Erfurt has been the cultural, spiritual and political center of Thuringia for centuries. Many richly decorated traditional Renaissance residences as well as other fascinating historical buildings show visitors that Erfurt flourished to a center of culture and prosperity in those days.
It was not far from the "Erphesfurt" - a ford through the river Erphe - as it was called in the Middle Ages, that the missionary bishop Boniface founded a bishopric in 742.
This is the first time that the name "Erfurt" appeared on record. Erfurt, the 1,275 year old state capital of Thuringia, is characterized by its medieval Old Town, one of the best-preserved in Germany. The cityscape is dominated by the Dom St. Marien (St Mary's Cathedral), Severikirche (St Severus Church) and the Krämerbrücke (Merchants' Bridge). This bridge is famous for its built-on houses in which people still reside today and is the only one of its kind Europe. But Erfurt is not just an architectural pearl. As the center of Thuringia's economic, intellectual, cultural and political life, the city has always attracted great personalities, especially those who significantly influenced the spirit of their age: Martin Luther, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich von Schiller, Johann Sebastian Bach and Napoleon Bonaparte.
In the 17th century, commercial gardening pathed the way for Erfurt's blossoming economy and renewed prosperity. Until this day, Erfurt as the Blumenstadt (City of Flowers) is known not only in Germany but also throughout Europe.