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Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?
Are there any cultural highlights, museums?
Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?
Good restaurants for dinner?
Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.
Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?
How to get around and find best means of local transportation?
Where to find good quality groceries?
Are there any special local events?
Are there any local food specialties one should try out?
What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?"Why should someone do a vacation in Erfurt? Can you possibly tell me 2-3 popular travel tips for Erfurt, which everyone visiting Erfurt should see? Also let me know 2-3 special insider travel tips for Erfurt that a typical tourist may not know about, but that you can highly recommend. Thanks!" (posted 09/02/2014)
Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?
Are there any points of interest or local attractions?
What are good places to go for shopping?"While visiting Erfurt last August I saw a shop on Merchants' Bridge where wooden puppets were made. Could you give me the name of the shop and contact information. Thanks! Dave Kluge" (posted 02/03/2015)
Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?
Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...
Popular Points of Interest in and near Erfurt
The Erfurt Synagogue in Erfurt, Germany, was built c. 1100. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. It is used as a museum and permanently houses the Erfurt Treasure.
History of the building
The oldest parts of the building date from the 11th century and the medieval building is preserved to a remarkable degree, including the roof. The building was used for purposes other than worship for many years.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Erfurt
The Diocese of Erfurt is a diocese of the Catholic church in Germany. The diocese was erected in 1973 as the apostolic administration of Erfurt-Meiningen, and was elevated in 1994 to the current diocese of Erfurt. The diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Paderborn.
The Diocese currently is a vacant see (sede vacante) with Pope Benedict XVI's acceptance of Bishop Joachim Wanke's resignation on Monday, October 1, 2012. Bishop Wanke had served as Bishop of Erfurt since 17 January 1981.
Erfurt Cathedral and St. Severus Church
Erfurt’s landmark is the unique ensemble created by the combined effect of the Mariendom (Cathedral of The Blessed Virgin Mary) together with the Severikirche (St. Severus Church). These two magnificent examples of German Gothic architecture at its best majestically dominate the cityscape. The
Queen of Bells, has been praised for centuries throughout Europe for its magnificent resonance. Inside the cathedral there is an elaborate Gothic chancel with a series of 13 coloured stained-glass windows which are almost 13 meters high and are among the greatest works of medieval stained-glass art. The Cathedral houses many rare and rich furnishings and sculptures, including the tomb of bigamist Count von Gleichen, accompanied by both of his wives, a stucco altar, a bronze candelebra of Romanesque antiquity called Wolfram, the oldest free standing cast work in Germany, and, outside, several statues of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. A wide and impressive open-air stairway leads up from the market square to the cathedral itself and to the Church of St. Severus (1278 - 1400), which contains the sarcophagus of St. Severus (1363).
Hours: May to October Mon to Fri 9 am – 5 pm, Sat 9 am – 4:30 pm, Sun/public holidays 1 pm – 5 pm. November to April Mon to Sat 10 am – 11:30 am and 12:30 pm – 4 pm, Sun/public holidays 2 pm – 4 pm.
Admission: free; guided tours to cathedral and Gloriosa 2.50 € each.
The Krämerbrücke (Merchants’ Bridge)
The Krämerbrücke (Merchants’ Bridge) is the only bridge north of the Alps to be built over entirely with houses that are still used as residences. This arched stone bridge was constructed in 1325 over the river Gera where the original ford was located along the
via regiatrading route. In medieval times there were two churches built at either end of the bridge, one of which, the Ägidienkirche, is still in existence. Currently mostly artisans' and antique shops can be found in the 32 houses on Krämerbrücke, and the greatest city festival of Erfurt is named after the bridge:
Krämerbrückenfest. It is held around the bridge and in the old town annually in June.
Old Synagogue and Erfurt Treasure/Jewish Life in Erfurt
The Old Synagogue is one of very few preserved medieval synagogues in Europe. Thanks to the extensive preservation of the original structure, it has a special place in the history of art and architecture and is among the most impressive and highly rated architectural monuments in Erfurt and Thuringia. The synagogue was constructed during the Middle Ages on the
via regia, one of the major European trade routes, at the heart of the historical old quarter very close to the Merchants Bridge and the town hall. Many parts of the structure still remain today, including all four thick outer walls, the Romanesque gemel window, the Gothic rose window and the entrance to the synagogue room.
After extensive restoration, the building reopened in 2009. On display in the exhibition rooms is an extensive collection of medieval treasures discovered during archaeological excavations. This includes 3,140 silver coins, 14 silver ingots, approx. 6,000 works of goldsmithery from the 13th and 14th centuries and an intricately worked wedding ring of the period, of which only two others are known to exist anywhere in the world. A mikveh (Jewish bath) has been excavated close by (13th/14th century). The Old Synagogue, the Small Synagogue and two Jewish cemeteries together form a network of historical buildings and sites which vividly portray the role of Jewish life in the history of Erfurt.
