Old town (Erfurt)

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Old town
State capital Erfurt
Coordinates: 50 ° 58 ′ 41 ″  N , 11 ° 1 ′ 45 ″  E
Height : 200 m above sea level NN
Area : 2.44 km²
Residents : 19,171  (Dec. 31, 2016)
Population density : 7,857 inhabitants / km²
Postal code : 99084
Area code : 0361
Location of the old town in Erfurt
The old town 1650
The quarters of the old town

The old town is a district of the Thuringian capital Erfurt . It is one of the largest old towns in Germany with essentially intact old town buildings.

Outline and geography

The old town can be divided into three parts. In the center is the early medieval town center , which was surrounded by a first wall ring in 1066 in the area of ​​today's Juri-Gagarin-Ring . This old settlement core is surrounded by a late medieval city expansion to the north, east and south. From 1350 the city expansion began to be secured with city fortifications. This process was completed around 1480. The third part is the Brühl , the oldest suburb of Erfurt. It is located in the southwest of the city in the Gera valley and was enclosed by the second wall ring. Although located within the city fortifications, the Brühl today is administratively not part of the Altstadt district, but rather the Brühlervorstadt .

A further subdivision of the old town into quarters was previously made primarily on the basis of belonging to a parish, for example the area around the Andreaskirche was called Andreasviertel . Today the old town of Erfurt is - like all parts of the city - divided into statistical block groups. These block groups as the smallest units of about 1000 inhabitants each can in turn be combined into the following quarters:

(not official)
Block groups
Area (km²) Population (2000) Population (2007) Population (2015) Population density
Andreasviertel , Petersberg , Domplatz (Moritzstraße - Pergamentergasse) 111 0.56 1,336 1,477 1,834 3,275
City center
(Pergamentergasse - Augustinerstraße - Anger - Neuwerkstraße - Domstraße)
112 + 113 + 114 0.67 3,026 4,303 5,139 7,670
Huttenplatz / Johannesviertel
(Moritzstraße - Augustinerstraße - Franckestraße - Flutgraben)
121 + 122 + 123 0.32 3,328 3,760 3,912 12,225
Krämpferviertel (Franckestrasse - Johannesstrasse - Anger - Trommsdorffstrasse - Flutgraben) 124 + 125 + 133 0.30 2,950 3,260 3,607 12,023
(Anger - Trommsdorffstraße - Flutgraben - Löberstraße - Neuwerkstraße)
132 + 135 0.41 1,382 1,757 2.135 5,207
(Neuwerkstraße - Löberstraße - Flutgraben - Puschkinstraße)
131 + 134 0.16 1,706 1.952 2,388 14,925
administratively part of the Brühlervorstadt, not the old town
(Rudolfstraße - Lauentor - Holzheienstraße - Lutherstraße - Walkmühlstraße - Bonifaciusstraße)
322 0.46 1,783 2,235 3,361 7,307
administratively part of the Brühlervorstadt, not the old town
(Lutherstraße - Puschkinstraße - Bahn - Pförtchen - Thomas-Müntzer-Straße - Wilhelm-Külz-Straße)
324 0.22 1,328 1,670 1,891 8,595

In 2015, 24,267 inhabitants lived on the area of ​​medieval Erfurt, 19,015 of them in the Altstadt district and 5,252 in the Brühlervorstadt district.

The course of the second city fortification is traced today, for example, by the course of the Erfurt city ring . Outside the neighboring districts are the Andreasvorstadt in the northwest (from Lauentor to Johannestor), the Johannesvorstadt in the northeast (from Johannestor to Franckebrücke), the Krämpfervorstadt in the east (from Franckebrücke to Schmidtstedter Tor), Daberstedt in the southeast (from Schmidtstedter Tor to Augusttor [Bahnhofstrasse]) ), the Löbervorstadt (from Augusttor to Pförtchen) and the Brühlervorstadt in the south-west (from Pförtchen to Lauentor).

