The University of Erfurt is one of the oldest and youngest universities in Germany. What sounds paradoxical at first glance points to a long and varied history. The former Alma Mater Erfordensis with its founding privilege of 1379 is considered the oldest university before Heidelberg (1385) and Cologne (1388). However, the late medieval educational centre, where Martin Luther had already completed his studies of "Liberal Arts", was closed in 1816. Its memory always remained alive, but nevertheless some years were to pass before the university was re-founded in 1994.
The University of Erfurt thus combines centuries-old tradition with a lively present. In the cityscape this is condensed in the historic main building Collegium Maius in the old town and in the modern campus on Nordhäuser Straße. The former home of the Erfurt Circle of Humanists also stands for the coexistence of yesterday and today. As the Studentenzentrum Engelsburg, it contributes significantly to the flair of the university city. In addition, the University of Erfurt is a true civic university. It was founded by the medieval city council on the one hand and by today's university society on the other. The latter was founded in 1987 as the GDR citizens' movement, which not only initiated the re-foundation of the university, but also gave important impetus to the peaceful revolution of 1989.
according to Dr. Steffen Raßloff, Erfurt historian