Frankfurt am Main, Germany – the capital of banks, books and cider

Business Expert

Frankfurt am Main, often referred to simply as Frankfurt, is the fifth largest city in Germany with a population of 672,000. Located on an ancient crossing (German: “furt”) on the river Main, the city was part of early Franconia, inhabited by the Franks. From here comes the name of the city “Crossing of the Franks”. Frankfurt is the financial and transport center of Germany and the largest financial center of continental Europe. It is home to the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, the Frankfurt Exchange and the Frankfurt Fair. Thanks to its sheer number of banks and clerks, Frankfurt has earned a few nicknames: Mainhatten (Manhattan on the Main) and Bankfurt. There’s also a special banking district, Bankenviertel, where almost all of the city’s skyscrapers are concentrated. And the financial metropolis doesn’t feel like a masonry jungle at all: the city, nearly completely destroyed by the war, is built according to the best traditions of modernity. Frankfurt is one of Germany’s greenest cities. Within its precincts there are more than 50 parks and gardens, all of which are unique in their own way. Enjoy the solitude of the Chinese Gardens or the beauty of the Mediterranean plants in the Nizza-Park on the banks of the river Main. A great way to explore the city is by bike or on foot along the 75 km “Green Belt” (Grüngürtel). The Palm Garden has about 3,000 different species of plants, and the famous Frankfurt Zoo attracts families with children and zoologists alike.

Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA), the largest airport in Germany and continental Europe, stretches over almost two thousand hectares. Around 50 million passengers use it every year – better figures only in London’s Heathrow and Paris’ Charles de Gaulle. The airport currently has “only” two terminals, but the Fraport (a hybrid of Frankfurt and Airport) company is planning to open a new runway and a third terminal.

More recently, the British agency Skytrax put the Frankfurt hub on a par with the absolute favorites of continental Europe – Amsterdam and Zurich, assigning it four stars. This is quite honorable, if you consider that all three five-star competitors hail from Southeast Asia.

The Frankfurt airport is particularly proud of Lufthansa’s First Class terminal. Here VIPs from all over the world have at their disposal a bar made of white marble, cigar lounge, elegant office area, illuminated water pool, spacious shower cabins, personal assistant and a limousine to the boarding bridge.

However, Frankfurt Airport is just as hospitable to the average business person as it is to economy passengers. Shopping Avenue with hundreds of stores, restaurants and bars, 35 conference rooms, 5 hotels, spa areas, clinic, playgrounds, service for children and the disabled… In addition to all this here is thought to open a mini golf club, brewery and disco, but a lot more, to “put in place” the modern Bavarian competitor – Munich Airport.

A fascinating guided tour of the airport with local sights such as Boeings and Airbuses, the Cargo Center and the fire station will help you get your bearings in the endless Frankfurt labyrinth. Afterwards, lovers of airport romance will enjoy their time at the observation deck. Here you can watch the take-off and landing, enjoy the panorama, admire the sunset and catch a rare shot.

Frankfurt am Main is the birthplace of the great poet and genius of German literature Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832). The best place to start sightseeing in Frankfurt am Main is at the Goethe House Museum. The building looks like an exemplary and neat 18th-century Frankfurt house. However, it is the result of the efforts of restorers. The bombing of 1944 destroyed not only the house where Goethe was born – the entire street was razed to the ground. The house was carefully and thoroughly restored in the traditions of architecture and interiors of Goethe’s time. To recreate the furnishings, the interiors of those years were studied, and following the notes and notes of Goethe and family acquaintances about his childhood home made the house individual. Then an impressive collection of the writer’s original possessions was assembled in the house-museum. These include portraits and paintings, pieces of furniture, and original autographs of Goethe.

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In Frankfurt, the world’s largest book fair Buchmesse takes place every year in mid-October. It involves about 7,000 exhibitors from more than 100 countries. This is the place where you can get acquainted with new products and learn the trends of the book publishing market as a whole. Representatives of all the major companies-manufacturers and sellers of printed and electronic media come to town these days. Writers and publishers, booksellers and librarians, agents and journalists – “everybody goes to Frankfurt, because everybody goes to Frankfurt. The book fair has a big impact on education. The fair, first organized after World War II in 1949, has long been a symbol of the modern international book trade. Businessmen have an opportunity here to revive existing contacts and find new business contacts, to establish work with publishers, rights dealers, agents and manufacturers.

Frankfurt offers its guests to visit interesting museums, which tell about the history of the city, German cinema, traditional and contemporary art. These include the Stäedel Art Institute and Municipal Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, the Historical Museum, the German Film Museum, the Schirn Art Gallery, the Liebig Municipal Sculpture Museum, the Money Museum and others.