The old town lies in the Gera basin ; the surrounding area is rising on almost all sides. Topographically, only the Petersberg and the lower Domberg emerge as elevations in the old town . The second defining factor is the Gera, which flows through the old town, divided into numerous arms. Some of these arms were later filled in, and some still exist today. These include the Bergstrom and Walkstrom, which already separate outside of the old town and unite in the area of ​​Meister-Eckehart-Straße to form Breitstrom. The Wilde Gera used to flow where the Juri-Gagarin-Ring runs today. Today only one street name reminds of the deer brood. In Venice in the north of the old town, the Schmale Gera branches off from the Breitstrom and does not flow back into the Gera, but rather flows into the Gramme in Werningshausen . The flood ditch, which today guides a large part of the Gera water along the edge of the old town, used to serve as the outer weir.


View over the old town with its towers from the tower of St. Andrew's Church


The Andreasviertel is located north of Domplatz between Andreasstrasse and Gera. It is characterized by small-scale development with early modern houses and was repeatedly the scene of violent political disputes over urban development measures in the 20th century.

Domberg and Petersberg

The two hills represent the nucleus of the city's development. The Erfurt Cathedral and Severikirche are located on the Domberg . North of the Domberg, separated by the Lauentor-Straße, lies the Petersberg . There was initially an important monastery before the Petersberg Citadel, which still exists today, was built in the 17th century . It takes up a considerable part of the old town, which is why its development and repair, which began in 1990, is still ongoing. For the 2021 Federal Garden Show in Erfurt, the Petersberg will be one of the core areas and serve to present the Free State of Thuringia, which is the owner of the area.

City center

The city center today represents the core of the preserved old town. It is predominantly characterized by medieval and early modern buildings. The architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries dominates only along the main shopping streets. In the area of ​​the town hall and the Gera crossing behind it, there was a second starting point for the urban development of Erfurt. While this part of the city was spared major interventions in GDR times, there has been increased construction activity since 1990. In addition to new department stores, numerous new residential buildings were built on previously fallow land, backyards and gardens or after the demolition of houses that were no longer preserved, which, however, fit into the cityscape with appropriate requirements. Nevertheless, in Erfurt modern architecture was preferred to historicized building forms. Overall, building density and population have recently risen sharply. From an urbanistic point of view, the quarter between the All Saints Church, Michaeliskirche and Benediktsplatz is significant, as it has been largely spared from city fires and extensive destruction for around 800 years and thus represents a “stone chronicle” of particular value.

Huttenplatz / Johannesviertel

The area in the northern part of the old town is characterized by almost purely residential use. Historically, the Johannesvorstadt was located here , a thinly built-up area with small houses. After the city fortifications were removed, the term Johannesvorstadt was transferred to a district further outside. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Johannesviertel was largely rebuilt, but still served primarily as a residential area. One last major surgery took place in the 1980s. At that time, large parts of the southern and western Johannesviertel were demolished and replaced by prefabricated residential buildings - a measure that at the time led to an increase in living comfort and an increase in living space. This renovation was carried out in an "old town-friendly" construction method, i.e. four-storey and with a pitched roof, for which model buildings were built in 1983/85 in Johannesstrasse.


For a long time, the Krmpferviertel in the eastern part of the old town was characterized by various types of use. The Great Hospital of Erfurt has been located here since 1385 . Residential, commercial and gardens were also available. Just like the Johannesviertel to the north, the Krämpferviertel was also densely built up with residential houses in the late 19th century, with older buildings still predominating in the western part. In the 1960s, this was demolished in the course of the expansion of the Juri-Gagarin-Ring and replaced by high-rise buildings made of prefabricated panels. This radical intervention in the urban structure shapes the appearance of the district to this day.


