The Anger is one of Erfurt’s main squares. All the streetcar lines cross here, so you can change here to get to anywhere from anywhere else in Erfurt.
The name Anger has nothing to do with the English word anger. (It’s even pronounced differently.) In German it is a regional word meaning meadow or village square, and it has been in use for this square in Erfurt since at least 1196.
Hugendubel is a chain of large bookshops, more like book supermarkets, in numerous German cities. At all their locations they have a huge selection of books on several floors, with pleasant reading corners where you can sit down on a couch and read for a while without even buying anything. And there is usually a café where you can sit and read as well. Here in Erfurt they are very centrally located right on the main square, the Anger.
Once on the train to Erfurt I was preparing a class on the opera Der Schatzgräber, by Franz Schreker, and realized I needed a copy of an obscure book by E.T.A. Hoffmann, because I had been told by someone who had just written her M.A. thesis on this opera (thanks Katrin!) that some of the plot and the names were taken from one of Hoffmann’s stories (not that Schreker ever admitted this). So I went into Hugendubel in Erfurt and sure enough, they had exactly what I needed in a cheap paperback edition.
If the Hugendubel stores are so wonderful, why do I have mixed feelings about them? Because whenever they move into a new city they drive the traditional local bookshops out of business. I don’t know if this happened in Erfurt, but in Frankfurt I can think of three local bookshops that bit the dust shortly after Hugendubel appeared on the scene. I have had phases of trying to boycott Hugendubel for this reason, but it seems rather pointless now that the other shops are gone.
My photos in this post are from 2004. I revised the text in 2021.