FrankfurtA walking tour of Romerberg Square

The medieval heart of Frankfurt, Romerberg, should be on every visitor’s itinerary

Related posts

You can’t visit Frankfurt without heading to Römerberg Square, the medieval heart of the city, home to Römer City Hall. Painstakingly restored after extensive damage during World War II, the square’s timber-framed buildings and ageless charm make it a standard bearer for this city’s mercantile and religious past.

You should start any walking tour with a visit to Old St Nicholas Church, the only building on the square to escape the bombs. Built in the 15th century and still home to a Lutheran congregation, the church is daubed in light pinks and reds, towering high above the gabled roofs and patchwork facades of the surrounding buildings. Head inside for some peace and quiet from the buzzing city beyond.

From here we suggest moving to Römerberg’s heart and soul, the Fountain of Justice. The original stone sculpture was built in 1543 and depicts Justitia, the female champion of justice, brandishing her sword and scales. In 1887, it was reproduced in bronze, and with the exception of a brief relocation in 1945 when the US armed forces placed the statue in front of their headquarters, it has stood in front of the city hall ever since.

View of statue in square in Römerberg Frankfurt

 

Moving to the west of the square, you’ll find Römer City Hall. This iconic building has served as the city hall for over 600 years. Its most distinctive feature is its triple-peaked neogothic façade. Redesigned at the turn of the 20th century, the facade’s striking appearance conveys the broad architectural styles of medieval Frankfurt. 

From the front of the city hall, looking out over the square, you’ll have the best viewpoint of the square’s eastern side, where six steep-roofed, half-timbered terraced houses huddle like fairy tale towers, à la Brothers Grimm.

But the square is more than just beautiful buildings and architectural triumphs. Römerberg is at the centre of a bustling neighbourhood, with all manner of shops, from the quaint to the trendy. Here, you’ll find plenty of pastel-painted patisseries selling freshly baked strudels and velvety mugs of hot chocolate. The square is also home to a number of popular bars and restaurants, such as the venerable Alten Limpug, which serves traditional Hessian dishes with heaps of sauerkraut and mashed potatoes

Church exterior in daytime in Romberberg

 

In the summer the mood changes as dining moves outdoors, while at Christmas, Römerberg glows with festive lights. Traditional market stalls serve warm drinks and sell a delightful variety of seasonal crafts.

 

And the best bit: Jumeirah Frankfurt is a beautiful ten-minute walk away.