10 tips for Frankfurt


Introduction to the History of the City of Frankfurt

The first documentary mention of the city of Frankfurt from the year 794 is documented in a deed of donation of Charlemagne as “Franconofurt”. Due to an eventful history since the Middle Ages, the formerly free imperial city became a crossroads for European trade routes. For centuries, Frankfurt was also the coronation place of the German emperors. Today, the Main metropolis is one of Europe’s most important financial and trading centres, not least because of its central location in Europe. Over the past 50 years, Frankfurt am Main has developed into Germany’s most important financial centre and the second most important in Europe after London.

View over Frankfurt at night

© eyetronic / Fotolia.com

Visitor tip 1: Overview of the Main Tower

The Main Tower in Frankfurt with its 200 m height (up to the top of the mast 240 m) is the fourth-highest high-rise building in Germany. It was built between 1996 and 1999 and inaugurated on 28 January 2000. Its structural facilities are located in five basement floors and 56 upper floors. At an altitude of 192 m and 198 m there are two publicly accessible viewing platforms, which can be entered for a fee. The lower platform is specially designed for people with reduced mobility. The 53rd floor contains a restaurant open to the public. The 53rd and 54th floors also house Europe’s highest gym. Other tenants in the Main Tower are various law firms and Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen. Hessischer Rundfunk also had a television studio here until October 2015. From here, the tabloid magazine “Maintower” was broadcast every weekday since January 15, 2001. In addition, the lottery numbers were drawn here every Saturday from 2 April to 29 June 2013. The attacks of September 11, 2001 led to a tightening of security measures with the result that the publicly accessible observation platforms were closed to the public for several months. This time of closure was used to install a security gate, as is usual at airports.

Visitor tip 2: The Römerberg landmark

Römerberg, the town hall of the city of Frankfurt am Main, has been the old town centre of the city since the High Middle Ages. It stretches east of the so-called Cathedral Island to its western boundary on the Carmelite Hill. Its highest elevation, Samstagberg, is four meters above the lower depressions that extend between its neighbouring elevations. At the beginning of the Middle Ages these depressions were still swampy or formed the bed for small watercourses. The house with the name “zum Römer” became the eponym because it has served as Frankfurt’s town hall since the 15th century. Since then, major historical events such as the coronations of the emperors have also taken place here. But also to other events, like Frankfurt fairs and Frankfurt Christmas market, the Römerberg is the entrance. During the Second World War, the historic buildings of the Römerberge were largely destroyed during air raids on Frankfurt in 1944. In the eastern part of the Römerberg, the Samstagberg, the historic building row was restored in the 1950s and 1980s or replaced by faithful to the original new buildings. Today the Römerberg is a popular tourist attraction.

Römerberg landmark in Frankfurt

© Branko Srot / Fotolia.com

Visitor’s tip 3: The Paulskirche, the historical, historic place

Today, the Paulskirche in Frankfurt serves as a memorial and exhibition space and is also used as a meeting place. After the demolition of the medieval Barfüßerkirche in 1786, the Paulskirche in Frankfurt was built on the same site from 1789 to 1833. On March 18, 1944 the Paulskirche, like other surrounding buildings, fell victim to an air raid and burned out. Paulskirche was the first historic building in Frankfurt to be rebuilt after the Second World War. However, it was limited to a very simplified internal construction, while today the external appearance is almost identical to its pre-destruction silhouette.The reopening of the Paulskirche as the home of all Germans was on 18 May 1948, exactly on the occasion of the centenary of the first German National Assembly. This first German National Assembly took place in 1848 as a consequence of the German Revolution. Until 1944 the Paulskirche was Frankfurt’s Protestant main church, and today this function is performed by the Katharinenkirche.

Paulskirche at Frankfurt

© Branko Srot / Fotolia.com

Visitor tip 4: Shoppingtime on the Zeil

The Zeil in Frankfurt is a well-known and high-turnover shopping street in the northern city centre of the Main metropolis. Since the end of the 19th century, it has developed into the shopping street with the highest turnover in the whole of Germany. The Zeil runs from the Friedberger Anlage at the Uhrtürmchen and runs in a south-western direction through the Wallanlagen until it branches off at Breiten Gasse. After a bend, the road continues westwards through the court district. The end of the Zeil at the crossing Kurt-Schumacher-/Konrad-Adenauer-Straße is also the beginning of the pedestrian zone. The annual turnover value on the Zeil is estimated at 700 to 800 million euros.

