Karlsruhe is the second-largest city of the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg after its capital of Stuttgart, its 309,999 inhabitants make it the 21st largest city of Germany. On the right bank of the Rhine, the city lies near the French-German border, between the Mannheim/Ludwigshafen conurbation to the north, the Strasbourg/Kehl conurbation to the south, it is the largest city of a region named after Hohenbaden Castle in the city of Baden-Baden. Karlsruhe is the largest city in the South Franconian dialect area, the only other larger city in that area being Heilbronn; the city is the seat of the Federal Constitutional Court, as well as of the Federal Court of Justice and the Public Prosecutor General of the Federal Court of Justice. Karlsruhe was the capital of the Margraviate of Baden-Durlach, the Margraviate of Baden, the Electorate of Baden, the Grand Duchy of Baden, the Republic of Baden, its most remarkable building is Karlsruhe Palace, built in 1715. There are nine institutions of higher education in the city, most notably the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport is the second-busiest airport of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart Airport, the 17th-busiest airport of Germany. Karlsruhe lies to the east of the Rhine, completely on the Upper Rhine Plain, it contains the Turmberg in the east, lies on the borders of the Kraichgau leading to the Northern Black Forest. The Rhine, one of the world's most important shipping routes, forms the western limits of the city, beyond which lie the towns of Maximiliansau and Wörth am Rhein in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate; the city centre is about 7.5 km from the river. Two tributaries of the Rhine, the Alb and the Pfinz, flow through the city from the Kraichgau to join the Rhine; the city lies at an altitude between 100 and 322 m. Its geographical coordinates are 49°00′N 8°24′E, its course is marked by a stone and painted line in the Stadtgarten. The total area of the city is 173.46 km2, hence it is the 30th largest city in Germany measured by land area. The longest north-south distance is 19.3 km in the east-west direction.
Karlsruhe is part of the urban area of Karlsruhe/Pforzheim, to which certain other towns in the district of Karlsruhe such as Bruchsal, Ettlingen and Rheinstetten, as well as the city of Pforzheim, belong. The city was planned with the palace tower at the center and 32 streets radiating out from it like the spokes of a wheel, or the ribs of a folding fan, so that one nickname for Karlsruhe in German is the "fan city". All of these streets survive to this day; because of this city layout, in metric geometry, Karlsruhe metric refers to a measure of distance that assumes travel is only possible along radial streets and along circular avenues around the centre. The city centre is the oldest part of town and lies south of the palace in the quadrant defined by nine of the radial streets; the central part of the palace runs east-west, with two wings, each at a 45° angle, directed southeast and southwest. The market square lies on the street running south from the palace to Ettlingen; the market square has the town hall to the west, the main Lutheran church to the east, the tomb of Margrave Charles III William in a pyramid in the buildings, resulting in Karlsruhe being one of only three large cities in Germany where buildings are laid out in the neoclassical style.
The area north of the palace is a forest. The area to the east of the palace consisted of gardens and forests, some of which remain, but the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Wildparkstadion football stadium, residential areas have been built there; the area west of the palace is now residential. Karlsruhe experiences an oceanic climate and its winter climate is milder, compared to most other German cities, except for the Rhine-Ruhr area. Summers are hotter than elsewhere in the country and it is one of the sunniest cities in Germany, like the Rhine-Palatinate area. Precipitation is evenly spread throughout the year. In 2008, the weather station in Karlsruhe, operating since 1876, was closed. According to legend, the name Karlsruhe, which translates as "Charles’ repose" or "Charles' peace", was given to the new city after a hunting trip when Margrave Charles III William of Baden-Durlach, woke from a dream in which he dreamt of founding his new city. A variation of this story claims. Charles William founded the city on June 17, 1715, after a dispute with the citizens of his previous capital, Durlach.
