"Erfordia turrita" or "Erfurt, city of towers" – this is how Martin Luther once praised Erfurt with its 25 parish churches, 15 religious foundations and 10 chapels. This impressive list of ecclesiastical buildings in conjunction with the magnificent architectural motif of the cathedral and the Church of St. Severus (now the city’s emblem) inspired historians such as Ernst Stida (1585–1632) to refer to the city as the "The Thuringian Rome". Most of the churches are still intact and blend in with the beautifully restored half-timbered houses of the 'Andreas' quarter and with the brightly coloured façades of Renaissance buildings. The medieval part of the city is one of the largest and best preserved historical city centres in Germany.
The Augustinian monastery in which Luther lived as a mendicant friar for five years, the "Prediger" Church, which is now the main Protestant church in Erfurt and the city’s second largest church (after the cathedral), the castle and grounds of the "Petersberg", one of the city’s oldest fortresses are but a few of the Erfurt’s many fine examples of medieval and early Renaissance architecture. 18 of Erfurt’s numerous churches were built during the Middle Ages.
At the moment, there are about 50 churches that are still open, providing oases of prayer and peace at the heart of this busy city. Since 1994, Erfurt has once again become a cathedral city with its own Roman Catholic bishop.