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A Cultural Guide to Frankfurt’s Altstadt
09 Dec 2018

Germany’s fifth largest city, Frankfurt is one of the most important financial centres in the world. Home to both the European Central Bank and Deutsche Bundesbank, the German central bank, it is the financial powerhouse of Europe’s largest economy. This is reflected in the modern architecture of the city, with the 10 tallest buildings in Germany located in Frankfurt, including the Commerzbank Tower and Messeturm, the second and third tallest buildings in the EU.

There is no doubt that Frankfurt is a 21st century metropolis, but just a short walk from

Jumeirah Frankfurt is the city’s reconstructed Altstadt, the Old Town. Tracing its roots back to Roman times, the city’s timeline can be seen in the beautiful Archaeological Garden, an open-air archaeological site overseen by the Archaeological Museum, where you will find remnants of both a Roman settlement and an imperial palace dating back to the Carolingian era—a palimpsest of Frankfurt’s long and storied history.


Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew

The Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew, known locally as the Kaiserdom and originally consecrated in 1239, was the site of 10 imperial coronations between 1562 and 1792. Having been destroyed by fire in 1867, it was reconstructed in the Neo-Gothic style by German architect Franz Josef Denzinger in the late 19th century. The impressive Cathedral Museum details the archaeological findings of the past going back as early as the 7th century, as well as religious items from reliquaries to vestments. The evening concerts that take place throughout the year are truly magical.


Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is one of Europe’s most respected art institutions, although the modern exterior and art inside are anomalous to the historical Altstadt, with retrospectives of major 20th-century artists from Jean-Michel Basquiat to Neïl Beloufa inside, as well as fun MiniSchirn activities for kids.


MMK Museum of Modern Art

Modern art lovers should also try the MMK Museum of Modern Art on the northern edge of Frankfurt’s Old Town for its cutting-edge contemporary art.


Historical Museum

Those interested in the city’s heritage, meanwhile, should visit the Historical Museum, where they’ll find a permanent exhibition tracing Frankfurt’s history from Medieval times to the present day.



Römerberg is the large cobblestoned public square in the centre of the Altstadt, with its 15th-century, candy-coloured town hall surrounded by small cafés, where you can sit with a coffee and gaze at the colourful, half-timbered facades of the Ostzeile, a series of half a dozen buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries, reconstructed to their original design. There’s also the Fountain of Justice, the oldest fountain in Frankfurt, created by the sculptor Johann Hocheisen in 1611, and the 13th-century Old St Nicholas Church.


Just behind the square is Frankfurt’s latest renovation project, the Domrömer, a pioneering new quarter of 15 reconstructed buildings and 20 new ones with restaurants and craft workshops, as well as the new City Hall Market.


Behind Römerberg is the spacious Paulsplatz (St Paul’s Square), where you’ll find the 18th-century St Paul’s Church. The seat of the Frankfurt Parliament, Germany’s first freely elected parliament, it is also the location of a speech given by US President John F Kennedy during a visit to Germany in 1963.


Finally, finish your cultural tour of Frankfurt’s Altstadt by paying a visit to Goethe House, the birthplace and family home of the great German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that now houses the Goethe Museum, a collection of art inspired by Goethe and Romanticism.


Explore the charming historic neighbourhood of Frankfurt’s Altstadt, a stone’s throw from Jumeirah Frankfurt in Germany’s financial capital.

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