The station district in the south-east of the old town is characterized more than the other quarters by a mixed use of residential and commercial use. In the northern part and along Bahnhofstrasse there are many large commercial buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and buildings were occasionally added after that. This overbuilding did not take place in the area of ​​Schmidtstedter Straße, so that buildings from the late 18th and early 19th centuries dominate there, with the proportion of unrenovated buildings being comparatively high. After 1990, a focus of immigration from Southeastern Europe and the Middle East developed here, so that there are many shops there that offer corresponding products. In the western part of the Bahnhofsviertel, after the demolition of older buildings, prefabricated apartment blocks were again built along the Juri-Gagarin-Ring in the 1970s and 1980s, to which commercial buildings were added on Thomaseck and the Forum after reunification.

ICE-City West (Thomasstrasse area)

On Thomasstrasse in the south of the Bahnhofsviertel there are areas that were previously used for industry and are now fallow. The Krieger Group (Kurt Krieger / Möbel-Höffner ) bought them in 2009 in order to develop the potential of these inner-city areas. The area should be developed and used by the opening of the ICE routes to Berlin and Munich at the main station . Since the investor and the city administration have different views on the development of the area on Thomasstrasse, the planning has been suspended again. The Krieger Group now only wants to develop the area if, in return , it is allowed to enlarge the Thüringen-Park shopping center on the outskirts by 50 to 100%. However, this is rejected by the city administration in order to avoid negative consequences for retail in the city center. No new shopping center or furniture store is to be built on Thomasstrasse either, since Erfurt's needs are largely satisfied, purchasing power would be withdrawn from existing retail outlets through cut-throat competition and retail establishments would generate significant new traffic volume in the Löberstrasse / Juri-Gagarin-Ring area. In accordance with the retail and center concept adopted by the city administration in 2009, there will be no large-scale retail in the areas on Thomasstrasse. Instead, the city administration favors a mixed use of residential and commercial (e.g. services, offices, convention centers, hotels or the like). According to a report by Thüringer Allgemeine on October 12, 2012, the Urban Development Department is preparing a lawsuit against the Krieger Group in order to come to an expropriation and to take the development of the areas on Thomasstrasse into their own hands. In 2013 it was decided not to pursue the development of the ICE-City West on Thomasstraße, instead the city administration and state development are now concentrating exclusively on the areas east of the main train station.

ICE-City Ost (Kurt-Schumacher-Straße area)

In the summer of 2012, the city administration carried out an urban planning competition to develop an “ICE City” with commercial buildings, which is now to be built on the areas east of the main train station instead of those on Thomasstrasse, as development on Thomasstrasse is still being delayed for an indefinite period of time and the opening of the ICE junction in 2017 is getting closer. The complex will encompass the area between the InterCity-Hotel and Stauffenbergallee and extend to the east beyond Stauffenbergallee to the areas of the former freight station in the Krämpfervorstadt . Most of the designs submitted by architectural offices envisage the construction of one or two office towers to the right and left of Stauffenbergallee in the area of ​​the railway bridge as urban accentuation. In autumn 2012, architecture students from the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences also presented their designs for the station district.

In March 2014, the Erfurt city council passed a resolution to entrust the Thuringian state development company with the ICE City East project. LEG is to buy, develop and market the relevant areas for the city. The future of the western part remained open.

Carthusian quarter

The Carthusian quarter in the south of the old town was long characterized by the facilities of the Carthusian monastery . In the 19th century, most of today's residential buildings were built, to which two large apartment blocks at Löbertor were added during the GDR era.


Cathedral and Severikirche
1989 in the Andreasviertel
2009 in the Andreasviertel (Glockengasse)
Narrow streets like Waagegasse characterize the old town
In the Allerheiligenstrasse

