in
Augustine's Street. It was demolished in 1747 and only the steeple
The Paulskirche (St Paul's Church) was a parish church in Paul's
Street. It was demolished before 1759. The steeple remains and is in
use as the belfry of the Prediger Church.
The Peterskirche (St Peter's Church) was built in the 12th century in
Romanesque style as a church of the
Benedictine monastery of St Peter
and Paul on Petersberg hill, now the site of Petersberg Citadel. It
was secularised in 1803 and used as a military store house. Today it
houses an art gallery.
Discalced Church ruin
St Bartholomew's steeple
St Nicholas' steeple
St Paul's steeple
St Peter's Church
The oldest parts of Erfurt's Alte Synagoge (Old Synagogue) date to the
11th century. It was used until 1349 when the Jewish community was
destroyed in a pogrom known as the
Erfurt Massacre. The building had
many other uses since then. It was conserved in the 1990s and in 2009
it became a museum of Jewish history. A rare Mikveh, a ritual
bath, dating from c.1250, was discovered by archeologists in 2007.
It has been accessible to visitors on guided tours since September
2011. In 2015 the Old Synagogue and
Mikveh were nominated as a
World Heritage Site. It has been tentatively listed but a final
decision has not yet been made.
As religious freedom was granted in the 19th century, some Jews
returned to Erfurt. They built their synagogue on the banks of the
Gera river and used it from 1840 until 1884. The neoclassical building
is known as the Kleine Synagoge (Small Synagogue). Today it is used an
events centre. It is also open to visitors.
A larger synagogue, the Große Synagoge (Great Synagogue), was opened
in 1884 because the community had become larger and wealthier. This
moorish style building was destroyed during nationwide Nazi riots,
Kristallnacht on 9–10 November 1938.
In 1947 the land which the Great Synagogue had occupied was returned
to the Jewish community and they built their current place of worship,
the Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue) which opened in 1952. It was the
only synagogue building erected under communist rule in East
Besides the religious buildings there is a lot of historic secular
architecture in Erfurt, mostly concentrated in the city centre, but
some 19th- and 20th-century buildings are located on the outskirts.
The Michaelisstraße is known as the lithic chronicle of Erfurt
Street and square ensembles
Krämerbrücke (Merchants' bridge) is the most famous tourist
attraction of Erfurt. This 15th-century bridge is completely covered
with dwellings and unique in Europe north of the Alps. Today, there
are some art handicraft and souvenir shops in the houses.
The Domplatz (Cathedral Square) is the largest square in
one of the largest historical market squares in Germany. The cathedral
and St Severus' Church on its western side can be reached over the
Domstufen, a wide flight of stairs. On the north side lies the
courthouse, a historic building from 1880. The eastern and southern
side is fronted by early-modern patrician houses. On the square are
the Minerva Fountain from 1784 and the Erthal Obelisk from 1777. The
Domplatz is the main setting of the
Erfurt Christmas Market in
December and the location for "DomStufen-Festival", an open-air
theatre festival in summer.
The Fischmarkt (Fish Market) is the central square of Erfurt's city
centre. It is surrounded by renaissance-style patrician houses and the
town hall, a neo-gothic building from 1882. In the middle of the
square is a statue called Römer (Roman), a symbol of the city's
independence, erected by the citizens in 1591.
The Wenigemarkt (Minor Market) is a small square on the east side of
Gera river (opposite to the Fischmarkt on the west side),
surrounded by early-modern patrician and merchants' houses. The
fountain on this square with the sculpture "Scuffling Boys" was
created in 1975. Today, Wenigemarkt square also has various cafés and
bars. Next to the Wenigemarkt in Futterstraße is the Kaisersaal
building, a neoclassicistic event hall from 1831 (current building).
Congress of Erfurt
Congress of Erfurt took place here in 1808.
The Anger (originally the German term for "village green") is a
protracted square[clarification needed] in the eastern city centre.
