A few weeks ago I went to the wonderful capital city of Thuringia, Erfurt! I traveled with the university’s foreign exchange student program, which is called WILMA. They sponsor different trips all around Germany. Erfurt is only a few hours away from Leipzig, so even though I knew nothing about it, it still seemed like a worthwhile trip. And for only 7 euros? Totally worth it. When we all met up at the train station, the weather was pretty dreary. And over the two hour train ride there, it didn’t improve. But we popped open our umbrellas and trudged onward. A few of the people from WILMA took us on a guided tour of the town, which was very nice. We started off by walking to this bridge, called the Krämerbrücke, that was built out of wood in the early 1100’s. Over the years, however, it burned down several times, until it was finally rebuilt out of stone in 1325. Now what makes this bridge so special are the 62 merchants that line it. The place is packed tightly, with tourists and locals crowding the narrow street.
After that, we went to the cathedral, called St. Mary’s. It sits atop a large hill in the city center, right next to the market place. Pictures really don’t show just how large and magnificent this building is, both on the outside and the inside. I was raised Catholic, and even though I don’t practice any longer, churches always have a strong effect on me because I understand so many of the symbols used in them. But even if I knew nothing about Christianity or the history of the Church, etc., I have no doubt that I would still be struck by the magnificence of this building. It sits at the top of a hill, so you have to walk up a huge flight of stairs, all while the church looms over you. Then you get to the doors, which are truly massive. And then you get inside, where everything looks even bigger. The stained glass windows stretch from floor to ceiling, and there’s even a mural of some Renaissance man that covers an entire wall. The entire structure is strong and impressive. I guess you could use the word imposing instead.
From the cathedral we walked to Erfurt’s old citadel, the remnant of the keep that used to protect the city in times of siege. We didn’t get to learn much about it since it’s really just some walls now, but it was still very interesting. At around this time, though, the weather broke we got a great view of the city!
At that point, we had used up most of the day. So we headed back to the meeting point, got on the train, and went back home to Leipzig! Overall, it was a solid trip. I knew nothing about Erfurt at the beginning of the day, but now I know that it is a beautiful city with an amazing cathedral. Til next time!