The founding of the city is linked to the construction of the palace. Karlsruhe became the capital of Baden-Durlach, in 1771, of the united Baden until 1945. Built in 18
In political science, Marxism–Leninism was the official state ideology of the Soviet Union, of the parties of the Communist International, after their Bolshevisation, is the ideology of Stalinist political parties. As Stalin's synthesis of Leninism, the political praxis of Lenin, of Marxism, the politico-economic theories of Karl Marx, the purpose of Marxism–Leninism is the transformation of a capitalist state into a socialist state, by way of two-stage revolution and led by a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries, drawn from the proletariat. To realise the two-stage transformation of the state, the vanguard party establishes the dictatorship of the proletariat, which determines policy with democratic centralism. Politically, the Marxist–Leninist communist party is the vanguard for the organisation of a capitalist society into a socialist society, the lower stage of socio-economic development, progress towards the upper-stage communist society, stateless and classless. In the late 1920s, after the death of Lenin, Stalin established universal ideologic orthodoxy among the Communist Party, the USSR, the Communist International, with his coinage Marxism–Leninism, a term which redefined theories of Lenin and Marx to establish universal Marxist–Leninist praxis for the exclusive, geopolitical benefit of the USSR.
In the late 1930s, Stalin's official textbook The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, made the term Marxism–Leninism common, political-science usage among communists and non-communists. Critical of Stalin's political economy and single-party government in the USSR, the Italian Left-communist Amadeo Bordiga said that Marxism–Leninism was a form of political opportunism, which preserved rather than destroyed capitalism, because of the claim that the exchange of commodities would occur under socialism; the American Marxist Raya Dunayevskaya dismissed Marxism–Leninism as a type of state capitalism because: state ownership of the means of production is a form of state capitalism. In 1929, within five years of the death of Lenin, Stalin was the Government of the Soviet Union, a ruler who flouted and applied the socialist principles of Lenin and Marx as political expediencies used to realise his plans for the USSR and for world socialism. Stalin justified his régime's deviations from Lenin's practices with the book Concerning Questions of Leninism, in which Stalin represented Marxism–Leninism as a separate communist ideology, which featured an omniscient leader, hierarchies of one global communist party and communist vanguard parties in each country of the world.
Stalin's interpretations of Lenin and Marx became Stalinism, the official state ideology of the Soviet Union. As the Left Opposition to Stalin within the Communist Party and the Soviet government, Leon Trotsky and the Trotskyists argued that Stalin's Marxist–Leninist ideology contradicted Marxism and Leninism in theory and in practice, thus was illegitimate socialist philosophy for the practical implementation of Socialism in Russia. Moreover, within the Party, the Trotskyists identified their communist ideology as Bolshevik–Leninism, to politically differentiate their ideology from the ideology Stalin used to justify and implement his theory of Socialism in One Country. In Marxist political discourse the term Marxism–Leninism and connoting the theory and praxis of Stalinism, has two usages: praise of Joseph Stalin, by Stalinists who believe Stalin developed Lenin's legacy. Consequent to the Sino-Soviet split, in each socialist country, the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union each claimed to be the sole heir-and-successor to Stalin, regarding the correct interpretation of Marxism–Leninism, thus ideological leader of world communism.
In that vein, the History of the People's Republic of China represents Maoism as Mao Zedong's fundamental up-dating and adaptation of Leninism to Chinese conditions, in which revolutionary praxis is primary and ideologic orthodoxy is secondary. The Sino-Albanian split was caused by Socialist Albania's rejection of the PRC's Realpolitik of Sino–American rapprochement the Mao–Nixon meeting, which the anti-revisionist Albanian Labor Party perceived as an ideological betrayal of Mao's own Three Worlds Theory, which excluded such political relations of rapprochement. To the Albanians, the Chinese dealings with the U. S. were a lessening of Mao's practical commitments to proletarian internationalism. Enver Hoxha, the head of the Albanian Labor Party, theorised an anti-revisionist Marxism-Leninism referred to as Hoxhaism, which attempted to retain an'authentic' socialism in comparison to the post-Stalinist Soviet Union
Friedrich Wilhelm Reinhold Pieck was a German politician and a communist. In 1949, he became the first President of the German Democratic Republic, an office abolished upon his death, his successor as head of state was Walter Ulbricht. Pieck was born as the son of the coachman Friedrich Pieck and his wife Auguste in the eastern part of Guben, now Gubin, Poland. Two years his mother died; the father soon married the washerwoman Wilhelmine Bahro. After attending elementary school, the young Wilhelm completed a four-year carpentry apprenticeship; as a journeyman, he joined the German Timber Workers Association in 1894. As a carpenter, in 1894 Pieck joined the wood-workers' federation, which steered him towards joining the Social Democratic Party of Germany the following year. Pieck became the chairman of the party urban district in 1899, in 1906 became full-time secretary of the SPD. In 1914, he moved to a three-room apartment in Berlin-Steglitz. By now he had his own study with many shelves full of books.