The Cinema Museum opened here after a two-year renovation. Now it is not a Kunstkammer with archive films and a prehistoric cinema, but an interactive cultural center, where you can see what a real Oscar statuette looks like, learn why Steven Spielberg loves aliens so much and understand the intricacies of editing. Back in 1971, a tiny movie theater opened in the building of the museum, where they showed what is now called art-house: experimental films by contemporary directors that had no chance at the box office, classics and educational films about the history of cinema. The official date of foundation of the museum is 1984, when a permanent exhibition appeared next to the cinema.

One of the first to be reconstructed was that very theater. Now even modern movies will be shown here in 3D, but it makes sense to look at old films as well. All copies have been restored by the masters of the German Film Institute, recognized as one of the best specialists in film restoration in the world: it is not for nothing that the Berlin festival surpasses both Venice and Cannes in the number and quality of retrospective screenings.

The first floor of the new permanent exhibition is dedicated to the prehistory of cinema. Leonardo da Vinci tried to figure out how to capture a moving image, and throughout the 19th century new devices appeared literally every decade, getting closer and closer to the parameters of a modern camera. The exhibition introduces visitors to the most famous of these, from the camera obscura to Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope. On the same floor, a small screening room showcases the first films of the Lumière brothers.

For those who don’t know the classics and prefer something a little more modern, there’s also something to see: Behind the glass, the Alien from Ridley Scott’s Alien is beaming, Steven Spielberg donated his sketches for Artificial Intelligence, and the costume designer from Pretty Woman shows sketches of Julia Roberts in sumptuous outfits.

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In Frankfurt you will find a monument to Friedrich Schiller (Friedrich Schiller, 1759-1805 – German poet, playwright, art theorist, historian, and a prominent representative of the Enlightenment in Germany). The statue was created by the sculptor Johannes Dielmann in 1864. It is located in the city center, just in front of the twin towers of the Bank of the Netherlands.

A romantic spot in Frankfurt is the Iron Bridge. It is a 19th century crossing over the river Main. The bridge itself is made of iron, on a base of red sandstone. The bridge is 174 meters long and completely pedestrianized.

Another bridge is the Alte Brucke. The Alte Brucke (Old Bridge) was the first and only bridge in Frankfurt until 1869. Although the first bridge in the area was built in 1222, there were some form of crossing over the river Main before that, such as when Charlemagne escaped with his troops. Over the centuries, the bridge, which was an important part of the trade route, has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. In 1945 it was barely hanging on and was temporarily repaired and later rebuilt and renewed.

Hotels in Frankfurt are never empty. What unites them all is the unique hospitality of this city, making the “star” status of the chosen hotel not particularly important. Hotels in Frankfurt consist of luxurious buildings, belonging to the world-famous networks of Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott Hotels, Le Meridien, etc., and small comfortable pensions, as well as an extensive infrastructure of affordable and democratic hostels.

The world famous Frankfurt Zoo was founded in 1858 and is one of the oldest zoos in Germany. At the beginning it was conceived as a holiday park for the bourgeoisie. By the end of the 19th century the zoo already had a large number of animals of all kinds. But in 1944 the zoo was destroyed. Only 20 animals could survive the bombs.

Under the direction of Professor Bernhard Grzimek work began to restore the zoo immediately after the Second World War. The result can be seen today – there are a huge number of different animals and plants. Tigers, bears, monkeys, various snakes, crocodiles, giraffes, elephants – the list is endless.

You can enjoy the best routes of the city while tasting the famous apple wine “Ebbelvoy”. This cider-like drink has been revered here for 250 years. Apple wine pubs are particularly popular in the Sachsenhausen district of Frankfurt. It goes best with Frankfurt’s green sauce or the traditional dish Handkäs’ mit Musik (nothing more than cheese and onions soaked in vinegar).

Car Salon

The history of the world-famous Frankfurt Motor Show began in 1897, but for almost sixty more years it was to be just a German motor show. Then the first mini-exhibition was held in Berlin Bristol hotel. Only 8 cars were exhibited there.

It was difficult to determine the mode of the exhibition – it was undoubtedly in demand among the Germans, but then came the First World War. As a result, in 1921 only the fourteenth exhibition was held, although in the period from 1897 to 1911, exhibitions were organized once or twice a year. At the first motor show in Berlin after the First World War only 67 visitors were present, and then the event was banned for six more years.