All tram lines are linked here, so that it became the new city centre
during the 20th century with many important buildings. On its northern
side is the main post office, built in 1886 in neo-gothic style with
its prominent clock tower. In the north-east there is the Martin
Luther monument from 1889 in front of the Merchants' Church. Between
the church and the Ursuline monastery lies the "Anger 1" department
store from 1908. On the south side next to Station Street is the
Angermuseum, the art history museum of Erfurt, inside a Baroque palace
from 1711. The western part of Anger square is surrounded by large
historicist business houses from the late 19th century. The west end
of the square is marked by the Angerbrunnen fountain from 1890. The
Jesuit College near Schlösserstraße was built in 1737 and used until
the ban of the Jesuits in 1773.
Willy Brandt Square is the southern gate to the city centre in
front of the main station. Opposite to the station is the former hotel
Erfurter Hof, where the first meeting of the East- and West-German
heads of government took place in 1970. On the western side is the
building of the old
Erfurt station (1847–95) with a clock tower and
the former offices of the
Thuringian Railway Company.
The Hirschgarten (Deer Garden) is a small park in front of the
Thuringian government seat in the western city centre. The
minister-president's seat is the Kurmainzische Statthalterei, a
Renaissance-Baroque palace from the 17th century.
The Michaelisstraße (Michael's Street) is known as "the lithic
chronicle of Erfurt", because of its mostly medieval buildings. It is
the main street of the Latin quarter around the old university and
today one of the favourite nightlife districts of the Erfurters with
various bars, restaurants and cafés. The central building of the old
university, Collegium Maius, was built in 1515, destroyed by Allied
bombs in 1945 and originally rebuilt in 1999.
The Juri-Gagarin-Ring is an inner-city circular road following the
former inner city wall. The road was set out in the 1890s by closing a
branch of the
Gera river. The buildings along the street originate
from all periods of the 20th century, including some GDR-era highrise
residence buildings. An old building complex here is the former Great
Hospital, established in the 14th century. Today, it hosts the museum
of popular art and cultural anthropology.
The Andreasviertel (St Andrew's Quarter) is a small quarter in the
northern part of the city centre between Domplatz in the south-west
and Moritzwallstraße in the north-east. It was the former craftsmen
quarter with narrow alleys and old (16th/17th century) little houses.
During the 20th century, there were plans to demolish the quarter
because of its bad housing conditions. After 1990, the houses were
redeveloped by private individuals so that it is one of the favourite
neighbourhoods today. The largest building here is the former
Municipal Corn Storage in Gothic style from 1466 with a floor area of
1,800 m2 (19,375 sq ft).
Christmas market at Domplatz
Post office at Anger
From 1066 until 1873 the old town of
Erfurt was encircled by a
fortified wall. About 1168 this was extended to run around the western
side of Petersberg hill, enclosing it within the city boundaries.
German Unification in 1871,
Erfurt became part of the newly
created German Empire. The threat to the city from its Saxon
neighbours and from
Bavaria was no longer present, so it was decided
to dismantle the city walls. Only a few remnants remain today. A piece
of inner wall can be found in a small park at the corner
Juri-Gagarin-Ring and Johannesstraße and another piece at the flood
ditch (Flutgraben) near Franckestraße. There is also a small restored
part of the wall in the Brühler Garten, behind the Catholic
orphanage. Only one of the wall's fortified towers was left standing,
on Boyneburgufer, but this was destroyed in an air raid in 1944. 
Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest and best preserved city
fortresses in Europe, covering an area of 36 hectares in the
north-west of the city centre. It was built from 1665 on Petersberg
hill and was in military use until 1963. Since 1990, it has been
significantly restored and is now open to the public as an historic
The Cyriaksburg Citadel (de) is a smaller citadel south-west of
the city centre, dating from 1480. Today, it houses the German
19th- and 20th-century architecture in the outskirts
Between 1873 and 1914, a belt of
Gründerzeit architecture emerged
around the city centre. The mansion district in the south-west around
Cyriakstraße, Richard-Breslau-Straße and Hochheimer Straße hosts
Gründerzeit and Art Nouveau buildings.
The "Mühlenviertel" ("mill quarter"), is an area of beautiful Art
Nouveau apartment buildings, cobblestone streets and street trees just
to the north of the old city, in the vicinity of Nord Park, bordered
Gera river on its east side. The "Schmale Gera" stream runs
through the area. In the
Middle Ages numerous small enterprises using
the power of water mills occupied the area, hence the name
"Mühlenviertel", with street names such as Waidmühlenweg (woad, or
indigo, mill way), Storchmühlenweg (stork mill way) and
Papiermühlenweg (paper mill way).