In May 1915, he was arrested at the big women's demonstration in front of the Reichstag and kept in "protective custody" until October. As Bremen Party secretary in 1916, Pieck had asked Anton Pannekoek to continue teaching socialist theory in the party school. Although the majority of the SPD supported the German government in World War I, Pieck was a member of the party's left wing, which opposed the war. Pieck's openness in doing so led to his detention in a military prison. After being released, Pieck lived in exile in Amsterdam. Upon his return to Berlin in 1918, Pieck joined. On 16 January 1919 Pieck, along with Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht was arrested while meeting at Berlin Eden Hotel. Liebknecht and Luxemburg were killed while "being taken to prison" by a unit of Freikorps. While the two were being murdered, Pieck managed to escape. In 1922, he became a founding member of the International Red Aid, serving first on the executive committee. In May 1925, he became the chairman of the Rote Hilfe.
On 4 March 1933, one day before the Reichstag election, Pieck's family left their Steglitz apartment and moved into a cook's room. His son and daughter had been in the Soviet Union since 1932. At the beginning of May 1933, he left first to Paris and to Moscow. In Moscow, Pieck served the Communist Party in a variety of capacities. From 1935 until 1943, he held the position of Secretary of the Communist International. In 1943 Pieck was among the founders of the National Committee for a Free Germany, which planned for the future of Germany after World War II. On 22 June 1941 his family were in their country house on the outskirts of Moscow. Pieck came downstairs at six o'clock to his children's bedroom and said: "Children, get up, it was announced on the radio that war is over. Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, but that will be the end". In March 1942 the family was able to return there after the Soviet Armed Forces won the Battle of Moscow. At the conclusion of the war in 1945 Pieck returned to Germany with the victorious Red Army.
A year he helped engineer the merger of the eastern branches of the KPD and SPD into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. He was elected alongside former SPD leader Otto Grotewohl. In October 1949, the Soviet occupation zone was relaunched as the Soviet sponsored German Democratic Republic. Pieck was elected president of the new country, he served as East Germany's first president until his death in 1960. He lost the chairmanship of the ruling SED in 1950, when Walter Ulbricht became the party's first secretary. Nonetheless, due to Joseph Stalin's trust in him, he retained his other posts. On 13 July 1953, he suffered a second stroke, he had progressive liver cirrhosis and existing ascites. A detailed medical report composed before the second stroke mentioned mild paralysis on the right, a slight drooping of the corner of the mouth, breathing wheezing or snoring, slowed down pulse, tone of the limb musculature lowered...". In August 1960 he moved to new summer residence, the former, converted mansion of the Hermann Göring Leibförsters near "Karinhall".
