Sister cities of Erfurt
Erfurt (German pronunciation: [ˈɛʁfʊʁt]) is the capital city of Thuringia and the main city nearest to the geographical centre of Germany, located 100 kilometres (62 miles) SW of Leipzig, 150 km (93 miles) N of Nuremberg and 180 km (112 miles) SE of Hannover. Together with the neighbour-cities Weimar and Jena it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants. Notable institutions in Erfurt are the Federal Labour Court of Germany, the University of Erfurt and the Fachhochschule Erfurt as well as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erfurt with the Erfurt Cathedral as one of the main sights. Further famous buildings are the Krämerbrücke, a bridge completely covered with dwellings, and the oldest Synagogue still standing in Europe, established in the 11th century. Furthermore, the medieval city centre consists of old timber-framed houses and about 25 Gothic churches.
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 reestablished 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.
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.
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