The oldest settlement core of Erfurt is in the area of ​​the fish market in the heart of the old town. Archaeological findings show that there was lively settlement activity there as early as the 6th century. Erfurt was first mentioned in a document in 742 and the diocese of Erfurt was founded by Bonifatius . Over the following centuries, Erfurt developed into an important trading center between Franconia in the west and Slavs in the east. When the Holy Roman Empire expanded further and further east in the Middle Ages, Erfurt gained a central location in the country, which further promoted trade. By the 15th century, the city developed into a medieval city and the largest city between Cologne in the west, Nuremberg in the south and Magdeburg in the north. The medieval city was also characterized by the presence of numerous orders that maintained monasteries in the city. From 1500 onwards, a series of changes led to the city's gradual loss of importance. Trade in the once profitable woad dried up, as more and more of the much cheaper indigo plant was imported from East India. This also dried up the source of Erfurt's wealth, which in turn led to greater dependence on the sovereign, the Archbishop of Kurmainz . In addition, the Reformation repeatedly led to tensions between the Protestant townspeople and the Catholic rulers. In addition, the isolated location as the exclave of Kurmainz in the middle of Wettin- Saxon territories caused conflicts. Nevertheless, the city remained the most important in the Thuringian region, although the rise of new cities such as Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main meant additional competition for Erfurt. From a military point of view, the city remained important to the Archbishop of Mainz, which is why the Petersberg Citadel was greatly expanded during the Baroque period.

In 1803 Erfurt became part of Prussia as part of the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss . The Prussians viewed Erfurt primarily as a fortress city between France and their Brandenburg heartlands. The fortress statute of the city was only repealed in 1873 after the Franco-Prussian War of 1871. This also meant that the building ban within the ban mile in front of the city fortifications fell away. In the following the city was finally able to grow outwards. In the 19th century, the old fortifications were seen primarily as a traditional obstacle to traffic, which is why they were almost completely removed. In the 19th century, the population within the city walls grew from about 20,000 to about 40,000; it did not go back until after 1873.

After the German Empire was founded in 1871, a building boom set in in the old town. Especially along the main streets, the old buildings were torn down and replaced with representative Wilhelminian style houses. These can be seen today mainly on the Anger and in Schlösserstraße . Another decisive urban development change was the construction of the ring road between 1898 and 1903. At that time, the Wilde Gera was filled in and a ring road that was adapted to the traffic requirements of the time was built. During the Weimar Republic, new commercial buildings in contemporary style were built on the Ring . The traffic revolution also changed the image of the old town. So in 1847 the main station was built in the south and the tram has been running on many streets since 1883 .

The Second World War also caused severe damage to the old town. Numerous residential areas were affected by 27 air raids and by artillery fire in April 1945 . This particularly affected: Kreuzgasse, Gotthardtstraße, Horngasse, Michaelisstraße, Hügelgasse, Pargamentergasse, Rathausgasse, Comthurgasse, Marbacher Gasse, Barfüßerstraße, Augustinerstraße, Futterstraße, Pilse, Große Ackerhofsgasse, Huttenplatz and Venice. The largest contiguous residential area that was bombed by several attacks was between Thomasstrasse, Großer Engengasse, Löberring, Gartenstrasse and Löberstrasse. Many buildings could be repaired and preserved after the war. Although some streets no longer exist in their original closed form, the medieval character of Erfurt's old town has largely been preserved. The ruins of the Barfüßerkirche, destroyed in 1944, exist as a memorial against war and destruction .

Major changes did not occur again until the late 1960s, when the GDR regime began to implement a housing construction program. In the course of this, large parts of the old Krmpferviertel and later also of the Löberviertel were demolished and high- rise residential buildings were built along the Juri-Gagarin-Ring, which served as the main thoroughfare . In the 1980s, demolition began in the area around the Johannesviertel. There, however, lower prefabricated buildings were built, which should fit better into the cityscape. The plan was to demolish the Andreasviertel in the 1990s, but this was prevented by the fall of the Berlin Wall .

After the reunification , the thorough renovation of the partly dilapidated building began. In addition, building work began on existing fallow land after it was destroyed in the war and demolished during the GDR era. The building density and population density of the old town has been slowly increasing again since the 1990s for the first time since 1873. Today, renovated and unrenovated buildings alternate in the old town, and there are still some fallow areas, especially in the outer old town quarters.