Pieck lived at Majakowskiring 29, East Berlin. He was married to a garments worker whom he met in a large dance hall in Bremen. At first, her parents did not want her to go out with a "red", but once she was pregnant, she was allowed to marry Wilhelm on 28 May 1898, on the condition that a traditional wedding in a church would still take place. On the wedding day Christine waited impatiently for Pieck to arrive at the church. At the last minute, he did, still carrying communist leaflets. In November 1936, his wife contracted pneumonia for the third time, dying on 1 December of the same year; the Piecks' daughter, Elly Winter, held various posts in the East German government. Their son Arthur Pieck served as head of the East-German national airline Interflug from 1955–1965, after having held various administrative posts in East Germany, for instance at the German Economic Commission; the youngest child, Eleonore Staimer, worked as a party official and, for a time, low level diplomat
Cottbus is a university city and the second-largest city in Brandenburg, Germany. Situated around 125 km southeast of Berlin, on the River Spree, Cottbus is a major railway junction with extensive sidings/depots. Although only a small Sorbian minority lives in Cottbus itself, the city is considered as the political and cultural center of the Sorbs in Lower Lusatia; until the beginning of the 20th century, the spelling of the city's name was disputed. In Berlin, the spelling "Kottbus" was preferred, it is still used for the capital's Kottbusser Tor, but locally the traditional spelling "Cottbus" was preferred, it is now used in most circumstances; because the official spelling used locally before the spelling reforms of 1996 had contravened the standardized spelling rules in place, the Standing Committee for Geographical Names stress their urgent recommendation that geographical names should respect the national spelling standards. In this context it is to be noted that a citizen of the city may be identified as either a "Cottbuser" or a "Cottbusser".
Names in different languages: Czech: Chotěbuz German: Cottbus Latin: Cotbusium Polish: Chociebuż Lower Sorbian: Chóśebuz Upper Sorbian: Choćebuz Yiddish: קוטבוס, translit. Kutbus The settlement was established in the 10th century, when Sorbs erected a castle on a sandy island in the River Spree; the first recorded mention of the town's name was in 1156. In the 13th century German settlers came to the town and thereafter lived side by side with the Sorbs. In the Middle Ages Cottbus was known for wool, the town's drapery was exported throughout Brandenburg and Saxony. In 1445 Cottbus was acquired by the Margraviate of Brandenburg from Bohemia. In 1514 Jan Rak founded a Sorbian gymnasium, in the city. In 1701 the city became part of the Kingdom of Prussia, it was ruled by Saxony between 1807 and 1813. In 1815 the surrounding districts of Upper and Lower Lusatia were ceded by the Kingdom of Saxony to Prussia. During World War II, Cottbus was taken by the Red Army on 22 April 1945. From 1949 until German reunification in 1990, Cottbus was part of the German Democratic Republic.
Largest groups of foreign residents by 31.12.2017 Cottbus is the cultural centre of the Lower Sorbian minority. Many signs in the town are bilingual, there is a Lower Sorbian-medium Gymnasium and a Sorbian Quarter, but Sorbian is spoken on the streets. Next to Cottbus is the famous Branitz Park, created by Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau after 1845. Schloss Branitz was rebuilt by Gottfried Semper in a late Baroque style between 1846 and 1852, the gardens Prince Hermann laid feature two pyramids. One of these, the Seepyramide, serves as his mausoleum. Cottbus is home of the Brandenburg University of Technology and the maths/science-oriented Max-Steenbeck-Gymnasium, named after the physicist Max Steenbeck; every year Cottbus hosts the East European Film Festival. Cottbus has a football team, Energie Cottbus, that plays in the 3. Liga, their home matches. There are several lignite-fired power stations in the area around Cottbus; the biggest stations are "Schwarze Pumpe", "Boxberg" and "Jänschwalde".
Cottbus is twinned with: Carl Blechen, landscape painter Gustav Theodor Fritsch, anatomist and physiologist Otto Hugo Paul Grottkau socialist and trade unionist and American journalist Reinhold Platz, aircraft designer and manufacturer at Fokker Rudi Fink, amateur boxer and boxing coach Gabriele Reinsch, world record holder discus throwing Jens Melzig, football player Marco Geisler, rower Janice Behrendt, beauty queen and model Daniel Musiol, cyclist Robert Harting, discus thrower Heiko Schwarz, football player Cottbus Air Base Cottbus-Drewitz Airport Cottbus-Neuhausen Airport Klinge Cottbus travel guide from Wikivoyage Official website Homepage of Brandenburg Technical University "Cottbus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911
Monday demonstrations in East Germany
The Monday demonstrations in East Germany in 1989 to 1991 were a series of peaceful political protests against the government of the German Democratic Republic that took place every Monday evening. Because the church played a big role in them, the Monday demonstrations are sometimes called the Religious Protest; the protests that occurred between 1989 and 1991 can be separated into five cycles. The Monday demonstrations started in Leipzig and were spontaneous, meaning that the demonstrations were not planned beforehand. In Leipzig the demonstrations began on 4 September 1989 after the weekly Friedensgebet in the St. Nicholas Church with parson Christian Führer, filled the nearby Karl Marx Square. Safe in the knowledge that the Lutheran Church supported their resistance, many dissatisfied East German citizens gathered in the court of the church, non-violent demonstrations began in order to demand rights such as the freedom to travel to foreign countries and to elect a democratic government; the location of the demonstration contributed to the success of the protests.
