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Jewish Culture and History

Traces of Jewish culture in Thuringia go right back to the High Middle Ages. The Old Synagogue in Erfurt is unique, since it is more than 900 years old and the oldest synagogue in Europe north of the Alps which has survived complete with its roof. But it is not only in the state's capital city that cultural life reflects the Jewish past and present. Despite times of persecution and murder, there are still testimonials to Jewish life in other towns in Thuringia, such as Nordhausen and Sondershausen.

Jewish Heritage in Erfurt

The medieval town centre of Erfurt holds a wealth of testimonies that have witnessed Jewish culture in communal and congregational life for centuries. The sensational find of the Erfurt Treasure in 1998, was one of the missing puzzle pieces that slots in to the reconstruction and understanding of the city’s Jewish history. Sites from different eras can be visited – including the Old Synagogue with the Erfurt Treasure and its most precious object: the famous wedding ring. Many exhibitions and events invite visitors to experience Jewish culture in the whole region of Thuringia.  

Events

Jews have been living in Germany for 1,700 years – and in Thuringia, over 900 years. The Federal State of Thuringia celebrates this anniversary with a series of events and exhibitions.

What connects people of different backgrounds? Conversations, literature readings, the joint experience of art or music? With the ACHAVA festival, the Days of Jewish- Israeli Culture, Yiddish Summer Weimar and other events, Thuringia offers a rich portfolio dedicated to culture, mutual tolerance and peace. In 2020/21, these annual events are part of the larger anniversary event calendar.