) is the capital and largest city in the state of Thuringia, central Germany.It lies in the southern part of the Thuringian Basin, within the wide valley of the Gera river.
It was part of the Electorate of Mainz during the Holy Roman Empire, and later became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1802.Bei einer spannenden Stadtführung durch die historische Altstadt können die beeindruckenden Sehenswürdigkeiten entdeckt werden und man erfährt die ein oder andere Anekdote rund um die Geschichte Erfurts.Gemütliche Cafés und Restaurants sowie zahlreiche attraktive Einkaufsmöglichkeiten bieten Möglichkeit zum Verweilen.1260-1328), the Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706), the sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920), rapper Clueso (Thomas Hübner) (1980- ), and Gunda Niemann (1966- ), three-times Olympic speed skating gold-medal winner. The earliest evidence of human settlement dates from the prehistoric era; archaeological finds from the north of Erfurt revealed human traces from the paleolithic period, ca.100,000 BCE The town is first mentioned in 742 under the name of "Erphesfurt": in that year, Saint Boniface wrote to Pope Zachary to inform him that he had established three dioceses in central Germany, one of them "in a place called Erphesfurt, which for a long time has been inhabited by pagan natives." All three dioceses (the other two were Würzburg and Büraburg) were confirmed by Zachary the next year, though in 755 Erfurt was brought into the diocese of Mainz.
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Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) was the most famous student of the institution, studying there from 1501.Other famous Erfurters include the medieval philosopher and mystic Meister Eckhart (c.Throughout the Middle Ages, Erfurt was an important trading town because of its location, near a ford across the Gera river. Together with the other five Thuringian woad towns of Gotha, Tennstedt, Arnstadt and Langensalza it was the centre of the German woad trade, which made those cities very wealthy.During the 12th century, as a sign of more and more independence, the citizens built a city wall around Erfurt (in the area of today's ).
After 1200, independence was fulfilled and a city council was founded in 1217; the town hall was built in 1275.
Erfurt hosts the second-largest trade fair in eastern Germany (after Leipzig) as well as the public television children’s channel Ki Ka.
The city is situated on the Via Regia, a medieval trade and pilgrims' road network.
Erfurt was the junction of important trade routes: the Via Regia was one of the most used east–west roads between France and Russia (via Frankfurt, Erfurt, Leipzig and Wrocław) and another route in north–south direction was the connection between the Baltic Sea ports (e. Lübeck) and the potent upper Italian city-states like Venice and Milan.
During the 10th and 11th centuries both the Emperor and the Electorate of Mainz held some privileges in Erfurt.