Leipzig was freer than other cities such as Berlin, as there were no Stasi headquarters stationed there to stop the demonstrations. Leipzig had the Leipziger Messe, the Leipzig trade fair, which allowed businessmen and media from West Germany to enter East Germany. Informed by West German television and friends about the events, people in other East German cities began replicating the Leipzig demonstrations, meeting at city squares on Monday evenings. A major turning point was precipitated by the events in the West German Embassy of Prague at the time. Thousands of East Germans had fled there in September, living in conditions reminiscent of the Third World. Hans-Dietrich Genscher had negotiated an agreement that allowed them to travel to the West, using trains that had to first pass through the GDR. Genscher's speech from the balcony was interrupted by a emotional reaction to his announcement; when the trains passed Dresden's central station in early October, police had to stop people from trying to jump on.
By 9 October 1989, just after the 40th anniversary celebrations of the GDR, the gatherings at the St. Nicholas church that had begun with a few hundred had swollen to more than 70,000, all united in peaceful opposition to the regime; the most famous chant became "Wir sind das Volk!", reminding the leaders of the GDR that a democratic republic has to be ruled by the people, not by an undemocratic party claiming to represent them. Although some demonstrators were arrested, the threat of large-scale intervention by security forces never materialised as local leaders, without precise orders from East Berlin and surprised by the unexpectedly high number of citizens, shied away from causing a possible massacre, ordering the retreat of their forces. Egon Krenz claimed it was he who gave the order not to intervene; the next week, in Leipzig on 16 October 1989, 120,000 demonstrators turned up, with military units again being held on stand-by in the vicinity. The week after, the number more than doubled to 320,000.
This pressure and other key events led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, marking the imminent end of the socialist GDR regime. The demonstrations ended in March 1990, around the time of the first free multi-party elections for the Volkskammer parliament across the entire GDR; this paved the way to German reunification. Years Monday demonstrations were held in the 2000s as a protest against the Iraq war, against social security changes, since the fall of 2009 against the Stuttgart 21 project. In 2014, Monday demonstrations called "Vigils for Peace", focusing on the U. S. Federal Reserve System, were held in Germany in response to the crisis in Ukraine. Starting with 2014, Monday demonstrations started taking place in Dresden against what protesters saw as the threat of Europe becoming "islamicised". First Cycle Total of 13 protests. Second Cycle Total of 10 protests. Third Cycle Total of 7 protests. Fourth Cycle Total of 5 protests. Fifth Cycle Total of 7 protests. During the rule of the GDR the church was one of the only institutions that could retain their own autonomy and organize a group of people.
However, it is important to note that the church did not organize or encourage the demonstrations though the demonstrations stemmed from the regular peace prayers held there. The Church acted on their ideology of "work against injustice and oppression." As a result, the church offered sanctuary to alternative political groups, the victims of the GDR rule. The church offered them financial aid, support from the congregation and a place to communicate; the church did not make statements about the GDR or anything politically related. However, by the middle of 1989 there was a "politicization of the church." Politics started to appear in the sermon of the preachers. As the church was the only place to get political information and more people started to gather; this helped spread information about the injustices. The gathering of people after the peace prayers, the spread of information, spurred the formation of spontaneous demonstrations. Uprising of 1953 in East
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East Asia. Its area is equivalent with the historical territory of Outer Mongolia, that term is sometimes used to refer to the current state, it is sandwiched between China to Russia to the north. Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan. At 1,564,116 square kilometres, Mongolia is the 18th-largest and the most sparsely populated sovereign state in the world, with a population of around three million people, it is the world's second-largest landlocked country behind Kazakhstan and the largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea. The country contains little arable land, as much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Ulaanbaatar, the capital and largest city, is home to about 45% of the country's population. Ulaanbaatar shares the rank of the world's coldest capital city with Moscow and Nur-Sultan. 30% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic. The majority of its population are Buddhists.