Bauhaus style is represented by some housing cooperative projects
in the east around Flensburger Straße and Dortmunder Straße and in
the north around Neuendorfstraße. Lutherkirke Church in Magdeburger
Allee (1927), is an
Art Deco building.
The former malt factory "Wolff" at Theo-Neubauer-Straße in the east
Erfurt is a large industrial complex built between 1880 and 1939,
and in use until 2000. A new use has not been found yet, but the area
is sometimes used as a location in movie productions because of its
Some examples of Nazi architecture are the buildings of the Landtag
(Thuringian parliament) and Thüringenhalle (an event hall) in the
south at Arnstädter Straße. While the Landtag building (1930s)
represents more the neo-Roman/fascist style, Thüringenhalle (1940s)
is marked by some neo-Germanic Heimatschutz style elements.
The Stalinist early-GDR style is manifested in the main building of
the university at Nordhäuser Straße (1953) and the later more
international modern GDR style is represented by the horticultural
exhibition centre "Egapark" at Gothaer Straße, the
complexes like Rieth or Johannesplatz and the redevelopment of
Löbertor and Krämpfertor area along Juri-Gagarin-Ring in the city
The current international glass and steel architecture is dominant
among most larger new buildings like the Federal Labour Court of
Germany (1999), the new opera house (2003), the new main station
(2007), the university library, the
Erfurt Messe (convention centre)
Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann ice rink.
Gründerzeit tenements in Johannesvorstadt district
Cubistic fountain in a
Bauhaus housing complex
Art Deco Luther's Church
Entrance of the Thuringian parliament
Lobby of the university main building
GDR architecture in Johannesplatz district
Inner yard of the Federal Labour Court
Economy and infrastructure
During recent years, the economic situation of the city improved: the
unemployment rate declined from 21% in 2005 to 9% in 2013.
Nevertheless, some 14,000 households with 24,500 persons (12% of
population) are dependent upon state social benefits (Hartz IV).
Agriculture, industry and services
Former factory building, now reused for services
Anger 1, a big department store in centre
Farming has a great tradition in Erfurt: the cultivation of woad made
the city rich during the Middle Ages. Today, horticulture and the
production of flower seeds is still an important business in Erfurt.
There is also growing of fruits (like apples, strawberries and sweet
cherries), vegetables (e.g. cauliflowers, potatoes, cabbage and sugar
beets) and grain on more than 60% of the municipal territory.
Erfurt started around 1850. Until World War I,
many factories were founded in different sectors like engine building,
shoes, guns, malt and later electro-technics, so that there was no
industrial monoculture in the city. After 1945, the companies were
nationalized by the GDR government, which led to the decline of some
of them. After reunification, nearly all factories were closed, either
because they failed to successfully adopt to a free market economy or
because the German government sold them to west German businessmen who
closed them to avoid competition to their own enterprises.[citation
needed] However, in the early 1990s the federal government started to
subsidize the foundation of new companies. It still took a long time
before the economic situation stabilized around 2006. Since this time,
unemployment has decreased and overall, new jobs were created. Today,
there are many small and medium-sized companies in
electro-technics, semiconductors and photovoltaics in focus. Building
engines, the production of food (i.e. a big noodle factory), the
Braugold brewery, and
Born Feinkost a producer of Thuringian mustard,
are still an important industries.
Erfurt is an Oberzentrum (which means "supra-centre" according to
Central place theory) in German regional planning. Such centres are
always hubs of service businesses and public services like hospitals,
universities, research, trade fairs, retail etc. Additionally, Erfurt
is the capital of the federal state of Thuringia, so that there are
many institutions of administration like all the Thuringian state
ministries and some nationwide authorities. Typical for
Erfurt are the
logistic business with many distribution centres of big companies, the
Erfurt Trade Fair and the media sector with
KiKa and MDR as public
broadcast stations. A growing industry is tourism, due to the various
historical sights of Erfurt. There are 4,800 hotel beds and (in 2012)
450,000 overnight visitors spent a total of 700,000 nights in hotels.