In the thirties the exhibition was rehabilitated. Thereafter, it became the starting point of many European discoveries: For example, in 1931, front-wheel drive cars were presented here for the first time, and in 1939, just before the Second World War, the VW Beetle prototype was presented there for the first time. And again a long 11-year break followed.

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In 1951 it was decided to move the International Motor Show in Germany to Frankfurt. Then a rational suggestion was made: to hold a motor show every two years.

Ten years later, in 1961, the Frankfurt Motor Show attracted 950,000 visitors. Not surprisingly, because then the most advanced achievement of the automobile industry – the safety belt – was presented.

In 1965, a Japanese car was brought to Frankfurt for the first time. And in 1989 the history of the Frankfurt Motor Show as the most capacious and extensive event in the automobile world of Germany ended. It was the last exhibition, where both passenger cars and commercial vehicles were exhibited at the same time. Of course, it is remembered as an exhibition with record attendance – 1.2 million people paid attention to that show. In 1991 the exhibition was divided. That was the time when the decision was made to exhibit passenger cars in Frankfurt, and commercial – in Hanover. Since then, the following rule applies: every odd-numbered year the International Motor Show is held in Frankfurt, while in even-numbered year – in Hannover.

This year organizers announced participation of about 900 producers – not only automobiles, but also automotive components, accessories and design elements (tuning). The organization of the exhibition was entrusted to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). The International Association of Automotive Engineers recognized the Frankfurt Motor Show as the world’s largest automotive event.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany – the capital of banks, books and cider

A city where tradition meets modernity – a phrase used so often that it sounds like a cliché today. But few places fit this brief description as well as Frankfurt am Main – the spirit of the city is created by history as well as the present.

Frankfurt’s museums and galleries are home to world-class collections, and its skyline stands out from other European metropolises with its imposing skyscrapers. It was here that emperors of the Reich were elected for centuries, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born, and the headquarters of the most important German banks and the European Central Bank are located.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Frankfurt am Main, Germany – capital of banks, books and cider

Frankfurt am Main is the fifth largest city in Germany and the largest settlement in the state of Hesse, although it is not recognized as its capital – Wiesbaden fulfills that function. It is one of the most important financial centers and has been called the “smallest metropolis in the world”. In the 2018 Index of Global Financial Centers, it was in the top ten (first place went to New York, second to London). In the center of the city is the Bankenviertel – the Bank Quarter. Above it, standing out among other skyscrapers, rises the Commerzbank tower – the tallest skyscraper in Europe since its opening in 1997 until 2003.

Frankfurt am Main is famous for its fairs, exhibitions, galleries and museums, especially those that are clustered along the Menu, forming the Museum Coast. There are numerous festivals and street parties, where the local cider is never in short supply.

Central Europe

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Central Europe

Tourists usually start their stay from the airport. It is the main transfer airport for Lufthansa in particular, and one of the largest in the world at 2,300 hectares. Suffice it to say that a special train runs between the terminals, and the bus ride to the plane on the airport tarmac takes a few minutes.

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Frankfurt-Main Hauptbahnhof

From the airport take the train to the Main Station . One of the largest in Europe. Since its opening in 1888, it had held first place for several years, until the people of Leipzig were jealous of the Frankfurters and opened their own, even more impressive train station in 1915. Today the Frankfurt-Main Hauptbahnhof serves about 350 passengers a day. Despite the expansion and rebuilding, the building itself has not changed much in its form. Even during the war, when Allied strikes razed the historic part of the old city to the ground, the station sustained only minor damage. It was declared a monument of architecture.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Frankfurt Main Hauptbahnhof

The historic center of Frankfurt, which was one of the largest and best preserved in Central Europe, was 90 percent destroyed in 1944. After the war, no attempt was made to rebuild it. It was only in recent years that the people of Frankfurt decided to do so. For German architects in the post-war period, the model for urban planning was the American “car-friendly” city. This idea was contradicted by cramped medieval buildings. Then the historic center of Frankfurt was built in the style characteristic of the 1950s, but now it has been decided to return the neighborhood Altstadt its former character . The reconstruction hasn’t always been faithful to the original: 15 of the 35 restored townhouses are so-called “creative” renovations. But thanks to the Frankfurt authorities’ decision, this most American-looking German city has regained its classic European character.

