According to Countries in the Box, the first mention of Frankfurt am Main dates back to 794. Its name is translated as Frankish ford (Franconofurd). Until the beginning of the X century. the city was the capital of the East Frankish kingdom. Since 1152, Frankfurt has become the place of election of the German kings, and then the emperors of the “Holy Roman Empire” (since 1562, the place of the coronation of the latter). In 1240, the first international fairs were held here for the first time, then, of course, medieval ones. In 1585, the famous Frankfurt Stock Exchange opened. In 1806, Frankfurt became part of the Confederation of the Rhine, and in 1815 it became a free city of the German Confederation and the meeting place of its Union Diet. From the end of the 19th century it becomes a major industrial center. Today Frankfurt is the economic and financial capital Germany. More than 420 German and international financial companies and banks are located here, more than 34 industrial exhibitions and fairs are held annually, which attract more than 1.3 million visitors. Every year more than 55,000 congresses, seminars, meetings and conferences take place in Frankfurt.
During the Second World War, the city was destroyed by 95%. In the 1950s and 60s new residential areas with extensive green areas, numerous high-rise buildings were erected, wide avenues were laid. The modern look of the city cannot be imagined without skyscrapers, which have become a symbol of a prosperous and self-confident Germany. Skyscraper “Europaturm” (331 m) is the tallest skyscraper in Western Europe. Despite the fact that in the coming years Frankfurt is planning to build 14 newest futuristic skyscrapers, samples of old half-timbered buildings, majestic churches and cathedrals are carefully preserved here.
The city center is Römerberg. After the war, it was carefully restored. In the center of the Römerberg is a fountain where, according to legend, wine once spouted. Here you can see semi-wooden buildings of the XIV – XV centuries. One of them is the Paulskirche church. It became known not as a church, but as a meeting place. Paulskirche was opened in 1833. In 1848, the first freely elected German Parliament met here. It met 99 times and published 59 articles, some of which are included in the modern German constitution.. The church was destroyed in 1944 and rebuilt in 1947-48. as a memorial to the horrors of war. The spacious Paulskirche is currently hosting important events, including the German Peace Prize ceremony.
To the east of the Römerberg is the Cathedral (Kaiserdom). This building is one of the few that survived during World War II. The cathedral was built in 1235 and was originally a parish church. According to the decree of 1356, all the kings of the Holy Roman Empire were to be crowned here, thus the church was given the status of a cathedral. From 1562 to 1792, 10 coronations of the German Kaisers took place here. Details of the original interior of the cathedral have come down to us – a frieze, choirs and an altar. In its tower is a masterpiece of the early Renaissance – a sculpture by Hans Bakoffen depicting the scene of the crucifixion of Christ. The cathedral also houses a museum that houses some of its treasures.
The Römer Town Hall is located in the western part of the Römerberg. It was here that the trading history of the city began – from here the merchants sent their goods along the Main River. The town hall consists of several buildings built at different times. The first to be built were the Zum Römer House and the guest house Goldener Schwan (1405). In subsequent centuries, many buildings were added, some of which were subsequently destroyed. At the beginning of the 20th century, two buildings were erected in the north and south, connected to the rest by bridges. Currently, the City Hall houses the office of the mayor and Frankfurt and is used for civil registration.
In the southern part of the Römerberg is the Nikolaikirche, which has been part of the city since 1260. Initially, it served as a chapel for the neighboring Stauferpfalz palace. But later, at the request of the municipality, it was opened to the people. In the 15th century, a fire tower was added to the church, which was used to give signals to ships on the river. The well-chosen Nikolaikirche bells ringing at 9:00, 12:00 and 17:00 is worth listening to.
One of the main attractions of Frankfurt is the house where the German poet Goethe was born. Here he wrote several of his great works and began work on Faust. The house has been meticulously restored, the smallest details are reproduced in its interior, and some items belonged to the Goethe family. Next to the house is the Goethe Museum, which houses his work and the work of his contemporaries.
Few cities can boast as many museums as Frankfurt. The famous Frankfurt Museum Embankment offers entertainment for every taste: from handicrafts to painting, from the history of cinema to ancient plastic arts. There are more than 11 museums on this embankment.
In Frankfurt many wonderful parks. In one of them, in the center of the lake, there is a castle of the Holzhausen dynasty. This rococo building was built in 1727-29. Today it hosts exhibitions and concerts of classical music.
An interesting place to visit is the palm park Palmengarten in Frankfurt. On an area of 20 hectares and in greenhouses with a total area of 9.000 sq.m. the flora of almost all climatic zones is represented. The park hosts many cultural events – outdoor summer concerts; the festival of flowers and light (Rosen- und Lichterfest) in June, during which music sounds, dances are arranged, and culminates in the selection of the Queen of Flowers and amazing fireworks; autumn festival in september; an orchid festival in October, as well as horticultural exhibitions of the highest rank.
5 km from the city is the Lohrpark park, which occupies one of the highest hills in Frankfurt. From here you have a wonderful panorama of the city and the river Main. The park contains the only vineyard within the city. Höscht is a 10-minute drive from Frankfurt. Here is the oldest palace, built in 1366, and an old porcelain factory.
Cozy pedestrian zones, shopping arcades, specialty and secondhand shops, countless cafes and bistros make visiting Frankfurt a real pleasure. In Frankfurt you should definitely try the famous apple cider “Apfelwein”, whose name in the local dialect sounds like “Ebbelwoi”, and the no less famous pie “Frankfurter Kranz”.