My friend Holger sent me this lovely card showing a Christmas scene from Erfurt. Erfurt is the capital city of Thuringia and the main city nearest to the geographical centre of Germany. Erfurt was first mentioned in 742, as Saint Boniface founded the Diocese. Although the town did not belong to one of the Thuringian states politically, it quickly became the economic centre of the region. Until the Napoleonic era it was part of the Electorate of Mainz and afterwards it belonged to Prussia until 1945. The university was founded in 1392, closed in 1816 and re-established after the German reunification in 1994. It was the third university working in what is Germany today, but with an older privilege from 1379, some historians argue that it is the oldest university in Germany. Martin Luther was the most famous student of the institution. Other famous Erfurtians are the medieval theologian Meister Eckhart, the Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel, the sociologist Max Weber and Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann, the most successful speed skater of all time.
The city's economy is based on agriculture, horticulture and microelectronics. Its central location has led to it becoming a logistics hub for Germany and central Europe. Erfurt hosts the second-largest trade fair in eastern Germany (after Leipzig) as well as public children’s television channel KiKa.
Erfurt lies in the southern part of the Thuringian Basin, within the wide valley of the Gera river.
Mariendom and the Severikirche, Erfurt’s landmarks, form a unique ensemble created by the combined effect of the Mariendom (Cathedral of The Blessed Virgin Mary) together with the Severikirche (St. Severus Church). These two magnificent examples of German Gothic architecture at its best, majestically dominate the cityscape. The "Gloriosa" (1497), the "Queen of Bells", has been praised for centuries throughout Europe for its magnificent resonance. Inside the cathedral there is an elaborate Gothic chancel with a series of 13 coloured stained-glass windows which are almost 13 meters high and are among the greatest works of medieval stained-glass art. The cathedral contains many noteworthy art treasures that have been created throughout the various centuries.
A wide and impressive open-air stairway leads up from the market square to the cathedral itself and to the Church of St. Severus (1278 - 1400), which contains the sarcophagus of St. Severus (1363)."
Thank you Holger.