The Krämerbrücke in German (Merchant's Bridge) is the most extended and most occupied bridge house in Europe and the most ancient secular architectural work in the city of Erfurt, in Thuringia, central Germany. It was originally a wooden structure but was restored and rebuilt in stone in 1325.
62 narrow houses and shops were built on Krämerbrücke, where vendors sold pepper, sugar, saffron, and other small commodities, so people also called it the Merchant's Bridge. Today, various handicrafts, antiques, and souvenirs are sold here. This bridge construction with houses on both sides of the deck is unique in the northern Alps, and the Krämerbrücke is also regarded as the longest closed bridge with houses in Europe.
The house bridge combines the function of houses and bridges. It has the basic function of a bridge, spanning obstacles such as rivers, valleys, roads, etc., and has residential and commercial functions. This kind of bridge is rare worldwide, so it is very popular with tourists.
Design and Size of the Krämerbrücke
Krämerbrücke is a medieval stone built-in 1117; it was originally a wooden bridge that has suffered several fires throughout its history but has also been rebuilt in 1325. The bridge spans the Breitstrom, a tributary of the River Gera, connecting two town squares: Benediktsplatz and Wenigemarkt. The cobblestone street is lined with half-timbered shops and houses; there used to be a church on each end of the bridge, and now only the Ajideen church on the east is well preserved.
It is one of the few inhabited bridges in the world. The bridge has been inhabited continuously for over 500 years till today, making it the longest inhabited bridge in the world. This stone pedestrian bridge is one of the oldest secular buildings in Erfurt, built-in 1325. This bridge has inspired many bridges, and the water bridge in Zaragoza, Spain, was built under its influence.
Dimensions of the Krämerbrücke
Krämerbrücke is 120 meters long, 26 meters, and 62 narrow houses were built atop the bridge, each carrying about three floors. These constructions have survived till today, although the houses have been converted into around 32 living and commercial shops.
|Length||120 m (410 ft)|
|Width||26 m (85 ft)|
|Number of Houses||32|
You may think it is an alley lined with half-timbered houses when you walk on the bridge. However, it is the longest European bridge with houses built on it. Today, tourists can visit the shops on the ground floor, mainly antique and handicraft stores, while the upper floors of the building are still private residences. Krämerbrücke is a gem of the city, and a local community event called Krämerbrückenfest is held every year to celebrate its long history, which has also made the town famous. It is worth visiting this extraordinary building from the outside; you will quickly understand why the bridge is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Erfurt.