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The small city of Erfurt, on the Gera River and first mentioned in 742, is one of the most visited cities of eastern Germany because it still exudes the spirit of a medieval market town. Erfurt is filled with historic houses, bridges, winding cobblestone alleys, and church spires reaching toward the skyline, as well as decorative and colorful Renaissance and baroque facades. The city emerged from World War II relatively unscathed and remains one of the best places to see what yesterday's Germany looked like. Nearly everything of interest is concentrated in the Altstadt (Old Town) area. It's well worth your time to take 2 or 3 hours to walk around this city of "flowers and towers."

Why flowers? Erfurt is a center of the German horticultural trade. It's also Europe's largest vegetable seed producer. One of Europe's biggest horticultural shows, the Internationale Gartenbau Ausstellung (International Horticulture Exhibition), is held here in the Cyriaksburg Park every year from the end of March to September.