Paulskriche – St. Paul’s Church
Formerly the main Protestant church in Frankfurt, the Paulskirche is now a memorial and meeting place with a rich historical past. From 1848 to 1849, the delegates of the Frankfurt National Assembly met there, and the Paulskirche is thus considered, along with Hambach Castle, to be the cradle of democracy in Germany.
The Paulskirche burned down on 18 March 1944 after an air raid on Frankfurt and was rebuilt in 1947/1948, financed by donations. As there was not much money available, the interior was kept simple with a low gallery and a meeting room. As a national monument, the Paulskirche is used for exhibitions and public events, such as the awarding of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
It is the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and his family lived there until 1795.
The poet himself lived there repeatedly until he went to Weimar for his studies and described his youthful years at the Großer Hirschgraben in Frankfurt in his autobiography, Dichtung und Wahrheit (Poetry and Truth). Götz von Berlichingen, the original version of Faust, and The Sorrows of Young Werther were written in the house.
The Goethe House originally consisted of two half-timbered houses. Today, it is integrated into the new Romanticism Museum. Goethe was one of the most important citizens of the city of Frankfurt and experienced his most formative years there together with his father, who held the honorary title of Imperial Councillor, his mother, Catharina Elisabeth Goethe, and his beloved sister, Cornelia.
Eiserner Steg – Iron Footbridge
The Eiserner Steg (Iron Footbridge) connects Frankfurt's old town with the district of Sachsenhausen and leads across the Main.
It was built in 1868 according to a design by the engineer Peter Schmick. The Iron Bridge is a stiffened suspension bridge whose original design was widened, reinforced and raised in 1912. The bridge was destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt in 1946. The bridge was built through a citizens' initiative, which was only formed because Frankfurt had an urgent need for a new bridge. The old bridge could no longer cope with the increasing trade traffic. It was financed with the help of share certificates, which could be purchased from a private company after the city refused to cover the costs. Construction began in 1868, and 500 tons of wrought iron from J.S. Fries Sohn were used. The construction time was one year.
There are 26 museums in the immediate vicinity of the Main.
This is how the Museumsufer got its name. The museum landscape consists of new buildings but also of old villas that have been converted. If you like to visit a wide variety of museums, this is the place to be; you won't find a greater density of museums anywhere else.
Examples include the Icon Museum, the Museum of Applied Art, the Museum of World Cultures, the German Film Museum, the German Museum of Architecture, the Museum of Communication, the Städel Museum, the Liebieghaus and the Museum Giersch, which are located between the Eiserner Steg and the Friedensbrücke. On the northern bank of the Main, you will find more museums, such as the Jewish Museum.
It is no coincidence that Frankfurt is also known as Mainhattan.
Even as you drive into Frankfurt, you can marvel at the 40 different skyscrapers that reach a height of more than 100 metres. 19 of the 20 tallest buildings in Germany characterise Frankfurt's cityscape. If you are interested in modern, unusual skyscraper architecture, Frankfurt is the place to be.
You won't find a similar sight in any other city in Germany. The five tallest buildings are the Commerzbank Tower, the Messe Turm, Westend 1, the Main Tower and Tower 185.
50 more skyscrapers are currently under construction or planned. The city of Frankfurt has a small urban area compared to other cities. For this reason, buildings are compact, especially as Frankfurt's green belt does not allow any development.