Thuringia – land of culture

Culture is thicker on the ground in Thuringia than in any other state in Germany. Castles, palaces, gardens and historical monasteries can be found dotting the landscape throughout the state. Thuringia boasts over 30,000 architectural and art monuments as well as 3,000 archaeological sites. Culture has shaped both the region’s heritage and its contemporary identity.

Classicism is at home in Thuringia. In a one-of-a-kind ensemble, the Klassik Stiftung Weimar unites museums of art and literature, the historic homes of literary luminaries, and royal palaces and gardens. This is where the legacy of Goethe and Schiller is kept alive. The spectrum covered by the collections, which have been pieced together over more than 400 years, is unequalled anywhere in the world. Among the most important institutions are the Goethe National Museum, Schiller’s Home, the Widow’s Palace, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, the Goethe and Schiller Archive, the Nietzsche Archive and the Wieland Estate in Ossmannstedt.

As a land of culture, Thuringia also possesses a museum landscape that has evolved over time and continues to grow, with a number of new additions in recent years. In a total of 180 museums, art and cultural treasures of international, national and regional significance are collected, researched and exhibited. The Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, by contrast, is dedicated to the task of preserving the two concentration camp sites as places of mourning and commemoration, as well as documenting and researching the historical background behind the crimes committed there.

One glance at the map shows that Thuringia has more theatres and orchestras per square kilometre than any other territorial state in Germany. This cultural diversity is nurtured and maintained.

Thuringia has also made a name for itself over the past several years with its annual musical festivals: in summer, the TFF Rudolstadt Roots Folk World Music Festival attracts crowds of music-lovers. Other cultural high points during the year are the Kulturarena in Jena, the Kunstfest in Weimar, the Thuringia Bach Festival and the Thuringian Summer Organ Festival.

Access to the culture of our region is afforded by 340 public libraries and the state archives in Weimar, Rudolstadt, Meiningen, Altenburg, Gotha and Greiz. Our academic libraries provide a wide selection of resources for scholars and scientists: the Thuringian State and University Library in Jena (ThULB), the University and Research Library in Erfurt/Gotha and numerous additional university libraries.

The preservation and maintenance of Thuringia’s immeasurable cultural treasures and rich legacy for posterity is a key task for the future that the state takes very seriously.


The photos on are published with the kind permission of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar and the Municipal Administration of Erfurt.

Old Synagogue with exhibition on the Erfurt Treasure

An exhibition of international standing awaits visitors to the Thuringian state capital of Erfurt. So-called Erfurt Treasure is on show in the Old Synagogue. Hidden in 1349 during a pogrom, it was not discovered until excavation work was done in the Jewish Quarter in 1998. The Treasure weighs a total of almost 30 kilograms and consists of 3142 French silver coins, 14 silver bars and more than 600 items of goldsmith’s work. These are silver tableware, rings and brooches, parts of girdles and garment decorations dating from the 13th and 14th century. Such items are extremely rare and some are unique. A major highlight of the Treasure is a Jewish wedding ring dating from the 14th century and made of pure gold.

Interesting to know:
In Erfurt, many testimonials to Jewish life have survived, throwing a spotlight on the special history of the Jewish communities since the Middle Ages. They include the Old Synagogue, the Erfurt mikwe and the Old and the New Jewish cemetery.

The exhibition venue was not a random choice. The Old Synagogue was built in 1094 and is thus one of the oldest synagogues in Europe. Because it was used for a multitude of purposes over the past centuries, it was not recognized or damaged in the Third Reich and is in outstandingly good condition today.

Together with the Erfurt Treasure, the exhibition in the Synagogue will also include many other unique items illustrating the history of the Erfurt Jewish community, which held a leading position in Europe during the Middle Ages. For example, the Erfurt Jewish Oath dating from the late 12th century – the oldest surviving Jewish Oath in German – will be on show, together with the largest known Hebrew Bible and the oldest surviving Romanesque Sabbath lamp in the world. The mikwe, the Jewish ritual bath that was discovered during earthworks near the Erfurt Krämerbrücke, will also be incorporated into the exhibition concept. It forms a unique complex in association with the Old Synagogue.

Information and brochures on the holiday state of Thuringia, accommodation and travel programmes, event infos, tickets and last-minute offers are available from the Tourist Information Thuringia on the hotline +49 (0) 361-37420 or on the internet at