Johannes von Wesel, Martin Luther, Spalatin, Kaspar Stieler and Joseph Martin Kraus are just some of the famous people connected with the University of Erfurt either as teachers or students. In the 15th century, the outstanding reputation of the university (founded in 1379) led to its reputation as one of the most popular universities in the whole of Germany. In 1994 the university was refounded as a new model university and it now offers excellent, interdisciplinary and vocational courses with internationally recognised degrees.
The new university library contains two million books and periodicals. In addition, Erfurt has a unique collection of historical manuscripts and private libraries such as the Amplonius Ratingk von Bercka library. The Theological Faculty is situated within the historic cloisters of the cathedral providing ideal surroundings for this subject. It is the only Catholic faculty of theology from the former GDR to offer a full diploma course in Catholic theology. The relatively new university of applied science (Fachhochschule) in Erfurt provides modern education in an old city.
It is the largest of its kind in Thuringia and is also one of the most popular universities in this state. Ever since the 12th century Erfurt has always had important monastic schools and church foundations. Private educational institutions, state schools, several grammar schools and voluntary aided institutions, language schools and an academy for secondary pupils form part of the rich cultural tradition of education in Erfurt.