erfurter weihnachtsmarkt

Der Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) in Erfurt, Thüringen, Eastern Germany is one of the largest in the country with about 2 million visitors each year. This year, it runs from Nov 25 - Dec 22. Erfurt was first mentioned in 742, as Saint Boniface founded the diocese. Although it did not politically belong to one of the Thuringian states, it quickly became the economic center of the region. Until the Napoleonic Era it was part of the Electorate of Mainz; afterwards it belonged to Prussia until 1945. The university was founded in 1392, closed in 1816, and reestablished after German Reunification in 1994. It’s one of the oldest universities in Germany. Christian reformer Martin Luther was its most famous student. Other famous locals include the medieval theologian Meister Eckhart, Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel, sociologist Max Weber, and Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann, the most successful speed skater of all time. Today, the local economy is based on agriculture, horticulture, and microelectronics.

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Erfurt Weihnachtsmarkt in Thüringen, Eastern Germany. Every German city and town (sometimes even village) has a Christmas Market, starting around the beginning of December and continuing in the weeks leading up to Christmas, which in Germany happens from Dec 24 to Dec 26. Many Germans will not work “zwischen den Jahren” (”between the years”, from after Christmas to the last holiday on Jan 1), so Christmas and the following days are a time for family and things around the house for many, while Silvester (New Years’ Eve) is a time for friends, parties, going out, and possibly travel.