Nevertheless, most tourists are one-day visitors from Germany. The
Christmas Market in December attracts some 2,000,000 visitors each
Erfurt Hauptbahnhof, Erfurt's main railway station.
The ICE railway network makes
Erfurt 1½ hours from Berlin, 2 hours
Frankfurt and Dresden, and 45 minutes from Leipzig. In 2017, the
ICE line to
Munich has opened, making the trip to
Erfurt only 2 hours.
There are regional trains from
Erfurt to Weimar, Jena, Gotha,
Eisenach, Bad Langensalza, Magdeburg, Nordhausen, Göttingen,
Mühlhausen, Würzburg, Meiningen, Ilmenau, Arnstadt, and
In freight transport there is an intermodal terminal in the district
of Vieselbach (Güterverkehrszentrum, GVZ) with connections to rail
and the autobahn.
The two Autobahnen crossing each other nearby at Erfurter Kreuz are
Bundesautobahn 4 (Frankfurt–Dresden) and the Bundesautobahn 71
(Schweinfurt–Sangerhausen). Together with the east tangent both
motorways form a circle road around the city and lead the
interregional traffic around the centre. Whereas the A 4 was built in
the 1930s, the A 71 came into being after the reunification in the
1990s and 2000s. In addition to both motorways there are two
Bundesstraße 7 connects
Erfurt parallel to A 4
Gotha in the west and
Weimar in the east. The
Bundesstraße 4 is
a connection between
Nordhausen in the north. Its southern
Coburg was annulled when A 71 was finished (in this section,
the A 71 now effectively serves as B 4). Within the circle road, B 7
and B 4 are also annulled, so that the city government has to pay for
maintenance instead of the German federal government. The access to
the city is restricted as Umweltzone since 2012 for some vehicles.
Large parts of the inner city are a pedestrian area which can not be
reached by car (except for residents).
By light rail and bus
Light rail tram near Anger square
Erfurt public transport system is marked by the area-wide Erfurt
Stadtbahn (light rail) network, established as a tram system in 1883,
upgraded to a light rail ( Stadtbahn ) system in 1997, and
continually expanded and upgraded through the 2000s. Today, there are
six Stadtbahn lines running every ten minutes on every light rail
Erfurt operates a bus system, which connects the
sparsely populated outer districts of the region to the city center.
Both systems are organized by SWE EVAG, a transit company owned by the
city administration. Trolleybuses were in service in
Erfurt from 1948
until 1975, but are no longer in service.
Weimar Airport lies 3 km (2 mi) west of the city
centre. It is linked to the central train station via Stadtbahn
(tram). It was significantly extended in the 1990s, with flights
mostly to Mediterranean holiday destinations and to
London during the
peak Christmas market tourist season. Connections to longer haul
flights are easily accessible via
Frankfurt Airport, which can be
reached in 2 hours via a direct train from
Frankfurt Airport to
Erfurt, and from Leipzig/Halle Airport, which can be reached within
half an hour.
Biking is becoming increasingly popular since construction of high
quality cycle tracks began in the 1990s. There are cycle lanes for
general commuting within
Long-distance trails, such as the
Gera track and the Radweg Thüringer
Städtekette (Thuringian cities trail), connect points of tourist
interest. The former runs along the
Gera river valley from the
Thuringian forest to the river Unstrut; the latter follows the
Via Regia from
Altenburg via Gotha, Erfurt,
Weimar, and Jena.
Rennsteig Cycle Way
Rennsteig Cycle Way was opened in 2000. This designated high-grade
hiking and bike trail runs along the ridge of the Thuringian Central
Uplands. The bike trail, about 200 km (124 mi) long,
occasionally departs from the course of the historic Rennsteig hiking
trail, which dates back to the 1300s, to avoid steep inclines. It is
therefore about 30 km (19 mi) longer than the hiking trail.
The Rennsteig is connected to the E3 European long distance path,
which goes from the Atlantic coast of Spain to the Black Sea coast of
Bulgaria, and the E6 European long distance path, running from Arctic
Finland to Turkey.
After reunification, the educational system was reorganized. The
University of Erfurt, founded in 1379 and closed in 1816, was
refounded in 1994 with a focus on social sciences, modern languages,
humanities and teacher training. Today there are approximately 6,000
students working within four faculties, the
Max Weber Center for
Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, and three academic research
institutes. The University has an international reputation and
participates in international student exchange programmes.
