Cathedral from the outside

Later interior inspection not excluded

You want to enjoy the beautiful weather, but still get to know one of Erfurt's highlights? No problem. The charm of Erfurt Cathedral is also accessible from the outside. For the monumental impression, the best way to get to the cathedral square is through the narrow Mettengasse. Then the aha effect is greater. The Domberg on the west side of the square is then directly in front of you. On top of it two churches. Why are there two? That could be a longer story. We try to make it short and give you rather three tips for a "cathedral experience from the outside".

Tip 1: Sporty outdoor tour in 15 minutes

Let's go, first you cross the large cathedral square with determination. Steer towards the stairs. There are exactly seventy steps to the top. It's a cinch! As you climb up, you will see high arches on the left. This is the stone "table" on which the gothic choir room stands. Don't worry, it has held its weight for about 700 years. At the top, in front of you is the cathedral portal in a triangular extension. Nice photo motif! Best to turn around in the direction of the old town. Then you can take a breather and take another photo of the many red roofs and steeples. Continue between the two churches until you reach a kind of balcony extension with a Madonna figure. From here the view goes to the west: This was all outside the city wall in the past. Then down the stairs in front of you again and, depending on your fitness, either left or right (the latter is longer) back to the cathedral square. Done. You can reward yourself with an ice cream, beer, wine spritzer, coffee or whatever. There are plenty of offers for this around the square.

Tip 2: Romanticism and music

 Only possible in summer, specifically July and August. Simply buy a ticket for the Cathedral Steps Theatre Festival and you will have an exclusive seat with views of the cathedral. Sitting comfortably in this open-air arena, you will have at least two hours to enjoy the panorama in front of you, accompanied by scores from musicals and operas. It can get quite cool in the evenings, so remember to wear something practical. And bring along a cushion to keep your rear warm and cosy. During the interval, you can sip some sekt sparkling wine or tuck into a genuine Thuringian bratwurst as the sun sets dramatically behind the spires of the cathedral and the Church of St Severus.

Cathedral Steps Theatre Festival ©Lutz Edelhoff, ETMG

Tip 3: A bell-ringing spectacular

At least eight times a year, Erfurt Cathedral offers a unique acoustic experience. This is when the Maria Gloriosa is rung, the world’s largest free-swinging bell from the Middle Ages. More than 2.6 metres high and around 2.5 meters in diameter, it weighs in at almost twelve tonnes, including the clapper, and has been hanging in the cathedral’s central tower since 1497. The bell’s unmistakeable, deep ring reverberates for six minutes. Check out the ringing schedule to see when it is next due. Another very atmospheric event is the evening of 10 November, when Erfurt celebrates its Ecumenical St Martin’s Day and the city centre is full of people of all ages carrying lanterns. Afterwards, why not tuck into some traditional goose with genuine Thuringian dumplings?


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