Augustinian Monastery/Martin Luther Memorial
The church and monastery of the Augustinian hermits was built around 1300 and posseses valuable stained glass windows dating back to the beginning of the 14th century. Martin Luther, the famous Augustinian monk, was admitted to the monastery on 17 July 1505. The Augustinian Monastery pays tribute to Martin Luther with a new exhibition whose theme is
Bible-Monastery-Luther. The Lutherzelle (Luther’s cell) can be visited as part of the exhibition. Since 1988 the monastery has been used as an ecumenical conference centre and a memorial to Luther.
Guided tours every hour or by arrangement. Hours: April to October: Mon - Sat 10am - 12pm and 2 -5pm. Sun/public holidays 11am, 2pm and 3pm. November to March: Mon - Sat 10am - 12pm and 2 -4pm. Sun/public holidays 11am, 2pm and 3pm.
Admission: Adults 5 €, children 3.50 €.
egapark Erfurt - German Horticultural Museum in Cyriaksburg Castle
The people of Thuringia are very proud of the
ega, (40 hectares ) which acts as a magnet for visitors and is often referred to as
the garden of Thuringia. A walk through this extensive and varied horticultural park can be combined with a visit to the 500-year-old Cyriaksburg castle (now hosting the German horticultural museum) with its watch towers and ancient fortifications. The center point of the ega is the (very)
Large Flowerbed, which is an impressive floral display, unique in Thuringia for both its size and beauty. Tropical plants, cacti and other succulents, orchids and many other kinds of plants can be admired in greenhouses which are open to visitors all the year round. The most recent attraction of the ega is the butterfly house, which is the first of its kind in Thuringia.
Children are welcome to play, paddle, paint and enjoy a great variety of craft work in the largest children’s playground in Thuringia. In close proximity to the playground, there is also a children’s farm. In the greenhouses and exhibition halls, thematic floral displays are often exhibited. There are also regional exhibitions with themes such as art and culture, science and technology, and nature and the environment.
Hours: Jan. - Feb.: Daily from 10am to 4pm. March - April: Daily from 9am to 6pm. May 1 - September 15: Daily from 9am to 8pm (halls and glasshouses close at 6pm). September 16 - October 31: Daily from 9am to 6pm. November - December: Daily from 10am to 4pm.
Zitadelle Petersberg / Citadel Petersberg
Petersberg Citadel, the only extensively preserved town baroque fortress in central Europe, was built on the site of a former Benedictine monastery. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organized by Erfurt Tourist Office. Also, the greater part of the casemates, esplanades and bastions inside the fortification area are now open to visitors. The citadel itself and more importantly, the entire area of the Petersberg including the Peterskirche, (a Romanesque basilica containing three naves) overlooks Erfurt’s old city center.
Hours: April to October, daily 11am - 6:30pm. November to March, daily 11am - 4pm. January to Easter closed.
Predigerkirche ("Preacher's Church") is a Protestant church in Erfurt, Germany. It is a monastic church to the Dominican friary, Predigerkloster, adjacent to the church. Predigerkirche was originally built by the Dominican Order in the 13th century, when the mystic Meister Eckhart was prior here. The church only became a Protestant church after the Reformation. The original building was modified in 1340–50, and the bell tower was built between 1447 and 1488. Around 1806 Predigerkirche was used as a POW camp, which led to damage to the interior and the equipment. Repairs were made around 1826.
The Naturkundemuseum Erfurt is a natural history museum in Erfurt, Germany.
The museum has a permanent exhibition relating the natural history of the forests, fields, city and the geological history of Thuringia. There is also a special exhibitions programme. The museum has collections of botany, zoology, mineralogy — 6,500 specimens presented by Godehard Schwethelm (1899–1992) — and palaeontology. The statutory goals of the museum are the promotion of scientific research and education, the care of scientific collections and hosting scientific meetings.
Auschwitz concentration camp
Auschwitz concentration camp (German: Konzentrationslager Auschwitz [ˈaʊʃvɪts] ( listen)) was a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. It was the largest of the German concentration camps, consisting of Auschwitz I (the Stammlager or base camp); Auschwitz II–Birkenau (the Vernichtungslager or extermination camp); Auschwitz III–Monowitz, also known as Buna–Monowitz (a labor camp); and 45 satellite camps.
Auschwitz had for a long time been a German name for Oświęcim, the town by and around which the camps were located; the name "Auschwitz" was made the official name again by the Germans after they invaded Poland in September 1939. Birkenau, the German translation of Brzezinka (= "birch forest"), referred originally to a small Polish village that was destroyed by the Germans to make way for the camp.
The Barbarossa Cave (German: Barbarossahöhle) is an anhydrite cave (gypsum cave) in the Kyffhäuser Hills near Rottleben in the east German state of Thuringia. It is a cave with large caverns, grottos and lakes. The anhydrite has formed gypsum on the surface due to the air moisture in the cave and, as a result, has increased in volume. The resulting layers of gypsum gradually separate from the underlying rock and hang like wallpaper from the walls and ceilings of the underground caverns.
It was discovered in 1865 as a gallery was being driven during prospecting work for kupferschiefer, a copper-bearing shale or bituminous marl. By 1866 it had been developed and opened as a show cave under the name of Falkenburg Cave (Falkenburger Höhle). It has a floor area of about 25,000 m². Of interest to visitors are the underground lakes whose gypsum content gives them an iridescent green colour, and a human made stone construction, known as Barbarossa's Table and Chair (Tisch und Stuhl von Barbarossa).