Fachhochschule Erfurt, is a university of applied sciences,
founded in 1991, which offers a combination of academic training and
practical experience in subjects such as social work and social
pedagogy, business studies, and engineering. There are nearly 5,000
students in six faculties, of which the faculty of landscaping and
horticulture has a national reputation.
The International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef - Bonn
(IUBH), is a privately run university with a focus on business and
economics. It merged with the former Adam-Ries-
Fachhochschule in 2013.
The world renowned
Bauhaus design school was founded in 1919 in the
city of Weimar, approximately 20 km (12 mi) from Erfurt,
12 minutes by train. The buildings are now part of a World Heritage
Site and are today used by the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, which
teaches design, arts, media and technology related subjects.
Furthermore, there are eight Gymnasien, six state-owned, one Catholic
and one Protestant. One of the state-owned schools is a
Sportgymnasium, an elite boarding school for young talents in
athletics, swimming, ice skating or football. Another state-owned
school, Albert Schweitzer Gymnasium, offers a focus in sciences as an
elite boarding school in addition to the common curriculum.
The German national public television children’s channel
based in Erfurt.
MDR, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, a radio and television company, has a
broadcast centre and studios in Erfurt.
Thüringer Allgemeine is a state-wide newspaper that is
headquartered in the city.
Mayor and city council
The first freely elected mayor after
German reunification was Manfred
Ruge, CDU (in office from 1990 to 2006), followed by Andreas
Bausewein, SPD (in office since 2006).
The last municipal election was held in 2014 with the result:
Seats in council
Alternative for Germany
Pirate Party of Germany
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany
Erfurt is twinned with:
United States (1993)
San Miguel de Tucumán,
Bowling Green, Kentucky, United States
People from Erfurt
See: List of people from Erfurt
^ As with the case of an anthropomorhic figurine excavated in Erfurt,
some researchers including Olaf Höckmann indicated those were
intentionally broken, since neolithic figurines in human figure were
found in fragment in high ratio among excavations in central
^ Between 1631 and 1648, during the Thirty Years’ War,
occupied by Swedish forces, thus the effigy of Queen Christina
appears on the 1645
Ducat (Portugaloser). There are seven
gold coins known to exist bearing the effigy of Queen Christina: a
unique 1649 five ducat, and six 1645 10 ducat specimen.
^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden, Gemeinschaftsfreie Gemeinde,
Verwaltungsgemeinschaft/Mitgliedsgemeinden in Thüringen". Thüringer
Landesamt für Statistik (in German). January 2018.
^ Mangold, Max (2005). "Erfurt". Das Aussprachewörterbuch. Mannheim,
Leipzig, Wien, Zürich: Duden Verlag. p. 311.
ISBN 978-3-411-04066-7. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
^ Petersberg – Erfurt-web.de (in German). Retrieved 31 October 2016
^ a b c Timeline
^ Höckmann, Olaf (1965). "Menschliche Darstellungen in der
bandkeramischen Kultur" [Human representations in the band ceramic
culture]. Jb. RGZM (in German). 12: 1–34.
^ Eszter Bánffy. "Gestures from artefacts within domestic rituals in
the Neolithic: different attitudes to certain types of cult objects"
(PDF): 2. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
^ Banffy, Eszter (2017-04-13). Insoll, Timothy, ed. "Neolithic Eastern
and Central Europe". The Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines.
Oxford University Press: 711. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
^ Table of contents is available for "The Oxford Handbook of
Prehistoric Figurines" (2017) online. "Table of Contents" (PDF).
