The earliest existence of Erfurt Cathedral, or St.Mary’s Cathedral, can be traced back to 742 AD, though it has undergone many changes in the later centuries. This magnificent German Gothic architecture is made of three ornate towers. The middle tower houses the ‘Gloriosa’, the largest bell in the world famous for its fantastic resonance. As you step inside, the 13 stained-glass windows reaching up to a height of 13 metres are sure to take your breath away with their dazzling colours. The setting is further enhanced by an ancient altar, precious artwork, 14th-century choir-stalls and a 12th-century figurine of the Virgin Mary. The area around the Cathedral, the Domplatz, is worth exploring because of many examples of historic architecture and a lively open-air market.
Domstufen 1, Erfurt, Germany +49 0361 576960
Egapark (36 hectares) is one of the largest leisure parks in Germany, and boasts Europe’s largest ornamental flowerbed, earning Erfurt the title of Flower City. Egapark is crisscrossed with a number of stunning themed gardens, divided into climatic and vegetation zones. To take in the surreal beauty of the park all at once, climb to the top of one of the observatories in the garden. Egapark is a great day out option for the entire family as it houses the largest playground in Thuringia, complete with waterworks and a farm, as well as numerous restaurants.
Zitadelle Petersberg, standing proud since the 17th century, is considered to be one of the largest and best-preserved Baroque fortresses in Central Europe. Visitors can choose to explore the casemates, passages, bastions and bakery of the fortress on a guided tour. The historic area of Petersberg (or St. Peter’s Hill), including St. Peter’s Church (Peterskirche) and the Zitadelle, comprises a fascinating ensemble that should not be missed on any account.
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Merchants’ Bridge (Krämerbrücke) is the most unique structure in Erfurt. This arched stone bridge over the River Gera was built back in 1325, spanning a trading route. This is one of the few bridges in Europe to be built over by residential houses along its entire stretch. At the east end of the bridge, you will find a church named Ägidienkirche. From the top of this church, you are awarded with a panoramic view over the city. This region also woos travellers with rows of quaint cafés, restaurants and shops.
The lavish building of Angermuseum was built in 1706-1712 as a packing and weighing house, and today delights visitors with a great collection of arts and crafts ranging from the Middle Ages to the modern times. The displays at this museum walk visitors through the historical, economic and cultural evolution of Thuringia and Erfurt down the centuries. A special attraction of this museum is the Thuringian faiences of the 18th century, the largest such collection in the world.
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When you are in Erfurt, a must-see is Schloss Molsdorf, only around 10km (6.2 miles) outside the city centre. This ornate palace, set in a lush green parkland, is considered to be one of the most beautiful Rococo architectures in Thuringia. The palace offers guided tours to the public, in the course of which visitors get to explore stunning period furniture and décor, and precious artwork and sculptures.
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