Erfurt (German pronunciation: [ˈɛʁfʊʁt]) is the capital city of Thuringia and the main city nearest to the geographical centre of Germany, located 100 kilometres (62 miles) SW of Leipzig, 150 km (93 miles) N of Nuremberg and 180 km (112 miles) SE of Hannover. Together with the neighbour-cities Weimar and Jena it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants. Notable institutions in Erfurt are the Federal Labour Court of Germany, the University of Erfurt and the Fachhochschule Erfurt as well as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erfurt with the Erfurt Cathedral as one of the main sights. Further famous buildings are the Krämerbrücke, a bridge completely covered with dwellings, and the oldest Synagogue still standing in Europe, established in the 11th century. Furthermore, the medieval city centre consists of old timber-framed houses and about 25 Gothic churches.
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