^ Heinemeyer, Karl (2004). "Bonifatius in Mitteldeutschland". In Hardy
Eidam; Marina Moritz; Gerd-Rainer Riedel; Kai-Uwe Schierz. Bonifatius:
Heidenopfer, Christuskreuz, Eichenkult (in German). Stadtverwaltung
Erfurt. pp. 73–87. access-date= requires url= (help)
^ Schmidt, Christoph G. (2004). "Im Machtbereich der Merowinger:
Politische und gesellschaftliche Strukturen in Thüringen vom 6. bis
8. Jahrhundert". In Hardy Eidam; Marina Moritz; Gerd-Rainer Riedel;
Kai-Uwe Schierz. Bonifatius: Heidenopfer, Christuskreuz, Eichenkult
(in German). Stadtverwaltung Erfurt. pp. 39–56.
access-date= requires url= (help)
^ a b Archeologists Discover Medieval Jewish Bath in Erfurt,
12.04.2007, Deutsche Welle, 
^ Stürzebecher, Maria (June–July 2014). "Zwei Schätze: Zeugnisse
jüdischer Kultur in Erfurt". Archäologie in Deutschland (in German).
Darmstadt: WGB (3/2014): 32–35. ISSN 0176-8522.
^ a b History and Buildings
^ Cuhaj, George S., ed. (2009a). Standard Catalog of World Gold Coins
1601 – present (6 ed.). Krause. pp. 490–491.
^ Friedberg, Arthur; Friedberg, Ira (2009). Gold Coins of the World:
From Ancient Times to the Present (8 ed.). The Coin & Currency
Institute. pp. 688–89. ISBN 978-0-87184-308-1.
^ Kunker Rarities Auction, retrieved 1 March 2015
^ Metaxas, Eric (2017) Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and
Changed the World, New York: Viking Press.
^ "Hauptschluß der ausserordentlichen Reichsdeputation" (in German).
documentArchiv.de. 25 February 1803. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
^ The full text of Hauptschluß der außerordentlichen
Reichsdeputation vom 25. Februar 1803 at Wikisource
Francis Loraine Petre (1993) [First published 1907]. Napoleon's
Prussia 1806. Lionel Leventhal. pp. 194–95.
Digby Smith (1998). The Napoleonic Wars Data Book. Greenhill.
p. 226. ISBN 1-85367-276-9.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "1806–1814:
französischer Besetzung" [1806–1814:
Erfurt under French
occupation] (in German).
Erfurt Stadtverwaltung [
administration]. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
^ a b c "Kurzer historischer Überblick" [Brief historical overview].
Erfurt (in German). Euratibor. Retrieved 2
^ Gerhard Robert Walter von Coeckelberghe-Dützele (1834). Ruinen oder
Taschenbuch zur Geschichte verfallener Ritterburgen und Schlößer
(etc.) [Ruins, or: A pocketbook on the history of dilapidated knights'
castles] (in German). Mich. Lechner. p. 21. Retrieved 23 January
2016. Nach der unglücklichen Schlacht bei
Jena und dem Rückzuge der
Preußen, wurde sie durch Kapitulation den Franzosen übergeben, und
erhielt anfangs eine ziemlich starke Besatzung; doch wurde sie in der
Folge so von ihnen vernachläßigt, daß in einer gewissen Epoche der
Marketender Sturm mit seiner Familie und ein alter Unteroffizier ihre
ganze Garnison ausmachten. Damals war es, wo der Intendant Devismes
und der Domainen-Direktor Gentil in der nach der Stadt zugekehrten
Seite der Mauer einen Schatz suchen ließ, der noch aus den Zeiten des
ehemaligen Benedektiner-Nonnenklosters hier versteckt seyn sollte,
ohne zu bedenken, daß zufolge der oben angeführten, an der Mauer
befindlichen Inschrift, kein Schatz von 1478 her in einer Mauer
versteckt seyn konnte, die über 100 Jahre darnach erst erbaut worden
war; aber die Habsucht eilte hier jeder nähern Untersuchung vor. Bei
dieser Gelegenheit wurde auch die alte Burgkapelle demoliert und aus
den verkauften Baumaterialien die Arbeiter bezahlt, die beim
Schatzgraben hilfreiche Hand geleistet hatten. [After the unfortunate
Jena and the retreat of the Prussians, it was handed over by
capitulation to the French, and was initially fairly strongly
garrisoned; but was subsequently so neglected that at one time the
whole garrison consisted of the sutler Sturm with his family and an
old sergeant. At that time, Intendant de Vismes (fr) and
Domain-Director Gentil searched in the city-side walls for treasure
hidden since the times of the former
Benedictine nunnery — without
considering that an inscription located on the wall above showed that
it had been built just over 100 years later, so no treasure could have
been hidden there in 1478, but greed hastened this before any closer
investigation. On that occasion the old chapel was demolished, and the
workers who had helped dig for treasure were paid from the sale of the
^ a b c d e "Denkmale Erfurts 1806–1814" [Monuments of Erfurt
1806–1814] (in German). Thüringer Naturbrief. Retrieved 3 January
^ Frank Palmowski (2015) [First published 2013]. Die Belagerung von
Erfurt 1813–1814 [The
Erfurt 1813–1814] (in German).
