Located on the Petersberg in the center of Erfurt, the Petersberg Citadel thrones over the city and thus significantly shapes the cityscape of the state capital of Thuringia. It is one of the few largely preserved Baroque city fortresses in Central Europe and is considered one of the most modern fortifications of its time.
Lingering on the citadel
The entire area of the citadel on the Petersberg is free of charge and accessible all year. There is only an entrance fee to visit some of the buildings. Other buildings are still inhabited today, serving as office buildings or hotels. The site is perfect for a stroll and can be climbed either on foot or by the panoramic elevator, there is something to discover everywhere. May it be the guardhouse, the harness master's house, the fortress bakery and much more. The citadel is also home for a traffic garden and an adventure playground for children, as well as the former abbey church of St. Peter and Paul. Various special exhibitions can be found here. The commander's garden serves as a place to relax, where you can sit or even lie down and enjoy the view.
Time travel on the Petersberg
The various buildings have different exhibitions throughout the year, some of which change. One of the permanent exhibitions in the Commandant's House is "The Petersberg - an exciting journey through time" and covers the entire development and history of the Petersberg. In the Documentation Center, you can view the exhibition "GDR Security Area" or visit the "Stasi Records Archive", which contains over 4,500 linear meters of files, 600 linear meters of index cards, photos, films, slides and previously destroyed material.
Guided tours around the fortress
Guided tours for groups of all kinds and school classes are available to get to know the citadel better and to visit the mysterious listening tunnels or the Petersberger Schwarzbrenner. These can also be experienced as part of public guided tours. As part of the public tours, you can also take part in the Petersberg Rallye, where you can discover the citadel individually and solve tricky questions to receive a small surprise at the end. For school classes and youth groups, so-called exhibition educators are available who can easily adapt the level of difficulty by arrangement. Workrooms are also available for extracurricular lessons.
Around the citadel
Various vacation offers provide varied programs for children, which change depending on the vacation. There is also something for everyone on the culinary front. The "Peberg" restaurant, which belongs to the "Kehrs" hotel, offers both indoor and outdoor dining options, as well as a roof terrace with bar. There is also a beer garden and the Thuringian Vinarium, where you can enjoy various Thuringian specialties and taste different wines. There is also a wine manufactory and a distillery on the mountain, which can be visited in the form of guided tours or seminars. Concerts by various national artists take place on the festival meadow every summer.
After the city of Erfurt was placed under the control of the Elector of Mainz in 1665, he ordered the construction of the citadel. The first construction phase was completed in 1702, when the fortress was completely surrounded on all sides. Over the course of time, Erfurt and the citadel were occupied several times. In 1802 it was under Prussian occupation and from 1806 to 1813 under French occupation, before being taken over again by the Prussians in 1814 as part of the Congress of Vienna. During these conflicts, St. Peter's Abbey and several fortress buildings were destroyed. Under the renewed Prussian rule, it was decided to expand the citadel according to the new Prussian fortification system before it was defortified and partially demolished by Wilhelm I in 1873. The fortress was used for military purposes until 1963 and has been open to visitors since 1990.
How to get there
With the car
Opposite the Domplatz and below the Panoramaweg is the "Domplatz parking garage", which is located directly below the citadel. This parking garage is chargeable and is open from 7 am to 10 pm.
With public transport
About 800m from the citadel are the stops "Erfurt, Domplatz Süd", where streetcars 2, 3, 4, 6 and N3 stop, and "Erfurt, Domplatz Nord", where streetcars 3, 6, N3 and bus line 90 stop. These stops can also be reached from Erfurt main station, which is why it is possible to get there by train. It is also possible to walk 2 km from Erfurt main station to the citadel.