Traditionally, the old town takes on the function of the city center for Erfurt. In addition to public administration (such as the town hall on the Fischmarkt or the Thuringian State Chancellery in the Kurmainzische Lieutenancy ), trade and tourism are also strongly represented. The main shopping streets with a largely filialisiertem retail are the Anger with the mall Anger 1 and the southern Castle Road and the Bahnhofstrasse . Owner-managed retail, on the other hand, dominates in northern Schlösserstraße, Marktstraße , partly on western Anger, as well as on Langen Brücke (there for needs in the upper price segment) and on Krämerbrücke (there mainly handicrafts and tourist needs ). After around 2005, the (owner-managed) retail trade in the northern streets of the old town also began to revive a little after the street and building renovations had progressed. This applies particularly to Johannesstrasse and, in part, to Pergamentergasse and Michaelisstrasse . The lower shop rents in this area also allow business start-ups and creative people, for whom the traditional retail center is too expensive, to open shops.

With the growth of the tourism sector after 2000, a very extensive gastronomic offer developed in the streets of the old town. The main focus is the area between Fischmarkt , Benediktsplatz , Wenigemarkt and Michaelisstrasse. The Wenigemarkt is particularly characterized by street cafés, while the nighttime events tend to take place in Michaelisstraße with a high density of bars. The area between the fish market and Benediktsplatz is heavily used all day. Another center of gastronomy is the southeast side of the Domplatz with numerous cafes and restaurants.

Streets, squares and traffic

The four most important squares in the old town are the Domplatz in the west (with 35,000 m², the largest enclosed market square in Germany), the fish market at the town hall in the middle, the Anger as a business center and transport hub in the east and the Willy-Brandt-Platz in front of the main train station in the south. They are connected by the pedestrian zone. It consists of Marktstrasse between Domplatz and Fischmarkt, Schlösserstrasse between Fischmarkt and Anger and Bahnhofstrasse between Anger and Willy-Brandt-Platz. The road network is supplemented by the main roads between the inner-city squares and the former city gates. The Andreas road leading from the cathedral square north to Andreastor that Michaelisstraße / Moritzstraße from the fish market to Moritz Gate in the north, the John Street from Anger to Johannestor the north, Krämpferstraße from Anger to Krämpfertor the east, the Löberstraße from Anger to Löbertor south and the Brühl Road from Domplatz to the southwest to the Brühlertor. Some of these main roads are connected by the Juri-Gagarin-Ring , which surrounds the city center in the south and east and is the main thoroughfare.

In June 2012 the traffic development plan for Erfurt: Part of the city center - with commercial traffic was decided by the city council and presented in November 2012. The core of the plan is the gradual establishment of a so-called meeting zone in the core of the old town. The aim is to calm traffic in the city center as far as possible, increase the quality of living and give pedestrians special priority. So far, various concepts have been developed, concrete measures have so far been the blocking of Meister-Eckehart-Strasse for through traffic and time and space restrictions for inner-city commercial traffic.


Almost all of Erfurt's sights are concentrated in the old town. In addition to around 20 mostly Gothic churches and monasteries (see: List of churches in Erfurt ) there are numerous town and trading houses from the period between the 15th and 19th centuries. The Erfurt Cathedral , the Krämerbrücke , the Petersberg Citadel and the Town Hall are particularly well-known .

Population development

Data from the city administration of Erfurt as of December 31st.

year population Development
(1990 = 100%)
Development in Erfurt
(1990 = 100%)
1990 16,688 100.0 100.0
1995 14.003 83.9 93.4
1996 13,644 81.8 91.9
1997 13,634 81.7 90.6
1998 13,289 79.6 89.3
1999 13,341 80.0 88.0
2000 13,728 82.3 87.6
2001 14,321 85.8 87.4
2002 14,814 88.8 87.2
2003 15,413 92.4 88.0
2004 15,719 94.2 88.4
2005 16,112 96.5 88.5
2006 16,166 96.9 88.4
2007 16,509 98.9 88.5
2008 16,870 101.1 88.5
2009 17.206 103.1 88.8
2010 17,505 104.9 89.2
2011 17,681 106.0 89.8
2012 17,980 107.7 90.4
2013 18,228 109.2 91.1
2014 18,591 111.4 91.7
2015 19,015 113.9 93.3
2016 19,171 114.9 93.9