Sutton Verlag. p. 82. ISBN 978-3-954-00604-5.
^ Willibald Gutsche, ed. (1989). Geschichte der Stadt
of the city of Erfurt] (in German) (2nd revised ed.). Weimar.
^ a b
Christoph Wilhelm von Koch
Christoph Wilhelm von Koch (1838). Histoire abrégée des
traités de paix entre les puissances de l'Europe depuis la paix de
Westphalie, Volume 3 [Abridged history of the peace treaties between
the powers of Europe since the Peace of Westphalia, Volume 3] (in
French). Meline, Cans et Compagnie. Le général Kleist assiégeait
Erfurt. Par suite d'une capitulation signée le 20 décembre, le
générale français d'Alton se retira dans les deux forts de
Petersberg et Cyriacsbourg, et la ville fut remise aux Prussiens le 6
janvier 1814. [General Kleist laid siege to Erfurt. As a result of a
capitulation signed on 20 December, the French general d'Alton
withdrew to the two forts of Petersberg and Cyriaksburg, and the town
was handed over to the Prussians on 6 January 1814.]
^ a b c d e "1814–1850:
Erfurt im preußischen Staat" [1814–1850:
Erfurt in the Prussian state] (in German).
Erfurt city administration]. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
^ a b Georg Friedrich Hühn (1839), Kurzgefasste Nachricht von der
Belagerung, Blokade und Einzug der Königlich Preußischen Truppen in
Erfurt. Vom 21sten Oktober 1813 bis zum 8ten Januar 1814. In einem
Briefe als ein Journal abgefasst, und an einen vertrauten Freund
abgesendet. Bei Gelegenheit der 25jährigen Jubelfeier neu abgedruckt
[Concise news of the siege, blockade and entry of the Royal Prussian
troops into Erfurt. From 21 October 1813 to 8 January 1814. In a
letter as a journal written and sent to a trusted friend. Reprinted on
the occasion of the 25th jubilee], Erfurt.
^ Frank Palmowski (2015) [First published 2013]. Die Belagerung von
Erfurt 1813–1814 [The
Erfurt 1813–1814] (in German).
Sutton Verlag. p. 25. ISBN 978-3-954-00604-5. Retrieved 17
January 2016. Preußische Truppen marschieren in der Stadt ein. Auf
dem Anger kommt es zu Jubelszenen. Der Napoleon-Obelisk wird
zerstört. [Prussian troops march into the city. On the Anger this
leads to scenes of jubilation. The
Napoleon obelisk is
^ Stanton, Shelby,
World War II
World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic
Reference to U.S. Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division,
1939–1946, Stackpole Books (Revised Edition 2006), p. 150
^ Kottek, M.; J. Grieser; C. Beck; B. Rudolf; F. Rubel (2006). "World
Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated" (PDF).
Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130.
Retrieved 22 January 2013.
^ Peel, M. C.; Finlayson B. L.; McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world
map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification". Hydrol. Earth
Syst. Sci. 11: 1633–1644. doi:10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007.
ISSN 1027-5606. (direct: Final Revised Paper)
^ Erfurt: Population 2013. Page 21-23.
^ According to Thüringer Landesamt für Statistik
^ Lehmann, Hartmut. "Weber's Protestant Ethic". Cambridge University
Press, 1995. 118.
^ Korn, Ingolf (2012). "Margaretha-Reichardt-Haus", In ′Bauhaus
Reisebuch′ (ISBN 978-3-8321-9411-6). Dumont Buchverlag, p. 74.
^ a b Jewish Life in Erfurt. Old synagogue. Jewish Life in Erfurt. Old
synagogue. Retrieved 31 October 2016
^ The Local (4 December 2014) How ordinary people smashed the Stasi.
