The New Student's Reference Work/Erfurt
Erfurt (ĕr′fŏŏrt), a city of Prussian Saxony and the ancient capital of Thuringia, is thirteen miles from Weimar. Its two citadels once were monasteries. It was a strongly fortified city until 1873, its position on the central road through Europe giving it importance. Its cathedral, one of the oldest Gothic buildings in Germany, has very fine sculptures and bronze castings, one especially, a Coronation of the Virgin, which dates from the 16th century. The Augustine monastery, known as the home of Martin Luther, is now called the Martinsstift (Martin's Institute), and is used as an orphan asylum. The growing of flowers and vegetables and the raising of flower seeds are two of the principal industries. There also are manufactures of woolen, silk, cotton and linen goods, lamps, machines, shoes and beer. It was made a bishopric in 741. Since 1803 it has belonged to Prussia, except during 1806-14. The congress of Erfurt, held in 1808, was attended by Napoleon, the emperor of Russia and several princes of Germany. Population, 111,461.