Sightseeing in Frankfurt am Main
Astonishing contemporary architecture meets European Arts throughout the centuries, natural history is preserved in the Senckenberg Museum, and tourists can travel through the different climate zones from all over the planet in Palmengarten. If you are rather into shopping and fashion, the Zeil would be your destination. At Schaumainkai alongside the river Main are numberous festivals in summer, and it is here that you find the many museums of all kinds. Night owls might want to enjoy the illuminated view of “Mainhattan” at Schaumainkai, and more lively specimens would be drawn to Frankfurt Ostend and Frankfurt Sachsenhausen.
The Römer is one of the most important landmarks of Frankfurt. Its eastern printed on picture postcards and in guidebooks. For round about 600 years the Lutheran St. Nicholas Church has been the city hall of Frankfurt. Once built by the merchant family by the name of Römer, the buildings were sold together with another one (the Golden Swan) to the city council in 1405. The council converted them into a city hall as which they are used up to today.
On the grounds originally occupied by a Merovingian church, during the 14th and 15th century the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew was built. St. Bartholomew is the main cathedral in Frankfurt and is located in the Gothic city center of Frankfurt. The church has a political history, from the year of 1356 onwards, the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were elected in this very church to be the kings of Germany. From 1562 to 1792 the elected emperors were crowned in St. Bartholomew.
The Historical Museum is located alongside the river Main and was founded in 1878. It was moved to its current location in 1955, and an extension was opened in 1972. Special exhibitions are featuring varying topics. The most important pieces of art work in permanent exhibitions are the St. Anne altarpiece from the Frankfurt Carmelite Church, produced by an unknown artist around 1500, the Heller altarpiece by Albrecht Dürer (1508), and others.
The official name of this museum is Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, it is an art museum with one of the most important collections. 2,700 paintings are supplemented by 100,000 drawings and about 600 sculptures. The current display covers an area of about 4,000 square meters. The adjacent library holds more than 100,000 books and 400 periodicals. The banker and merchant Johann Friedrich Städel founded the museum in 1815. In 1966 the architect Johannes Krahn designed new buildings to house the collection which had spent the war years out of Frankfurt. The Städel collection spans seven centuries from Late Gothic through Renaissance and Baroque well into the 20th century.
Close to Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in the center of Frankfurt is the Naturmuseum Senckenberg. Especially children find it fascinating: it features dinosaur skeletons as well as dinosaur models, mummies and minerals, whales, giant turtles and mammoths. Stuffed animals from all over the planet are exhibited on one floor, other levels display generally comprehensible exhibits on the topics of vulcanism, earthquakes, the weather and others.
One of the most famous Germans is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The poet and author, lover and artist sprang of a family settled in Frankfurt, and the family’s house can still be visited. It is located in the district called Innenstadt and was until 1795 the family residence. The author himself was born in this house in 1749, he lived in Frankfurt with his sister until 1765 and came back sporadically. It is next door to the Goethe museum and the excavated Jewish ghetto of Frankfurt.
Palmengarten is one of the two botanical gardens in Frankfurt. It is located in Westend, the same district where Goethe University and Senckenberg Museum are. The gardens are the largest of their kind in Germany and they are home to numerous kinds of roses, tulips, camellia and trees from all over the worlds. Closed environments house tropical and subtropical plants, cactuses, palm trees, bananas, pineapples and other rather exotic plants. Palmengarten is open throughout the four seasons, features special exhibitions on topics related to plants and animals and offers playgrounds and a theatre for kids as well as boat tours on a lake and one or the other live music event.
St. Paul’s Church is loaded with political symbolism. The building started out as a Lutheran church in 1789, but there is no connection with the French Revolution. The church was built to replace an older one which had to be taken down due to dilapidation. It was the church of the Free City of Frankfurt, was owned by the city and in 1849 it had become the seat of the Frankfurt Parliament.
This is the original opera house of Frankfurt, now serving as a concert hall and former opera house. Originally designed by Berlin architect Richard Lucae and built from 1873 on by Philipp Holzmann, it was destroyed in 1944 and rebuilt in the 1970s. The Old Opera is located at Opernplatz in walking distance of the Bankenviertel and next to the new opera building and the modern Schauspiel Frankfurt.
Frankfurt Central Station
Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof is not only the busiest station in Germany, but also an astonishing building, dating back to 1888. The perron and vestibule are featuring typical elements of neorenaissance and neoclassicist architecture in the 1924 added two halls right and left of the main hall. 2002 to 2006 the roof construction and glass parts were renovated.
Museum für angewandte Kunst
The Museum for Applied Arts was designed by the American architects Richard Meier and is located in the garden of Villa Metzler. It exhibits more than 30,000 pieces from Europe and Asia, items like glassware, porcelain, furniture and others. Included are object design and information design, even though the museum was originally to exhibit craft works.
IG Farben Building
Constructed in the years 1928 to 1930, the IG Farben Building was the corporate headquarters of IG Farben. Architect Hans Poelzig was responsible for the design of the until the 1950s largest office building in Europe. The complex has six square wing buildings which are remarkably elegant considering their mammoth size. The buildings are operated with paternoster elevators. Since 1996 the Poelzig complex houses the Westend campus of Goethe University.
Palais Thurn und Taxis
This palais is located in Innenstadt at the east side of Große Eschenheimer Straße. It was built 1731 to 1739 by Robert de Cotte, the original sketches are preserved and exhibited in Paris’ Bibliothèque Nationale. It was administrative centre and residence, Bundestag was held here, and it was Frankfurt’s Museum of Ethnology. Only the Late Baroque facade structures survived the bomb raids of Second World War.
The shopping mall MyZeil is located in the city center of Frankfurt, it was designed by the Roman architect Massimiliano Fuksas. The six floors are accessible via one of the longest escalators of Europe. MyZeil is part of PalaisQuartier and gives access to the shopping street Zeil. The contemporary glass and steel structure collects and cleans the rainwater from its 6,000 square meters large roof and returns it the buildings water circle.
This office building in Frankfurt was constructed in the years 2006 to 2011 on top of Frankfurt Airport long-distance train station. The building is used by various companies, among them Lufthansa, Hilton Hotels and KPMG. It has its own postcode and holds besides offices and transportation a medical centre, restaurants and shops.