Political party City Council 2009 State Parliament 2009 Bundestag 2013 Europe 2009
voter turnout 37.8 43.4 50.1 38.0
CDU 22.6 26.9 32.8 23.9
The left 17.5 24.0 21.3 21.1
SPD 30.2 17.6 17.2 17.6
Green 15.1 16.9 11.6 16.5
FDP 5.8 7.9 3.1 7.8


  • Steffen Raßloff : Sample panel construction Johannesstrasse. In: Thuringian General. June 30, 2012, series: Monuments in Erfurt. No. 52 ( erfurt-web.de ).
  • Steffen Raßloff: Old Town. One of the largest monument ensembles in Germany. In: Thuringian General. October 11, 2014, series: Monuments in Erfurt. No. 167 ( erfurt-web.de ).

Web links

Commons : Altstadt (Erfurt)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. block group map ( Memento of 17 June 2012 at the Internet Archive ). In: erfurt.de, accessed on November 20, 2017 (PDF; 3.5 MB).
  2. Satellite measurement with Google Earth, there may be slight deviations (<3%).
  3. Population statistics 2000 ( Memento from June 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (= Kommunalstatistische Hefte. Issue 41 / 1st edition: April 2001), p. 49. In: erfurt.de, accessed on November 20, 2017 (PDF; 1 , 3 MB).
  4. Population statistics 2007. ( Memento from June 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (= Kommunalstatistische Hefte. Issue 64. Edition: July 2008), p. 54. In: erfurt.de, accessed on November 20, 2017 (PDF; 937 kB ).
  5. Population statistics 2015 (= municipal statistics booklet. Issue 96. Edition: November 2016), p. 56 ff. In: erfurt.de, accessed on November 20, 2017 (PDF; 3.9 MB).
  6. Steffen Raßloff: Sample panel construction Johannesstrasse. In: Thuringian General. June 30, 2012, series: Monuments in Erfurt. No. 52. In: erfurt-web.de. February 7, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  7. ^ Anette Elsner: ICE-City Erfurt: City council wants to vote on the mission statement. In: Thüringische Landeszeitung . June 23, 2010.
  8. Overall urban concept: retail and center concept ( Memento of July 18, 2012 in the Internet Archive ). In: erfurt.de, accessed on November 20, 2017.
  9. a b Angelika Reiser-Fischer: Again new ideas for ICE-City. In: Thuringian General. October 12, 2012, accessed November 20, 2017.
  10. ^ Matthias Thüsing: City and Country are developing ICE City together. In: Thuringian General. November 9, 2013, accessed November 20, 2017.
  11. ^ Result of the expert review procedure "Erfurt ICE-City Ost / Neues Schmidtstedter Tor2" ( Memento from March 22, 2013 in the Internet Archive ). In: erfurt. June 28, 2012, accessed on November 20, 2017 (overview of the drafts).
  12. Erfurt: City Council brings ICE-City on the way ( Memento of March 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ). In: mdr.de. March 13, 2014, accessed November 20, 2017.
  13. Helmut Wolf: Erfurt in the air war 1939-1945 (= writings of the association for the history and archeology of Erfurt. Vol. 4). Edited by the Association for the History and Antiquity of Erfurt e. V. Glaux-Verlag, Jena 2005, ISBN 3-931743-89-6 , pp. 253-254.
  14. Traffic development plan sub-concept inner city. (No longer available online.) In: erfurt.de. City administration of Erfurt, July 18, 2012, archived from the original on June 22, 2016 ; accessed on June 22, 2016 .