Visitor’s tip 5: The Städel Museum, the art-historical treasure chamber

The Städelmuseum, one of the most important art museums in the world, is located directly on the banks of the Main. Founded in 1815 by the banker and merchant Johann Friedrich Städel, it is one of the oldest and most important museum foundations in Germany. The exhibits of the Städel include works of art from a period of seven centuries. These unique paintings illustrate the history of different epochs and give the visitor a vivid insight into the everyday culture of society. A special attraction of the Städel Museum are valuable works by Dürer, Cranach, van Eyck, Botticelli, Rembrandt or Holbein. Works by renowned impressionists such as Monet, Renoir and Degas can also be admired here. Expressionism is represented by works by well-known artists such as Kirchner, Beckmann, Marc and Macke. Classic Modernism, represented by works by Picasso, Klee and Dix, also round off the rich repertoire of the Städel Museum.

Visitor tip 6: A striking feature of Frankfurt’s skyline, the Messeturm

The Messeturm in Frankfurt’s Westend district has become one of the distinctive landmarks of the city of Frankfurt am Main. Its three-storey pyramid top is visible as a silhouette far beyond the city limits of Frankfurt and marks the Frankfurt skyline with its unmistakable character. When it was completed in 1991, the Messeturm with its 256.5 m was the tallest building in Europe. The skyscraper was named Messeturm because of its location next to the City entrance to the exhibition grounds at Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage. However, it is not used in connection with trade fair events and is not itself located on the actual trade fair grounds. The Messeturm has 63 floors and contains up to 139 workstations per floor. The total rental area is 61,700 m2 with 1,200 m2 per floor. As a modern office building, this is a successful combination from the architectural point of view. Perfectly designed outward appearance and uniquely designed office worlds convey a harmony that also meets the requirements of modern office building design.

Visitor’s tip 7: Frankfurt from the perspective of water

A trip to Frankfurt am Main should in any case also include a boat trip on the Main. The view from the water to the Main metropolis gives the visitor unforgettable impressions, because the perspective from the water makes Frankfurt appear from a very special beautiful side. A relaxed atmosphere is already connected with the boat trip itself, which every visitor will certainly keep in a good memory. Watching the historical sights and their urban architecture from the water becomes an unforgettable experience. Tourists can also take part in sightseeing tours offered by boat guides. Destinations of these special offers are usually also unknown places such as industrial and port facilities.

Visitor’s tip 8: Time of the muse in the historical palm garden

In Frankfurt’s Palmengarten you can admire plants from all parts of the world, which represent a true plant paradise there. Visitors to the Palmengarten find here a fascinating variety from the world of botany and can marvel at it without having to travel far. The Palm House houses a large number of exotic palms, ferns and giant perennials. The Tropicarium is a further attraction of the flora and forms tropical landscapes, such as savannah, misty desert and monsoon rain forest true to nature. But also the flora from temperate and cooler areas of the southern hemisphere has found an artificial home in the Subantarctic Icehouse through climatic reproduction.

Palmengarten in Frankfurt

© pure-life-pictures / Fotolia.com

Visitor tip 9: Ebbelwoi as a Hessian national drink

In Frankfurt, in southern and central Hesse and in Lower Franconian, apple wine is also called “Ebbelwoi”, “Äbbelwoi”, “Ebbelwei” or also “Stöffche”. As a protected geographical indication, “Hessischer Apfelwein” is not about a traditional designation. Rather, it contains an artificial name whose introduction can be traced back to the 1980s. Grosskeltereien had introduced this art name for advertising purposes at that time. The production of cider takes place with a mixture of different acidic apples, which are pressed and fermented to fruit wine. This cider has an alcohol content of 5 to 7% by volume after production.

Visitor tip 10: A little refreshment with Frankfurt Green Sauce

After an extensive program of visits and after admiration of many sights it is only a natural need to do something for the physical well-being. A hearty meal with an original Frankfurt green sauce is ideal. Fresh boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs with this green sauce as a side dish are a delicacy for the gourmet. This green sauce is prepared with curly parsley, chives, sorrel, borage, cress, chervil, pimpinelle, two boiled eggs and 500 grams of sour cream, sour cream or crème fraiche and soured milk. These ingredients are mixed according to taste.

Concluding remarks

Modern Frankfurt am Main is a cosmopolitan city with an eventful history and many sights. With its airport, which is one of the world’s most important aviation hubs, the metropolis on the Main, with 2.1 million tons of air freight, achieves the highest freight volume of all European airports. This puts Frankfurt Airport in eighth place worldwide in terms of freight volume.

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