Erfurt is the capital of the German state of Thuringia. It was an important trading town during the Middle Ages, and has many beautiful old buildings and parks. It has a long history as a center of German religion and learning, with one of the oldest universities in Central Europe and a Catholic diocese that was founded in 742 AD.
rfurt was first mentioned in 742 under the name of "Erphesfurt". It was an important trading town during the Middle Ages near a ford in the Gera river. Together with the other five Thuringian woad-towns of Gotha, Tennstedt, Arnstedt and Langensalza it was the centre of the German woad-trade. In 1392 the Erfurt University was founded, which was famous at its time but became defunct in 1816. In 1803 Erfurt became a part of Prussia. Although enclosed by Thuringian territory, the city remained Prussian until 1945. After the German reunification Erfurt became the capital of the reestablished state of Thuringia.
The emblem of Erfurt is the complex of two churches, Mariendom and Severikirche, which stand directly side by side. Both churches tower above the townscape and are accessible via huge open stairs.
Another remarkable site is the Krmerbrcke, a bridge crossing the narrow Gera River. The bridge is covered with buildings and is hence inhabitated. It was built in 1325 with a church on either bridgehead - one of these churches still exists.
Erfurt is an attractive, lively city where you can easily linger for several days before heading for larger cities such as Dresden or Berlin. It also seems a bit cheaper than the more heavily touristed cities of Germany, with hotels and restaurants that offer solid middle-class comfort at moderate prices.