Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt Am Main is the fifth largest city in Germany and the largest in the state of Hesse. It covers an area of ninety-six square miles and has a population that exceeds six hundred and seventy thousand residents. if the suburban area around the city is also factored into the population totals then the total aggregate population of the metropolitan area exceeds two million people. Frankfurt Am Main translates into “Frankfurt on the Main”. As can be ascertained from its name, Frankfurt is seated on the Main River. It is the transportation and financial center of Germany and is the biggest financial center in Europe. As such, it is home to the European Central Bank and the German Federal Bank. It is also the only city in the country of Germany that is listed as one of the ten Alpha cities of the world.

Frankfurt is a city that can trace its history back to the Roman Empire in the first century. This is when the Romans established a settlement on Domhugel Hill. Archeological evidence that on this site were built Roman baths, homes and possibly even a fortification. For reasons unknown, the Roman military abandoned this site in the second century and it eventually evolved into a villa. There were no more written records of this area until the eighth century, when the city was referred to by its current name. This is when a letter from the Emperor addressed the city as a famous settlement in Germany. Therefore, it must have already been a formidable city by that time. A year later, Charlemagne erected a royal court in the city and held a church council there. This council was attended by Frankish, Italian and Aquitanian bishops and English ecclesiastics. The purpose of the council was to condemn Adoptionism, the belief that Jesus was born a mere mortal and only later in his life achieved divine status. Later, during the early ninth century, Charlemagne’s son, Louis the Pious chose the city as his seat and erected a bigger palace, as well as walls around the city.

In 843, the Treaty of Verdun divided the Carolingian Empire among Louis’ surviving sons and Frankfurt became the capital of East Francia. The city became the favorite haunt of kings and church councils were regularly held there. All during the nine through the fifteen centuries, Frankfurt continued to enjoy an increase rise in popularity and an increase in its economic power. By the sixteenth century, Frankfurt experience a golden age of trade and art. Scientific progress also made significant strides in the city and the invention of the printing press made the distribution of information and knowledge more accessible to the masses. During the seventeenth century, tensions rose between the patricians and guilds in Frankfurt and led to civil and political unrest in the city. This continued to escalate, until it exploded into the Fettmilch Rebellion in 1612. Two years later, order would become restored by Hessen-Darmstadt.

Today, Frankfurt is a thriving urban center that has a strong tourist trade which draws visitors from the United States and around the world. A popular attraction in the city is Frankfurt Cathedral, known popularly as Saint Bartholomeus’s Cathedral. This church is the main cathedral of the city and was constructed in the fourteenth century. Many Holy Roman kings were elected here and the church was also used to crown emperors. This Gothic cathedral was never the seat for any bishop, but it still remained an important building due to the fact that it had a substantial role in imperial politics. During the nineteenth century, Frankfurt Cathedral was burned to the ground and was subsequently rebuilt in its current architectural style. During World War II, the church once again suffered significant damage when it was caught between Allied bombing runs. It suffered extensive exterior damage and the inside of the church was completely burned out. It was once again rebuilt during the 1950s.

Another important landmark in the city is a medieval building thats known as Romer. This building has served as city hall for Frankfurt for over six hundred years. It was once owned by the Romer merchant family who sold it to the city council of Frankfurt in 1405. The building has been expanded many times through the years and the building that is seen today is actually eleven buildings connected together. The building is composed of three levels and covers an area of thirty thousand square feet. The outside of the building is a beautiful example of Neo-Gothic design and many visitors arrive here to take pictures of the building. The inside of the building is not open to the public, however, because its still used as a city hall.

Paulskirche, or St. Paul’s Church, is another popular attraction in the city of Frankfurt. It was constructed in 1789 and was originally used as a Protestant church. During the nineteenth century, it was used as a meeting place for the Vorparlament, as well as the National Assembly. After 1952, it was used once again for religious services. During World War II, the church suffered extensive bombing damage, and after the war its use changed from a religious institution to a place for various events. During the 1960s, John F. Kennedy gave a speech here.

Other popular attractions in Frankfurt include the German Architecture Museum, Stadel Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Goethe House, Hessenpark Open Air Museum, The Money Museum, Senckenberg Natural History Museum, Dom Museum, The Romerberg, Frankfurt Zoo, Historical Museum, Sachsenhausen, Old Opera House, Judisches Museum, German Film Museum, The Hauptwache, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Struwwelpeter Museum, Frankfurt Romans, Tagesschonheitsfarm, Main Tower, Paulus Church, Old Nicholas Church, Museum fur Post und Kommunikation, Museum fur Kunsthandwerk, St. Leonard Church, Katharinenkirche, Frauenfriedenskirche, Saalhofkapelle, Museum Judengasse, Grosse Bockenheimer Strasse, Haus Wertheim, The Salthouse, Rebstockpark, Villa Cronhardt, Sachsenhauser Warte, St. Dionysoskirche, Nurnberger Hof, Schonhof Pavillon and Kinderprogramm im Stadel (children’s museum). The city is also home to many fine restaurants, upbeat cafes and bars, and historic hotels.