Its location in the Kyffhäuser Hills gave rise to its link with the Barbarossa Legend and its proximity to the Kyffhäuser Monument led to it being renamed the Barbarossa Cave (Barbarossahöhle) at the end of the 19th century. According to the legend, Frederick Barbarossa will sleep in an underground palace until Germany is unified. His beard is growing around a round table. To date, it has gone around the table twice, but when it has encircled the table a third time, the end of the world will begin or Barbarossa will awaken and begin his reign anew. According to the legend, until then, there will be no other good emperors.
The Barbarossa Cave lies on the Karst Trail.
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Travel Insider Tips for Erfurt
Martin Luther attended the University of Erfurt and received his bachelor's and master's degrees of theology there. Luther lived there as a student from 1501 to 1511 and, as a monk, from 1505 to 1511. Erfurt 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 square, Anger (Anger vacation rentals | Anger travel guide). The sociologist Max Weber was born in Erfurt, and the theologian and philosopher Meister Eckhart was Prior of Erfurt's Dominican Order Johann Pachelbel served as organist at the Prediger church in Erfurt. Pachelbel composed approximately seventy pieces for organ while in Erfurt. After 1906 the composer Richard Wetz lived in Erfurt and became the leading person in the town's musical life. His major works were written here, including three symphonies, a Requiem and a Christmas Oratorio.
Things to See in Erfurt
Erfurt has preserved an intact medieval city centre. The city is known for its two churches, Erfurt Cathedral (Mariendom) and Severikirche, which stand side by side and together form the emblem of the city. Both churches tower above the townscape and are accessible via huge open stairs called Domstufen. Another remarkable site is the Krämerbrücke, a bridge crossing the narrow Gera (Gera vacation rentals | Gera travel guide) River. The bridge is covered with 32 inhabited buildings. It was built in 1325 with a church on either bridgehead, one of which, the Ägidienkirche, is still functional. The Augustinerkloster is an old Augustinian monastery. Martin Luther studied at the university and lived in the Augustinerkloster for a few years after 1505.
The eleventh century Erfurt Synagogue is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. It is now a museum displaying the Erfurt Treasure.
Since 2003, the modern new built opera house is home of 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 source of controversy recently. In 2005 a performance of 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 April 12, 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 premiere was sold out.
[ source: wikipedia ]
More about the History of Erfurt
Erfurt was first mentioned in 742 under the name of
Erphesfurt. It was an important trading town during the Middle Ages 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. In 1349, during the wave of pogroms which followed the Black Death across Europe, the Jews of Erfurt were rounded up, with more than 100 killed and the rest driven from the city. Recently, the medieval synagogue has been discovered beneath newer buildings, and is being restored (completion expected 2009). In 1392, the University of Erfurt, where Martin Luther was matriculated, was founded. One of the leading German universities for many centuries, it fell upon hard times in the early 19th Century, and was forced to close in 1816. It was refounded in 1994 by the Thuringian state parliament and has regained its status as a leading German academic and research institution. Erfurt became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1802, part of the First French Empire in 1806 as Principality of Erfurt, and was returned to Prussia in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars. Although enclosed by Thuringian territory in the west, south and east, the city remained part of the Prussian Province of Saxony until 1944. The city was the site of the failed Erfurt Union of German states in 1850. Bombed as a target of the Oil Campaign of World War II, Erfurt suffered only limited damage and was captured on April 12, 1945, by units of Patton's Third United States Army. On July 3, American troops left the city and the city became part of the Soviet Zone of Occupation and East Germany. After German reunification, Erfurt became the capital of the re-established state of Thuringia.
[ source: wikipedia ]
As the capital city of Thuringia, Erfurt is a large city with about 500,000 residents. As Martin Luther once wrote, Erfurt "is ideally situated. There just has to be a city on a spot like this." Apparently, many others agreed with him since settlements in the Erfurt area date to 100,000 BC. The sites to visit here are almost too many to describe. One definite stop should be the Erfurt Cathedral, a 1,200-year-old church built in the international Gothic style. Luther was ordained here. Also, the Kramer Bridge is very unusual since it is covered with occupied half-timbered structures that run along both sides of the bridge. This type of bridge is unique north of the Alps. The Erfurt Synagogue is the oldest extant synagogue in Europe, having been established in the 11th century. Besides these historic structures, the old city center has numerous half-timbered buildings and is home to about 25 Gothic churches. Be sure to take the time to walk along the Michaelisstrasse, the so-called "stone chronicle of Erfurt" because of the large number of medieval buildings along it. In terms of museums, here is a short sampling: German Horticultural Museum, Thuringian Museum of Popular Art and Cultural Anthropology, Museum of Electrical Engineering, several art museums, and the memorial site of Topf and Sons Co. (which produced crematories at Auschwitz and other concentration camps). In terms of day trips, Weimar (15 miles) and Gotha (25 miles) are both reachable by short train trips.
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