One of the most important landmarks in the city of Erfurt, the Krämerbrücke (Merchants' bridge) is a medieval footbridge that connects the Benediktsplatz and Wenigemarkt and is lined with half-timbered buildings on both sides. The 79-meter-long bridge spans the Breitstrom (a branch of the Gera River), with its current limestone and sandstone construction replacing a number of earlier wooden bridges that were destroyed by fires.
Originally mentioned in the 12th-century, the bridge seen today was reconstruct-ed following a fire in 1472. It features 62 half-timbered buildings that rise to three-stories in height and partially overhang the stone bridge structure, with a 5.5-meter-wide road stretching in between. Although there was once a church at either end of the bridge, only the Aegidien Church survives to this day. The St. Benedict Church at the other end was sold in 1807 and was later demolished to build another residence and the Rathausbrücke (Town Hall Bridge), which crosses the river parallel to the Krämerbrücke.
All of the buildings on the Krämerbrücke were repaired and restored during the 1960s and 70s, with antique shops, galleries and boutiques now occupying the half-timbered buildings. Stop in at one of the coffee houses, wine cellars or delicatessens that sell specialties from throughout Thuringia or watch local crafts-people creating ceramics, woodcarvings and Lauscha glassworks. While some special vehicles are permitted to cross the bride at restricted times, the Krämer-brücke is essentially pedestrian-only and one of Erfurt’s most popular destinations.