Erfurt is not only the capital of the Freistaat Thüringen (Free State of
Thuringia) but with nearly 200,000 inhabitants and an area of approx. 269 km2 it is also its biggest city.
You can decide for yourself after your visit to the "Green Heart of Germany" whether it is the most beautiful
one as well.
Erfurt was first mentioned in 742 A. D. and has grown in the middle ages from being an important intersection
of the old trading routes to become a powerful centre of the trading industries. And an important university
was founded too. Erfurt's cultural, intellectual and economic strengths brought great personalities such as
Martin Luther (Augustinian monastery), Adam Ries, Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Wieland, Bach (Kaufmannskirche,
the church where J. S. Bach's parents were married), W. v. Humboldt, Zsar Alexander and Napoléon (Kaisersaal,
The former wealth of the city may be witnessed in the many carefully restored renaissance and half-timbered
houses which, with many other buildings and the Krämerbrücke make up one of the best preserved historical city
centres of medieval times in Germany. At one time the 36 parish churches and chapels as well as 15 monasteries
and ecclesiastical foundations were responsible for Erfurt having been given the nicknames "Rome of Thuringia"
and "erfordia turrita" (tower crowned Erfurt).
Erfurt's landmark is the unique ensemble of both, the Mariendom (cathedral of Mary) and the Severikirche
(St. Severus church) which majestically dominates the cityscape. This architectural masterpiece of German gothic
style is an imposing example of the art of church architecture. Around the Cathedral Square are many historical
buildings which have survived the artillery attack of 1813 and numerous city fires.
The Krämerbrücke is Erfurt's most interesting piece of secular architecture. The stone arched bridge was
constructed in 1325 over the Gera river ford, built through and following the trading route of the via regia.
The Krämerbrücke is the only bridge north of the Alps to be entirely covered with buildings that are still used
Today the capital city of Thuringia is an attractive and vital centre of this state that continues to offer
a rich and active intellectual and cultural life. Parks and large areas of green space also invite to relax.
The city is characterised by around 550 hectares of green, almost 2,000 hectares of forest, 379 hectares of
water and 156 kilometres of river.
Erfurt stands also for success in sport. Especially the track & field athletes, swimmers and cyclists caused
world-wide sensation. Today top athletes take up this tradition and return with titles and medals from the arenas
of the world to the capital of Thuringia. Modern sports facilities such as the Steigerwaldstadion, the athletics
and ice sport centres, the Olympic training centre and the regional high performance centre for athletics, cycling,
swimming and ice sports as well as the sports high school offer talented young athletes ideal development possibilities
and excellent training and competition opportunities. With the brand new tartan track which is currently being laid
out in the Steigerwaldstadion, Erfurt distinguishes itself further as a centre of national and European athletics
and convinces with a sports enthusiastic and fair audience.