Formerly, dating from the time of the Huguenots, the city was a centre for the production of gloves, hats, and drapery. Modern industry includes the manufacture of electromedical apparatuses and computers, as well as computer software products.
The city is also a centre of research, tied to the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (founded in 1742 at Bayreuth and moved to Erlangen in 1743). Erlangen has a port on the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal.
The city is divided into an Altstadt (“Old Town”) and a Neustadt (“New Town”), Christian Erlang. Notable buildings include the town hall (1731) and the former palace (1700–04) of the margraves of Kulmbach-Bayreuth, now the main building of the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. Pop. (2003 est.) 102,449