The non-religious population is the second largest group. Islam is the dominant religion among ethnic Kazakhs; the majority of the state's citizens are of Mongol ethnicity, although Kazakhs and other minorities live in the country in the west. Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade groups; the area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Rouran, the Turkic Khaganate, others. In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous land empire in history, his grandson Kublai Khan conquered China to establish the Yuan dynasty. After the collapse of the Yuan, the Mongols retreated to Mongolia and resumed their earlier pattern of factional conflict, except during the era of Dayan Khan and Tumen Zasagt Khan. In the 16th century, Tibetan Buddhism began to spread in Mongolia, being further led by the Manchu-founded Qing dynasty, which absorbed the country in the 17th century.
By the early 1900s one-third of the adult male population were Buddhist monks. After the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Mongolia declared independence, achieved actual independence from the Republic of China in 1921. Shortly thereafter, the country came under the control of the Soviet Union, which had aided its independence from China. In 1924, the Mongolian People's Republic was founded as a socialist state. After the anti-Communist revolutions of 1989, Mongolia conducted its own peaceful democratic revolution in early 1990; this led to a multi-party system, a new constitution of 1992, transition to a market economy. Homo erectus inhabited Mongolia from 850,000 years ago. Modern humans reached Mongolia 40,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic; the Khoit Tsenkher Cave in Khovd Province shows lively pink and red ochre paintings of mammoths, bactrian camels, ostriches, earning it the nickname "the Lascaux of Mongolia". The venus figurines of Mal'ta testify to the level of Upper Paleolithic art in northern Mongolia.
Neolithic agricultural settlements, such as those at Norovlin, Tamsagbulag and Rashaan Khad, predated the introduction of horse-riding nomadism, a pivotal event in the history of Mongolia which became the dominant culture. Horse-riding nomadism has been documented by archeological evidence in Mongolia during the Copper and Bronze Age Afanasevo culture; the wheeled vehicles found in the burials of the Afanasevans have been dated to before 2200 BC. Pastoral nomadism and metalworking became more developed with the Okunev culture, Andronovo culture and Karasuk culture, culminating with the Iron Age Xiongnu Empire in 209 BC. Monuments of the pre-Xiongnu Bronze Age include deer stones, keregsur kurgans, square slab tombs, rock paintings. Although cultivation of crops has continued since the Neolithic, agriculture has always remained small in scale compared to pastoral nomadism. Agriculture arose independently in the region; the population during the Copper Age has been described as mongoloid in the east of what is now Mongolia, as europoid in the west.
Tocharians and Scythians inhabited western Mongolia during the Bronze Age. The mummy of a Scythian warrior, believed to be about 2,500 years old, was a 30- to 40-year-old man with blond hair; as equine nomadism was introduced into Mongolia, the political center of the Eurasian Steppe shifted to Mongolia, where it remained until the 18th century CE. The intrusions of northern pastoralists into China during the Shang dynasty and Zhou dynasty presaged the age of nomadic empires; the concept of Mongolia as an independent power north of China is expressed in a letter sent by Emperor Wen of Han to Laoshang Chanyu in 162 BC: Since prehistoric times, Mongolia has been inhabited by nomads who, from time to time, formed great confederations that rose to power and prominence. Common institutions were the office of the Khan, the Kurultai and right wings, imperial army and the decimal military system; the first of these empires, the Xiongnu of undetermined
Erfurt is the capital and largest city in the state of Thuringia, central Germany. Erfurt lies within the wide valley of the Gera river, it is located 100 km south-west of Leipzig, 300 km south-west of Berlin, 400 km north of Munich and 250 km north-east of Frankfurt. Together with neighbouring cities Weimar and Jena it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with 500,000 inhabitants. Erfurt's old town is one of the best preserved medieval city centres in Germany. Tourist attractions include the Krämerbrücke, the Old Synagogue, the ensemble of Erfurt Cathedral and Severikirche and Petersberg Citadel, one of the largest and best preserved town fortresses in Europe; the city's economy is based on agriculture and microelectronics. Its central location has led to it becoming a logistics hub for central Europe. Erfurt hosts the second-largest trade fair in eastern Germany as well as the public television children’s channel KiKa; the city is situated on a medieval trade and pilgrims' road network.
