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Erfurt - City of Culture and Sport
Erfurt Stadt

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, Staatskanzlei).

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 as residences.

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.

Climatic Conditions Erfurt
Control Point Erfurt-Stadt - download (83 KB, PDF)