The historic old town of Frankfurt was destroyed in 1944 by American air raids. In 1974, the Technical City Hall was built on the property. The concrete block consisted of three office towers and did not respect the location and history of the site. In 2007, the city council voted for the demolition of the Technical City Hall and the reconstruction of Frankfurt's Old Town. The Technical City Hall was demolished in 2010, 2012 began the reconstruction of the historic center. Of the 35 new buildings 15 were built as a historical reconstruction, the most beautiful is the half-timbered house "Goldene Waage". At the "Hühnermarkt" (chicken market), the Stoltze-Fountain was rebuilt. The new buildings adhere to urban planning principles of the old town, such as steep saddle roofs, but the facades are modern. This creates a mix of old and new houses that does not look like the historic center of Frankfurt, but revives the character of the old town. The "New Old Town" is scheduled to open in fall 2018, but from the 9th of May you can already walk through the historic quarter. Further information on the current status of the construction and a 3d tour can be found under the link of the DomRömer GmbH.
The Römer has served as Frankfurt City Hall since 1405. The building complex consists of several buildings that were gradually bought by the city. The Römer also served as the election site of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations. The Kaisersaal (Imperial Hall) is a famous room with pictures of all German emperors. The pictures were stored during the war and survived the destruction of Frankfurt's old town unscathed. The Römer was destroyed by fire, only the facade remained. You can visit the Imperial Hall, the entrance is on the south side of the building. The city parliament and the registry office are located in the building today. The striking gable facade of the Römer is the symbol of the city of Frankfurt am Main.
The Ostzeile (eastern row) of the Römerberg was destroyed in the Second World War and rebuilt in 1983 based on historical models. The project was mocked by the opponents as "Mickey Mouse architecture". At that time, the reconstruction of historical buildings was still considered a historical falsification. Today it is perceived more as a city repair. The success of the Ostzeile ultimately led to the reconstruction of Frankfurt's historic old town.
The emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations were crowned in St. Bartholomew from 1562 until 1792. Constructionof the Frankfurt Cahtedral began in 1235 and the German emperors were elected here from 1356 onward. A cathedral is usually only the church of a bishop, but since Frankfurt is not a bishopric, St. Bartholomew became the imperial cathedral. However, this is not an official title, nevertheless this Catholic church in Frankfurt is called "Dom" wich means cathedral. The cathedral treasure can be visited in the cathedral museum, next to the entrance. From the 92 m high tower you have a wonderful view on the city. The entrance to the tower is outside the church on the south side.
The "Paulskirche" (St Paul's church) was erected as the protestant main church in 1833. The first "German National Assembly" was held there in 1848. The interiors and the steep roof were destroyed during World War II. Since its reconstruction in 1948 the church is regarded as the House of all Germans. The "Peace Prize of the German Book Trade" is being awarded there. The "Paulskirche" was the first German Parliament and is a national symbol of democracy.
The opera house was built in 1880 according to plans by the Berlin architect Richard Lucae. It was destroyed by bombs in the Second World War and was rebuilt in 1981. In the 1970s, the ruins were still to be blown up. A community foundation raised the money for the reconstruction. Under the front tympanum it says: "The True, Beautiful and Good." As the name "Alte Oper" suggests, there is a new opera in Frankfurt in which operas are performed. Concerts are mostly held in the "Alte Oper". The "Alte Oper" stands in the former rampart, which was converted into a park after the city walls were torn down. The entrance to the opera is in the west, so the afternoon sun shines on the facade. To ensure that the sun shines on the facade even in winter, high-rise buildings in the west of the old opera house are limited in hight.
The main guard was built in 1730 as a police station and prison. Executions were also carried out on the square in front of the building. The Hauptwache has served as a café since 1904. In the 1970s, it was demolished for the construction of the S-Bahn and rebuilt a few meters away from it'r original site. The Hauptwache is the center of Frankfurt, where several subway lines meet with the region's S-Bahn trains. The Zeil shopping street and Kaiserstraße, which leads to the main train station, start at the Hauptwache.
The German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born 1749 in this house. Goethe lived there with his parents and his sister Cornelia until he went to Leipzig to attend law school. From 1770 until 1775 he lived in Strasbourg as well as in Frankfurt before he went to Weimar. The timbered house in Frankfurt´s center was damaged during WW2 and reconstructed in 1949. The exhibition presents interiors of the prince of poet´s times.
The Frankfurt Stock Exchange exists since over 400 years. The building was completed in 1879. The famous trading hall from where all TV stations broadcast their market reviews, can be visited. On the square outside stands the Bulle und Bär (bull and bear) sculpture that represents rising and falling Prices.
The Zeil Avenue is the longest shopping promenade in Frankfurt. Located on the 500m/1640ft long pedestrian zone are the established and mainstream department stores and shops. With about 11,000 visitors per hour, the Zeil belongs to the top shopping streets in Germany.
The Fressgass (the "munching" lane) got its name from the many delicatessen and gourmet food stores that are located there. Around noon many of the bankers and stockjobbers would have their lunch on the Fressgass. Prices are in the upper range but not too expensive. Soup kitchens sell good low priced meals.
The many skyscrapers in Frankfurt can hardly be seen in the center, the towers block one another's gaze. There are around 40 high-rise buildings in Frankfurt that are over 100 m tall. Only from a distance can you see the skyline as a whole. You have the most beautiful view from the bridges east of the city center, here the view from the Flößerbrücke. On the Alte-Brücke you are closer to the skyline. For more information about the skyscrapers check out » Architecture Frankfurt. The skyline grows every year, 7 high-rise buildings over 100 m are currently under construction. The tallest skyscraper is the Commerzbank Tower with 267 m without antenna.
Welcome to Frankfurt
Frankfurt is the German financial center with the European Central Bank and many national and international banks. This capital power is constantly creating new skyscrapers.
Most tourists only discover the city center, but the most beautiful parts of Frankfurt are situated around the historic center. The Frankfurters live in Sachsenhausen, Nordend, Bornhein or Bockenheim. Districts that normal tourists don't visit. But this is exactly where Frankfurt is a very beautiful and lovely city. Those who really want to get to know Frankfurt should visit the streets Berger Straße, Schweizer Straße and Leipziger Straße.
Arts and Culture
If you really want to get to know Frankfurt, you can discover a lot. In addition to the sights, the city also has a large number of museums to offer. Among the best in Germany are the Städel Museum, the Senckenberg Museum, the German Architecture Museum, the Schirn Art Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art.
Nature, Parks and Gardens
Frankfurt is a city with a lot of forest and meadows, which are protected by the greenbelt. In the city there are many spacious parks such as the Grüneburg Park, the Palmen Garten, the Lohrberg or the Bethmann Park with the Frankfurt Chinese Garden.
From Frankfurt you can take the subway to the Taunus for hiking. The Rhine Valley can be reached in about 45 minutes by car. You drive to Heidelberg for about an hour. For Wiesbaden, Mainz and Darmstadt you can take the S-Bahn.
Frankfurt has its own local food with Handkäs, Grüner Sauce and the famous Frankfurt sausages. In Frankfurt you can drink "Äppelwoi", which is served in the "Bembel" a kind of cider pitcher. Frankfurt is also an international city with very good restaurants from all over the world. Under Restaurants Frankfurt we have put together a selection of famous and typical restaurants.