Modern day Erfurt is a hub for ICE high speed trains and other German and European transport networks. Erfurt was first mentioned in 742. Although the town did not belong to any of the Thuringian states politically, it became the economic centre of the region and it was a member of the Hanseatic League, it was part of the Electorate of Mainz during the Holy Roman Empire, became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1802. From 1949 until 1990 Erfurt was part of the German Democratic Republic; the University of Erfurt was founded in 1379, making it the first university to be established within the geographic area which constitutes modern-day Germany. It closed in 1816 and was re-established in 1994, with the main modern campus on what was a teachers' training college. Martin Luther was its most famous student, studying there from 1501 before entering St Augustine's Monastery in 1505. Other noted Erfurters include the medieval philosopher and mystic Meister Eckhart, the Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel and the sociologist Max Weber.
Erfurt is an old Germanic settlement. The earliest evidence of human settlement dates from the prehistoric era; the Melchendorf dig in the southern city part showed a settlement from the neolithic period. The Thuringii inhabited the Erfurt area ca. 480 and gave their name to Thuringia ca. 500. The town is first mentioned in 742 under the name of "Erphesfurt": in that year, Saint Boniface wrote to Pope Zachary to inform him that he had established three dioceses in central Germany, one of them "in a place called Erphesfurt, which for a long time has been inhabited by pagan natives." All three dioceses were confirmed by Zachary the next year, though in 755 Erfurt was brought into the diocese of Mainz. That the place was populous is borne out by archeological evidence, which includes 23 graves and six horse burials from the sixth and seventh centuries. Throughout the Middle Ages, Erfurt was an important trading town because of its location, near a ford across the Gera river. Together with the other five Thuringian woad towns of Gotha, Tennstedt and Langensalza it was the centre of the German woad trade, which made those cities wealthy.
Erfurt was the junction of important trade routes: the Via Regia was one of the most used east–west roads between France and Russia and another route in the north–south direction was the connection between the Baltic Sea ports and the potent upper Italian city-states like Venice and Milan. During the 10th and 11th centuries both the Emperor and the Electorate of Mainz held some privileges in Erfurt; the German kings had an important monastery on Petersberg hill and the Archbishops of Mainz collected taxes from the people. Around 1100, some people became free citizens by paying the annual "Freizins", which marks a first step in becoming an independent city. During the 12th century, as a sign of more and more independence, the citizens built a city wall around Erfurt. After 1200, independence was fulfilled and a city council was founded in 1217. In the following decades, the council bought a city-owned territory around Erfurt which consisted at its height of nearly 100 villages and castles and another small town.
Erfurt became an important regional power between the Landgraviate of Thuringia around, the Electorate of Mainz to the west and the Electorate of Saxony to the east. Between 1306 and 1481, Erfurt was allied with the two other major Thuringian cities in the Thuringian City Alliance and the three cities joined the Hanseatic League together in 1430. A peak in economic development was reached in the 15th century, when the city had a population of 20,000 making it one of the largest in Germany. Between 1432 and 1446, a second and higher city wall was established. In 1483, a first city fortress was built on Cyriaksburg hill in the southwestern part of the town; the Jewish community of Erfurt was founded in the 11th century and became, together with Mainz and Speyer, one of the most influential in Germany. Their Old Synagogue is still extant and a museum today, as is the mikveh at Gera river near Krämerbrücke. In 1349, during the wave of Black Death Jewish persecutions across Europe, the Jews of Erfurt were