Erfurt is the capital of Thuringia. Over 200,000 people live there. This also makes it the largest city in Thuringia.
Erfurt was probably founded in the early Middle Ages. In the 8th century it became the seat of a bishop. In the 10th century, the bishoprics of Erfurt and Mainz were merged. Until 1806, Erfurt was ruled by the archbishop of Mainz, who was also allowed to elect the king. Erfurt has been an important trading city since Charlemagne and therefore grew rapidly. In the late Middle Ages it was the largest city in the Holy Roman Empire after Cologne, Nuremberg and Magdeburg.
From 1806 to 1814, Erfurt was a principality dependent on France. Between 1815 and 1945 Erfurt belonged to Prussia and from 1945 to 1990 to the German Democratic Republic. In 1970, German Chancellor Willy Brandt and GDR Prime Minister Willi Stoph met in Erfurt. This was the first meeting of the heads of government from West Germany and East Germany. Since reunification, Erfurt has been the capital of Thuringia and belongs to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Today Erfurt is one of the most important cities in the center of Germany. Many railway lines meet at the Erfurt railway station. In addition, Erfurt has an old university, which dates back to the late Middle Ages. It was closed in 1816 and reopened in 1994. The most famous student at the University of Erfurt was Martin Luther. In addition, the children’s TV channel KIKA has its headquarters here. To this day, Erfurt has the white wheel on a red background in the coat of arms, which is also the symbol of Mainz.
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