City of fairs and festivals

Lachender Clown
Picture: © Stadtverwaltung Erfurt

Another good reason to visit this Thuringian metropolis is to experience the ‘Kramerbrückenfest’, Thuringia’s largest and most popular festival. Visitors come from all over to see the many stalls around the “Krämerbrücke” bridge, to witness medieval crafts in action, to listen to the minstrels and to watch jugglers and street entertainers.

At the Erfurt pottery market, you can see fine examples of ceramics ranging from the blue and white Thuringian style to ‘Kunterbunt’ (multi-coloured ware). The autumn grain market displays local products such as fruit, vegetables and honey. The Erfurt wine festival attracts wine lovers from all over Germany to this former wine growing city. During carnival time, both rich and poor, famous and infamous as well as carnival fans from Erfurt’s partner city, Mainz came to Erfurt to greet each other with the traditional "Erfordia Helau" ("ello, "ello Erfurt!) at Erfurt’s (fifth) carnival. Every year on the 10th November you can see  crowds of singing children eating their "Martin" pastries, carrying their home-made lanterns and processing through the streets of Erfurt. They congregate at the cathedral square at this ecumenical festival in honour of the Catholic St. Martin and of Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer.

During Advent, the traditional seasonal aromas of cinnamon, ginger and hot almonds waft from the Erfurt Christmas Market - one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in the whole of Germany with its Crib, the Fairy Tale Forest, stalls displaying craft work, ginger bread cottages and the sound of Christmas music. The market is illuminated by thousands of Christmas lights with the magnificent cathedral and St. Severus Church providing an appropriate festive background.