Erfurt has already made a name for itself as a city of cultural festivals (Festspielstadt). Every year the (literally) historical setting provided by the cathedral and the Church of St. Severus creates the perfect back-cloth for international theatre events!
In the summer months, the 70 cathedral steps leading up to the two great Catholic buildings form the stage for superb theatre performances that have drawn crowds of people from all over the world. Some world-class performances have already been staged here including Hoffmannsthal's classic version of Everyman, Purcell's The Fairy Queen, Orff's Carmina Burana, Bernstein's Mars and Honnegger's and Claudel's version of St. Joan of Arc - these festival plays performed on the steps of the cathedral provide the audience with a unique artistic experience.
The combination of the medieval setting with sophisticated use of modern lighting techniques together with music, dance and drama creates an unforgettable atmosphere that lightly transports the audience into the world of the imagination. International festivals such as the "Synegura" puppet theatre festival, the "Danetzare" festival of folklore and the international organ competition are also part of Erfurt's cultural scene. The "Waidspeicher" puppet and cabaret theatre, the jazz club and theme pubs cater for more individual tastes.
Erfurt’s museums and galleries have a wide selection of exhibits as well as examples of both traditional and contemporary art. Every year there is a museum open night when all the museums can be visited for the price of one ticket. Erfurt's theatres have a variety of interesting premieres, Erfurt's historical ballroom, the "Kaisersaal" now a cultural and congress centre, has a programme of select events and there are not only multiplex cinemas but also a cinema club with many first showings and cult films for real cinema buffs.