Cathedral Square (Erfurt)

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Cathedral Square (Erfurt)
DEU Erfurt COA.svg
Place in Erfurt
Cathedral Square (Erfurt)
Domplatz, Dom and Severikirche
Basic data
place Erfurt
User groups Pedestrians , trams , road traffic
Technical specifications
Square area 3.5 ha
Houses on the east side of the square
People on Domplatz in 1990 during a speech by Helmut Kohl

The Domplatz in Erfurt is a large market square with about 3.5  hectares , with intact or restored peripheral buildings. It was once the main market square and court square. In the square of the stand Minerva fountain (1784) and in 1777 in honor of the Mainz Electors erected Erthal obelisk .

Edge development

The ensemble of Erfurt Cathedral and Severikirche stands on the Domberg on the west side of the square . The 70 steps leading up to the mountain have only existed in their current form since the middle of the 19th century.

In contrast to the cathedral, the Severikirche is a parish church. The associated district fell victim to the artillery bombardment of the French-occupied Erfurt fortress in 1813. Since then, the Domplatz has been much larger than before. Basalt paving is laid on the original part of the cathedral square, which belongs to the church. The other part, where the Severi quarter, which has not been rebuilt, used to stand, is paved with concrete blocks and belongs to the city of Erfurt.

The cathedral and Severikirche were maintained and renewed under the cathedral architect Erwin Gramse during the GDR period through donations, building materials and, in some cases, building craftsmen from West Germany. In front of the Severikirche are the canons' houses , which reach up to the Bonifatiusturm , which belonged to the former bishop's castle. Next to it is the Catholic parish hall built in the 1990s.

The Petersberg Citadel , on which the towers of St. Peter's Church stood until 1813, is located northwest of the Domplatz . A multi-storey underground car park opened in 1998 is located under the Petersberg. On the slope of the hill, with the help of the partner community Bechtheim, a vineyard was created and the Erfurt city arms were planted out of flowers.

Between the entrance to the underground car park and the building of the Erfurt Regional Court from 1880 on the north side of Domplatz is the rear entrance to the buildings of the district authority of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR, including its prison, which is now a memorial.

On the east side of the Domplatz there is a row of town houses from different periods and styles.

The pilgrim house stood in the south-east corner of the cathedral square . Today, the historic houses Zur Lamprete or Grüne Apotheke (first mentioned in 1638) and the Gasthaus Zur Hohen Lilie (modified in Renaissance style in 1538) still stand on the south wall of the square . This is followed by the double building of the former house Zur Blume and Zum Güldenen Schlitten , the former house zum Propheten (later Thuringian court) with now private use and the former house zu den Böcken . The last-mentioned historical names can no longer be found on the restored buildings.


The originally marshy square, traversed by an arm of the Gera (only the southern part of today's Domplatz), was developed into a market in the 12th century after being drained . It was officially named ante gradus (in front of the degrees , the steps to the cathedral) in 1293 . The square, later also known as the Großer Markt , was near the intersection of the via regia with an old trade route in a north-south direction. Salt, wood, leather and other goods were traded in the market. Under the rule of Mainz it was also a public court. In 1774 the Mainz elector and sovereign visited the city of Erfurt, on this occasion the Erthal obelisk was erected on the square. This was renewed in 1899 on the occasion of a visit by Kaiser Wilhelm II.

The French-occupied fortress of Erfurt was besieged by Prussians, Austrians and Russians from the end of October 1813. After several defenses by the French with the burning of neighboring villages, the artillery bombardment of the Petersberg Citadel by the besiegers took place in early November 1813. The neighboring Severi district on what is now the northern part of the square was hit, destroyed and not rebuilt. The thus enlarged market also served the Prussian garrison as a parade and parade area. In 1823 the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III visited. the city of Erfurt, whereupon the square was renamed Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz. In 1945 the name was changed to Domplatz.

During the Peaceful Revolution of 1989/90, demonstrations with up to 80,000 people took place on Domplatz.

After reunification, the buildings around the cathedral square and the two monuments on the square were renewed. The cost of the new Minerva monument was paid for by the Erfurt home loyalty association from West Germany in the early 1990s .

Former construction plans

Since the 1920s there have been repeated plans to rebuild the northern cathedral square and thus reduce it to its historical size. They weren't realized.

As part of socialist urban planning in all major cities in the GDR, a high-rise building with many other buildings, a monument and a huge flight of stairs leading down to the Domplatz was to be built on the neighboring Petersberg . The change in power from Walter Ulbricht to Erich Honecker, with a change in the focus of building activities in the GDR, prevented the project from being realized. In the 1970s there were plans to build a cultural center on the square. In addition, the end of the Juri-Gagarin-Ring over the Domplatz and through the Andreasviertel was planned during GDR times . There was resistance to this project in the Erfurt population as early as 1987, but it failed as a result of the Peaceful Revolution in 1989.

At the end of the 1980s, the Domplatz was to become Ernst Thälmann-Platz with a large monument of the dialectic depicting the history of the labor movement on the north-western part of the square. An artist's model already existed, the eight flagpoles are still in place today (2019). The latter plans were also prevented by the political change in 1990.

Todays use

25th Cathedral Stage Festival 2018

Today, as in the past, the Domplatz serves as a market square . Every year during Advent it is the scene of the Erfurt Christmas market , which is one of the largest and most beautiful in Germany. On the Domplatz always takes place on 10./11. November the Martini Festival takes place, in honor of Saint Martin and Martin Luther. Every year in August, the Cathedral Stage Festival is organized by the Erfurt Theater .

During the Pope's visit to Germany in 2011, Benedict XVI came. also to Erfurt. After visiting Erfurt Cathedral on September 23, 2011, he celebrated a Holy Mass on the morning of September 24 in front of 30,000 believers.

Web links

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

Coordinates: 50 ° 58 ′ 37 ″  N , 11 ° 1 ′ 26 ″  E