Erfurt "... is ideally situated. There just has to be a city on a spot like this!..." In the 16th century this was the judgement of Martin Luther the great reformer. The first official reference, however, was in 742 when Erfurt was mentioned in a letter to Pope Zacharias. St. Boniface, who was a missionary archbishop, also recognised that the "Erphesfurt" location situated on the fertile meadows along the river Gera seemed as if it were predestined for a great future so that he recommended the settlement to the Roman Catholic Church as a suitable place for a bishopric.
Erfurt did, in fact, become the spiritual centre of Thuringia. There were three factors that encouraged the early growth of Erfurt as town: firstly, it was ideally located at the point of intersection between two ancient German (and European) trade routes, secondly, Erfurt was an early trading centre with extensive commercial links and thirdly, a royal palace was situated within the city.
Erfurt's colourful history goes back at least 1,250 years. Thuringia's largest city is distinguished by several unique features such as the cathedral and the Church of St. Severus, which have now become the emblem of the city, and such as the almost perfectly preserved medieval city centre.
In addition, Erfurt of today now has an excellent infrastructure on account of its airport and its ICE rail and its motorway links so that it is now a "meeting point at the centre of Germany". Erfurt is at the same time one of the oldest and yet most rapidly developing cities in Germany because it is a city with both a long history and an exciting future. Erfurt is a modern thriving city that also enjoys a unique historical setting.
Erfurt is a proud, yet charming city located at the heart of both Germany and Europe!