On 1 May 1776, the Ingolstadt university professor Adam Weishaupt (1748–1830) and five of his students founded the secret organisation of the "Perfectibilists", which from 1778 began to infiltrate the Masonic lodges in German-speaking countries under the name "Illuminati Order": Selected members secretly set up "minerval churches" affiliated to their respective lodges, in which they devoted themselves to Enlightenment themes.
In January 1783, Duke Ernst II of Gotha joined the Illuminati Order and permitted the establishment of a Minerval Church in his city of residence with supporting members from the lodge "Zum Rautenkranz". The leadership and organisational centre of the Gotha Illuminati group was the Minerval Magistrate. As early as 1784, Ernst II rose to the position of Inspector of the Order's third inspection, "Abyssinia" (Upper and Lower Saxony), as well as Coadjutor of the National Superior of the Illuminati Order in Germany, which he succeeded in 1785. In Gotha, under Duke Ernst II, an Illuminati headquarters with a model character was to be installed.
The Gotha Research Centre at the University of Erfurt is a central point of contact for Illuminati research with the "Arbeitsstelle Illuminatenforschung" (Illuminati Research Centre) founded in 2018. Nowhere else has research on the Illuminati Order been as intensive as in Gotha in recent years. In their lecture, Dr. Markus Meumann and Dr. Olaf Simons will look at the time when the Illuminati Order was active in Gotha and Thuringia.
Admission to the event is 8 euros (reduced rate 4 euros).