With its unique Jewish heritage, the city of Erfurt has received the title of UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE.
The application’s paramount objective is to fortify the Erfurt Old Synagogue’s rank as a unique monument, but also as a testimony to Jewish religion and culture in Central Europe. It simultaneously aims at properly recognizing and appreciating the presence of Jews in Europe since ancient times as Jewish-Christian coexistence has molded today’s European culture and society over centuries.
The State Capital Erfurt is in this regard fulfilling Germany’s special historical responsibility to commemorate the common roots of Jews and Christians in Europe and to pay appropriate tribute to the contribution of Jewish citizens to the development of intellectual teachings and economic prosperity.
PROPERTIES OF THE APPLICATION
The ERFURT TREASURE trove contains unique, authentic objects of outstanding importance for Jewish culture in Central Europe, the abundance of which is unparalleled anywhere else in the world.
Among the few preserved Jewish cultural buildings from the Middle Ages, the OLD SYNAGOGUE with parts dating from the 11th century stands out as one of the largest and best- preserved prayer rooms in Central Europe.
The MIKWAH in the immediate historic city center, excavated in 2007-10, is one of the early medieval Jewish ritual baths in Europe. A medieval stone building is located in a building complex in the historic city center. An extraordinary number of important buildings from the construction period around 1250 have been preserved.
There is a medieval Jewish cemetery with oldest GRAVESTONES which date back to the 13th century. They are still preserved today and displayed in the entrance of the Old Synagogue.
The ERFURT HEBREW MANUSCRIPTS are evidence of the importance of the medieval Jewish community. Fifteen manuscripts from the 12th to the 14th century have been preserved, more than from any other community. In addition to four TORAH SCROLLS, four HEBREW BIBLES and a MAHZOR, a prayer book for certain Jewish holidays, can be viewed in the BERLIN STATE LIBRARY today.