Erfurt (Er-foort), a city of Prussian Saxony, once capital of Thuringia, stands in a highly cultivated plain, on the Gera, 13 m. W. of Weimar by rail. Till 1873 it was strongly fortified. Its two citadels, the Petersberg and the Cyriaksburg, were formerly monasteries. The cathedral is one of the most venerable Gothic buildings in Germany, with a very rich portal, and a bell cast in 1497, and weighing 13 1/2 tons. The monastery of St Augustine, famous as the residence of Luther, whose cell was destroyed by fire in 1872, was converted in the year 1819 into a foundling asylum. From 1378 to 1816 Erfurt was the seat of a university, of which the academy of sciences and the library (60,000 volumes and 1000 MSS.) alone remain. The growing of flowers and vegetables, and an extensive trade in flower-seeds are carried on. The principal manufactures are woollen, silk, cotton, and linen goods, lamps, machines, shoes, beer, malt, etc. Pop. (1871) 43,616; (1900) 85,190. Erfurt, originally called Erpesford or Erpesfurt, was made a bishopric in 741. In the 15th century its woollen and linen manufactures raised it to the position of one of the foremost cities of Germany. Since 1803 (except during 1806-14) it has belonged to Prussia.