Römer

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Römer

In 793 the original references to the city appeared. Before that, in the 1st century AD, the Romans erected several military camps on the site, and later the city of Nida, which lasted until the 3rd century. The area was then settled by the Germanic Alamans and Franks, among others. However, links with Rome have survived and can be seen, for example, in the name of the building which for centuries housed the town hall: Rmer (German for “Roman” or “Romaness”). The building belonged to a wealthy merchant family who sold it to the city in the early 15th century. It is one of Frankfurt’s most characteristic buildings. The Römerberg is not a reconstruction, the building received only minor damage during the war.

Römerberg

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Römerberg

In front of the building stretches the town hall square, the Römerberg. Christmas markets are held on it, and during the inauguration of the rebuilt old town there was a stage and numerous stalls with drinks and refreshments. When you enter Römerberg from the Old Bridge (Alte Brcke), you will notice a picture of knights and a deer crossing the river on one of the buildings. While the scene may seem mysterious to a tourist unfamiliar with the history of the city, every little Frankfurter and Frankfurter woman knows the story very well, according to the guide.

The legend of the founding of Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

The legend of the foundation of Frankfurt am Main

Legend has it that when the Saxons defeated Charlemagne, King of the Franks, in battle in the 8th century, the latter ran west with his troops against the obstacle of the mighty river Main. The Frankish army was saved by a deer that sprang from the forest and crossed the river, indicating to the king the location of the ford (German: furt). Thus Charles’s army escaped capture by the Saxons. At this spot Charlemagne built his palace and gave rise to the city of Franconia, or ‘the ford of the Franks’. The oldest bridge, crossing the River Men at its shallowest point, over an island created on it, was until 1886 the only one that connected the two parts of the city.

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Imperial Cathedral

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Imperial Cathedral

The fact is that Charlemagne held a church cathedral here with the blessing of the Pope back in 794. Charlemagne’s son, Louis I the Pious, chose Frankfurt as his residence. In 838 he enlarged the palace and surrounded the city with a wall. After the Treaty of Verdun, which finally divided Charlemagne’s state and began the formation of France, Germany and Italy, Frankfurt am Main became the seat of the kings of the Eastern Franks and the seat of the Reichs Seimas. Since 1147, most of the kings of the Reich were elected in Frankfurt. The twelfth century was also a period of rapid growth of the city. In the 13th century its importance was already so great that it became a free city of the Reich, subject only to the emperor and having representatives in the Reichstag. From the 16th to the late 18th century, kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned there. The last ruler was Franz II Habsburg. Since the 14th century coronations have been held in the imperial church of St. Bartholomew, whose tower can be seen in the photo. The present church is the fifth on the site; the first was built under the Merovingians and served as a palace chapel.

Frankfurt Book Fair

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Frankfurt Book Fair

From the invention of book printing by Jan Gutenberg in nearby Mainz until the 17th century. Frankfurt am Main served as the center of the European book trade. Prior to that, manuscripts could be bought at the Frankfurt market. This tradition continues – for many years now the Book Fair, which takes place in October, is the largest event of its kind in the entire world.

Apfelwein

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Apfelwein

Frankfurters love cider – Apfelwein. It is much less sweet than the ones drunk in other European countries, more refreshing, with a slight bitterness. Hesse consumes and makes the most cider in Germany. There are many local producers, and most pubs serve their own cider. None of Frankfurt’s many street parties and festivals are without it. Interestingly, on the street stalls at these events, apfelwein is not sold in disposable cups but in glass beakers or goblets.

Bank District

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Deutsche Bank Towers Skyline, Bank District

Skyscrapers started appearing in Frankfurt at the turn of the 1970s and 1980s. New skyscrapers are constantly being built. They house, among others, four major German banks: Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Dresdner Bank and DZ Bank. The banking district is not formally a city district, but it is a common name for a business district in the center of Frankfurt.

Westendstrasse 1

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

Westendstrasse 1

One of the most noticeable skyscrapers is the third tallest, Westendstrae 1, which serves as the headquarters of DZ Bank. It is crowned by a structure resembling a crown. To prevent potentially deadly icicles for passersby, the structure is heated in winter. This ensures that there are bird nests on it year-round, which benefits from “urban” warming and no need to emigrate to warmer countries.

European Central Bank

This bank conducts monetary policy, is responsible for issuing the euro and supervising the banking systems in the euro area. Until 2014, the headquarters of the ECB was located in the Eurotower building. Now it is a 36-meter-high skyscraper in the Ostend area.

Frankfurt am Main, Germany - the capital of banks, books and cider

European Central Bank

Another skyscraper Main Plaza, 88 meters high building built in the district of Sachsenhausen. It was opened on October 1, 2001. It houses the Hotel Lindner with 118 rooms and suites, as well as 17 apartments.

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