Erfurt – Of Merchants, Churches and Treasures | On Tour | DW | 21.03.2012
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On Tour

Erfurt – Of Merchants, Churches and Treasures

Krämer bridge in Erfurt is one of the city's most treasured landmarks.



It used to be part of the Via Regia, a medieval trade route between western and eastern parts of the Holy Roman Empire, and symbolizes the city's rise to become an important point of transshipment in the Middle Ages.

The half-timbered houses that dot the historical district are a reminder of the city’s former wealth. Europe’s oldest preserved synagogue is testimony to the fact that there was once a thriving Jewish community here. It’s been standing for over 900 years. Since the Jewish community was wiped out in the pogrom of 1349, the building has served as a warehouse, a tavern and a dance hall. In 2009 it was re-opened as a museum of Jewish culture and history in the city.

Along with Heidelberg and Cologne, Erfurt is home to one of Germany’s oldest universities. Martin Luther lived and studied in the Georgenburse, a renaissance building that served as accommodation for students, before devoting his life to religion. He joined an Augustinian friary in Erfurt in 1505.

Erfurtis known as the Rome of Thüringen, thanks to its many churches. Erfurt Cathedral and the church of St. Severus are two that are well worth seeing.

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