Retrieved 15 January 2018
^ Visit Thuringia. Margaretha Reichard Haus. Retrieved 15 January 2018
Erfurt Tourismus. German Horticulture Museum. Retrieved 15 January
^ "German staging of Verdi's A Masked Ball on 9/11 with naked cast in
Mickey Mouse masks". The Daily Telegraph. London. 11 April 2008.
Retrieved 2 May 2010.
Erfurt Tourismus. Famous Individuals. Lucas Cranach. Retrieved 18
^ Kloster St. Ursula. Geschichte. Retrieved 15 January 2018
^ UNESCO World Heritage. Augustinian Monastery,
application (Accessed: 29 May 2017)
^ geo.viaregia.org. Hospitalkirche. Retrieved 15 January 2018
^ Jewish life in Erfurt. Mikveh. Retrieved 4 June 2017
^ Old synagogue and
Erfurt - UNESCO world heritage centre.
Retrieved 31 October 2016
^ Jewish Life in Erfurt. Small synagogue. Retrieved 31 October 2016
^ Available at: Jewish Life in Erfurt. Great synagogue. Retrieved 31
^ Jewish Life in Erfurt. New synagogue. Retrieved 31 October 2016
^ a b Stadtverwaltung
Erfurt (4 September 2012). Stadtbefestigung
einst und jetzt. Retrieved 28 December 2017
^ Verein der Freunde der Citadelle Petersberg zu
Erfurt e.V. (2015).
350 Jahre Zitadelle Petersberg. Tagungsband: Wissenschaftliches
Kolloquim zum 350. Jahrestages der Grundsteinlegung der Zitadelle
Petersberg vom 29. Mai bis 31 Mai 2015. Universität Erfurt.
^ Die Cyriaksburg: Sitz des Deutschen Gartenbaumuseums Erfurt.
Retrieved 23 December 2017
^ "Ausbau der Erfurter Straßenbahn zur Stadtbahn" [Expansion of
Erfurt tram to light rail] (in German). Essener
Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft (EVAG). Retrieved 2013-10-20.
^ Faculties, Institutes & Services
^ Universität Efurt. International Students. Retrieved 15 January
Bauhaus 2019. The
Bauhaus in Thuringia. Retrieved 19 November 2016
^ Thüringer Allgemeine. Kontakt. Retrieved 13 January 2014
^ Stadtsratmitgliederwahl 2014 - endgueltiges Ergebnis Retrieved 17
^ City of
Erfurt (ed.). "Parterstädte Erfurt.de" (in German).
Kalisz Official Website - Twin Towns" (in Polish). Archived from
the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
See also: Bibliography of the history of Erfurt
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Erfurt.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Erfurt.
Erfurt City Panoramas - Panoramic Views and virtual Tours
Sister City (since 1993) with Shawnee, Kansas
World Shots. Germany. Erfurt. - Collection of photographs (English,
Memorial and Museum Topf & Sons. - Builders of the
Places adjacent to Erfurt
Braunschweig — Magdeburg
Halle — Leipzig
Kassel — Eisenach
Jena — Dresden
Frankfurt — Würzburg
Capitals of states of the Federal Republic of Germany
Capitals of area states
Düsseldorf (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Hanover (Lower Saxony)
Bremen (State of Bremen)
Capitals of former states
Freiburg im Breisgau
Freiburg im Breisgau (South Baden, 1949–1952)
Stuttgart (Württemberg-Baden, 1949–1952)
Tübingen (Württemberg-Hohenzollern, 1949–1952)
1 Unlike the mono-city states
Berlin and Hamburg, the State of Bremen
consists of two cities, thus state and capital are not identical.
Urban and rural districts in the Free State of
Germany by population
Freiburg im Breisgau
Mülheim an der Ruhr
Offenbach am Main
cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants
Thuringia by population
Capitals of the former East German Bezirke
Members of the
Hanseatic League by Quarter
Chief cities shown in smallcaps.
Free Imperial Cities of the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire shown in italics.
Frankfurt an der Oder
Dortmund were both capital of the Westphalian Quarter at
Antwerp gained importance once
Bruges became inaccessible due to the
silting of the