Frankfurt - A city of contrasts
Frankfurt am Main, the metropolis at the heart of Europe, is defined by stimulating contrasts of tradition and modernity, trade and culture, business and tranquillity. The famous international trade fairs held here, the financial business conducted, the city’s cultural scene and its accessible location all contribute to Frankfurt’s metropolitan reputation.
Frankfurt’s famed skyline features more skyscrapers than any other German city. Frankfurt’s skyline is ever-changing – the newest skyscrapers are already under construction and many more are in the design stages. One of the most notable attractions is the Main Tower and one of the first skyscrapers open to the general public and Commerzbank skyscraper which, at 259 metres (not counting the 40-metre antenna) is Europe’s tallest office high-rise.
The former Roman city “Nida” emerged on the 22nd of February 794, to be mentioned in official documents as Frankfurt. The city was named francono furd after its geographical location, being situated near a natural ford close to where the Main river meets the Rhine - right at the heart of the Franconian Empire. Frankfurt’s Dom, or cathedral, was the place where German kings were chosen from 1356 onwards and German Emperors were crowned some 200 years later. The banquets that followed were held in the imperial hall or Römer, a building complex which in 1405, was later purchased and converted to the town hall. Ever since, the three-gabled silhouette of the building has been the symbol of the city. As far back as the Middle Ages, fairs and markets took place inside the town hall’s Römerhallen and on the Römerberg outside. Today, the Römerberg is in the heart of the old town centre and a popular tourist destination. And the Römerhallen are still in demand as a venue for a large variety of events. Not far from the Römer is the St. Paul’s Church, where the first German National Assembly was held in 1848. Since then, the church has been known as the cradle of German democracy.
Due mainly to the 13 museums located on both sides of the Main, Frankfurt has developed a reputation as a significant cultural centre. The museum embankment represents a unique synthesis of several 19th century buildings worthy of preservation and many newer buildings which are true architectural gems, such as The Museum of Modern Art, the German Architecture Museum and the Museum of Communication. The city funds cultural events such as opera, ballet and theatre productions. Another symbol of Frankfurt’s commitment to culture is the Concert and Congress Centre Alte Oper Frankfurt, rebuilt after the Second World War to return it to its original Italian Renaissance style. The university, founded in 1914, carries the name of Frankfurt’s most famous son, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his birthplace is one of Frankfurt’s most popular tourist attractions, and also includes the Goethe Museum.
As the home of continental Europe’s largest airport (renamed Fraport AG after listing on the stock exchange in 2001), biggest passenger train station and a major overland traffic hub, Frankfurt is easily reached from within Germany and further afield.