Frankfurt – One of Germany’s Rare Gems
Are you interested in sightseeing and experiencing the beautiful skylines and the busiest German airport? Then make your way to Frankfurt!
A major city in Germany, a transport hub, and an industrial economic powerhouse, Frankfurt no doubt is a prominent German destination. This old imperial city on the River Main — hence its full name, Frankfurt am Main — has been an important commercial and economic hub for long. Frankfurt is known to be Germany’s financial hub, featuring international offices, towering skyscrapers, and a multicultural population. History buffs can get amazed at 15th-century buildings and sculptures, whereas fans of classic literature can marvel at the footsteps of the renowned German writer, Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
The best time to visit Frankfurt is April through September. This is when the city enjoys mild temperatures and sunny days along with the numerous parks that get packed in full green glory. Throughout the year, the temperature varies from 30 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and rarely drops below 1 degree or rises above 88 degrees Fahrenheit. On crisp fall days, the trees shed their leaves on the street, giving the city a golden hue and making it really magnificent to view. Having a picturesque snow-covered city in mind? Then December would be the best bet. It is during this time, that the city hosts one of Germany’s largest Christmas markets. Whatever the time of year, locals will be out there in full force on weekends determinedly strolling through the parks and the riverfront walkways.
Frankfurt was initially a Protestant-dominated city. However, during the 19th century, an increasing number of Catholics settled there. Due to the growing immigration of people from Muslim countries during the 1960s, Frankfurt even has a large Muslim community. With a population of 732,688 within its administrative boundaries, Frankfurt is the fifth-largest city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne.
This place offers a variety of restaurants, bars, pubs, and clubs. Some of their culinary specialties include the apfelwein which is the apple wine that has an alcohol content of 5.5-7% and a tart, sour taste. The Frankfurter Wurstchen is another main specialty which is the small sausage that is made of smoked pork. They are similar to hot dogs. The name Frankfurter Wurstchen has been trademarked since 1860. For a city as multicultural as Frankfurt, its markets have dozens of places to pick up Turkish, Spanish, and Italian specialties. Make a lunchtime visit for tapas, panini, oysters, bratwurst, and much more.
If Germany is known for the efficiency, speed, and reliability of transport systems, Frankfurt is not far behind either. Navigating the metro, tram, and bus lines that make up the Rhine-Main Transport Association (RMV) transport network is straightforward and faster too. For a day trip inside the city, the state-run rail network Deutsche Bahn is well-connected to Frankfurt via several long-distance rail stations, in addition to its main station, Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof which is more familiarly known as the Frankfurt HBF. Frankfurt airport is the main international airport serving the region. Known to be the busiest airport in Germany and the fourth busiest in Europe, it has connections to most parts of the world — Beijing, Delhi, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Portland, Doha, New York, Cairo,etc.
Home to the European Central Bank, Frankfurt is as impressive as expected with long clean streets punctuated by the odd shiny black limousine and eye-catching skyscraper which gleams in the bright rays of sunshine. Whether one goes there for business or vacation, certain things shouldn’t be missed out like Romerberg, Museumsufer, Main tower, Goethe House, St. Bartholomew’s, Hauptwache, etc.
A visit to Frankfurt would be incomplete without stepping into this place! Yes, Romerberg which is Frankfurt’s old town centre. The heart of the city square has a cluster of irregularly shaped buildings, giving off a beautiful vibe. The square is one of the illustrious sites and is always full of pedestrians. One of the main highlights of this place is the open-fronted shops, that still exude the old world charm. Other notable buildings here include the New Town Hall (NeuesRathaus) from 1908; the 14th-century Gothic Church of St. Leonhard; and St. Nicholas Church with its carillon.
Next comes the Frankfurt’s Museum District known as the Museumsufer. This is located on the south and north banks of the main river and is one of the first-rate collections of some 16 museums, with many of them having an international standing. However, the piece-de-resistance is the excellent Museum of World Cultures – Museum der Weltkulture which is regarded as one of Europe’s top ethnological museums. Also worth visiting is the Icon Museum known as the Ikonen-Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main which is a rare place housing a treasury of more than a thousand Christan Orthodox images from all over the Orthodox Diaspora.
As is well known, Frankfurt was the birthplace of Germany’s great writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe House, where he was born on August 28, 1749, and lived until 1765, shows exactly how he along with his family had lived there. From the sumptuously decorated dining room on the main floor to Goethe’s writing room on the top floor, everything can be viewed in this place. Next to it is the Goethe Museum which is a 14-room gallery that showcases artworks from his time, which includes masterpieces of the Late Baroque and Romantic periods. Apart from these, there’s the Goethestrasse that testifies to the writer’s fame and importance. It is a high-end shopping place that includes many fine boutiques, art galleries, and cafes.
At Frankfurt’s geographical centre and a busy transport hub is the Hauptwache. It is a 6-minute walk from the city centre. This pedestrian-only area has lots to offer from shopping to eating. The word ‘Hauptwache’ literally means the ‘Main Guard’. It is an impeccable mixture of modern and historic architectures. During the earlier times i.e. in 1730, this place was an army base, later it housed a prison, and after that a police station. Now it has become one of the busiest cafés and a favourite meeting point and hangout area for youngsters.
The next place that is worth a visit is the Roman Catholic Frankfurt Cathedral or the St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral. This certainly stands out for its lovely colour. This 95-metre-tall tower was built of red sandstone in Gothic style between the 13th and 15th centuries. This cathedral still stands out in this city of skyscrapers. This is one of only a handful of churches in Germany to be designated as an Imperial Cathedral. Beneath the tower is the magnificent Crucifixion by Hans Backoffen, which was sculptured in 1509. Another highlight in this place is the graveslab of King Gunther von Schwarzburg who died in Frankfurt in 1349. The cathedral’s most vital relic is the skullcap of St Bartholomew which is kept in the Late Romanesque Bartholomew’s Choir.
In addition to the great sights mentioned above, there are lots of other things of beauty waiting to be appreciated in Frankfurt. From stunning landscapes to charming attractions, this place has everything to offer. What are you waiting for? Make a note of it now and book the tickets as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
Pic Courtesy: google/ images are subject to copyright