Santa Maria del Carmine is considered amongst the best examples of Lombard Gothic architecture. It was begun in 1374 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, on a project attributed to Bernardo da Venezia. The construction followed a slow pace, and was restarted in 1432, being finished in 1461.
The church has an imposing façade commanding the square with the same name; the slender forms betray a residual Romanesque influence, although the decorations are undoubutably of Lombard Gothic style. The façade is divided into five vertical compartments by six pilasters surmounted by spires. The three central sectors have a portal each, remade by Giuseppe Marchesi in 1854. Over the portals are four large ogival mullioned windows and an elaborated rose window in brickwork.
The bell tower, dating to c. 1450, has numerous friezes and a triple mullioned window with marble columns.
The interior is characterized by an inspiring penumbra, and is on the Latin cross plan with a nave and numerous lateral chapels with frescoes and paintings.
In the transept are also precious 15th-century frescoes, while the sacristy (1576) has façade with Baroque stuccoes. Also notable is the Gothic tabernacle (1449) and the marble altar of the presbytery.References:
The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.
The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.