Frankfurt am Main

 

Frankfurt am Main: Europe’s Financial Capitol 

Frankfurt, the largest city in the German State of Hesse, is located in the heart of central Germany. The city, which has the second largest Jewish population in Germany and the largest population of Koreans in Europe, has a total population of 662,000 people, 35% of which are made up of immigrants coming primarily from Italy, Turkey, and the ex-Yugoslavia, all making it very cosmopolitan. Although smaller than other European cities, Frankfurt is known for its cultural events, including its opera, theatre and concerts. In 1914 Frankfurt opened Germany’s only civic University, now one of the largest in the country and called the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, and its many students fill the city with youthful energy. Most of all, this city is known for its many banks and financial institutions, trade fairs and being the transportation hub of continental Europe, which happens to make it very easy to get to. Frankfurt’s large international airport is the busiest in Europe and brings passengers from all over the world. In addition, the city is easy to reach by train, bus and car. Once in the city, it is easy to get around the center on foot, or take advantage of the buses, subways, and trams or the ever present taxis. Bicycling is also an option, with bike paths throughout the city and rental shops in most tourist locations. While visiting Frankfurt, be sure to enjoy its many museums, parks, and a walk or boat trip along the Main River or Rhine.

Frankfurt began as a Roman settlement, and then later, around 794, was under the reign of Charlemagne. In 855 it became part of the Holy Roman Empire, and from 1562-1792 the Emperors were elected and crowned in Frankfurt. In 1372 Frankfurt was declared a Reichsstadt, or an Imperial Free City, under the direct rule of the Holy Roman Emperor, without any local overlord. Frankfurt also gained in importance with its Frankfurter Messe, or trade fairs that began as early as 1150. The Frankfurter Buchmesse, or annual book fair, has been going on since 1478, and has long been world famous. Frankfurt escaped direct participation in the 30 years war, maintaining neutrality, but none the less suffered from the plague as it swept through Europe. It managed to remain an independent city and part of the Holy Roman Empire, even despite the Napoleonic invasions, until 1806 when it became part of the Aschaffenburg Principality. Under the Congress of Vienna (1812-1815) Frankfurt was annexed into the German Confederation which lasted until 1866 when it became part of the Province of Hesse-Nassau in the State of Prussia following the Austrio-Prussian War and with unification, it eventually became part of the German Federal Republic.

 

Main Attractions

 

Dom der Katholischen Sankt

Built in 852, it was here that ten of the Holy Roman Emperors were crowned from 1562-1792. Although it was never the home to a bishop, it is considered the local cathedral. Built in red brick, the tower outside stands 95 meters high and offers a great view of the city. The Cathedral Museum, on the Domplatz, the cathedral square, has a wonderful collection of treasures from the church over the ages.

 

Frankfurter Zoo

Built in 1858, this is one of the oldest zoos in the world. It is located in the heart of the city and the over 500 species, with a total of over 4,500 animals, live in natural habitats. The zoo was rebuilt after being bombed in World War II by the international known Professor Bernhard Grzimek who designed the unique displays.

 

Historical Museum

This museum focuses on the history of Frankfurt from the Roman times to the present, looking especially at social aspects, such as football and the cultural diversity of the city today. Displays examine political, cultural and art history. The museum has a model of the city as it was before it was bombed in the Second World War and the Saalhof Chapel that dates form 1120. Within there is a Children’s Museum, the Höchst Porcelain Museum, and the Museum for Humorous Art and Caricatures, which houses examples from the New Frankfurter School.

 

Städel Art Institute and Municipal Gallery

Begun by Johann Friedrich Städel in 1815, this is now one of the oldest and most important art museums in the world. The collection consists of about 600 sculptures, 2,700 paintings and 100,000 graphics from Europe from the 14th century to the present. There is a gallery of Old Masters which features paintings from the 14th -18th century with works by Dürer, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Holbein. Another gallery is made up of works from the 19th and 20th centuries, with impressionist, expressionist and classical modern painters like Cézanne, Kirchner and Picasso. Another gallery is dedicated to paintings from 1945 to the present. The graphical collection consists of drawings and graphics from the Late Middle Ages through the Expressionist period.

 

The Jewish Museum

Housed in the former Rothschild Palace, this museum demonstrates the importance of the Jewish population in Frankfurt and its influence on the culture, politics, science and business over time. The exhibits show how the Jewish community lived in Frankfurt from the first settlement in the 12th century and demonstrate their struggle for social integration. It also looks at the Judengasse, the Jewish ghetto that was established outside the city walls, where the community was forced to reside for 350 years from the 15th-18th centuries, with a closer look at life in their homes, the synagogues, and community. The museum also looks at the changes for German Jews after World War II. With the second largest Jewish population in Germany, Frankfurt has a very rich Jewish history which is worth examining at this museum.

 

Museum of Modern Art

This 40 room museum has a large collection of Pop art, object art and large room installations by artists such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Reiner Ruthenbeck. It has works by both European and American artists from 1960 to the present. There is also a Children’s Museum within.

 

Ebbelwei Express

This historic tram has run tourists through Frankfurt since 1977. It is a great way to get an over view of the city while relaxing and sipping Apfelwein and crunching on pretzels. The whole tour takes about an hour, but passengers can get on and off at different sites they’d like to see closer up to then catch another tram later.

 

Frankfurt’s Modern Skyline

Frankfurt is very proud of its modern skyline, with some of the tallest buildings in Europe, most of them belonging to its many international banks. The Commerzbank Tower stands 260 meters high and is the tallest in continental Europe. Also of note are the 256 meter high Messerturn, the tower in which the many trade fairs are held, and the Deutsches Bank building which is impressive at 158 meters high. The most interesting for tourists is the Main Tower of the Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen which is composed of two different buildings that are linked together. The square building is 170 meters high while its round counterpart stands at 200 meters and is the only one with public access with a roof top restaurant and viewing platform.

 

Römerberg

Much of historic Frankfurt was destroyed during the Second World War, but the city rebuilt Römerberg Square just as it was before, once more creating the medieval storybook village. Today the square is again lined with timber-framed buildings, including the Römer, or town hall which sits in the center and was first built with its stepped gables in 1405. On the first floor of the town hall one finds the Emperors’ Hall which features an oil painting of the 52 emperors that ruled from 768-1806. In the center of the square is the Fountain of Justice, where festivities were held when a new emperor was crowned, and from which is said that both water and wine would flow.

 

Old Frankfurt

Some remnants of the old city did survive the war and are treasured. Of interest is the Alte Nikolaikirche, the Chapel of the Imperial Court from 1290 through the 14th century, whose chimes still ring daily at 9 in the morning and noon. The Canvas House was built in 1399 and was the oldest textile shop, where linen and clothe were traded until the 19th century. It is now an art gallery. The Rententurm, or Customs Tower, was built in 1456, and it was here that a paymaster sat and collected the harbor fees. Just across from the Historical Museum is the only original timber-framed building to survive the war, the Haus Wertheim. Also of interest is the Archeological Garden which sits directly on the path the Emperors would take after their coronation at the cathedral. Excavations here have uncovered remnants of the Roman Settlement and from the Carolingian royal palatinate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Una Risposta to “Frankfurt am Main”

  1. If you are going on vacation to Frankfurt, I can recommend visiting the Main Tower. Its is one of Frankfurt’s most famous buildings. It is 200 meters high. Visit the Main Tower’s spectacular observation platform, from where guests are presented with a fascinating view of Frankfurt. It is the first bank skyscraper to open its doors to the citizens of Frankfurt and visitors to the city.

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