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Top Things To Do in Frankfurt am Main

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Historical, commercial and international, Frankfurt, the gateway to Germany, is both a fascinating city to live and travel to. It is also a center of culture, home to banking, the stock exchange and an impressive skyline.


Alte Oper

The Alte Oper or the Old Opera House still looks as magnificent and imposing as it did when it was inaugurated by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1880. The building was financed by affluent Frankfurt citizens and was designed in an Italian Renaissance style by Richard Lucae. Destroyed in a 1944 air raid, it was rebuilt later and renamed the 'Old Opera Concert and Conference Center'. The main auditorium, the Grosser Saal with seating for about 2500 people, is the central part of the building and is used for concerts and musical extravaganzas. Smaller rooms can be hired for functions, conferences, corporate events, receptions, product launches and so on. Visitors can obtain refreshments in the cafe, the restaurant or the bistro.

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Palmengarten

Originally established in 1869 to house the Duke of Nassau's plant collection, the Palmengarten (Palm Garden) contains a stunning array of exotic plants. Visitors are free to wander through the gardens, although guided tours are recommended for those who want to learn more about the plants. Numerous activities take place here throughout the year, including open-air classical concerts in the Summer, the Festival of Light in June, the Autumn Festival in September and the Orchid Festival in October.

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Römerberg

Playing host to large trade fairs since the 12th Century, the celebrated Römerberg square is located in the Old Town (Alstadt) of Frankfurt. It also witnessed grand celebrations marking the coronation of Roman Emperors. At the center, stands the majestic Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen or the Fountain of Justice, with the statue of goddess Justitia. South of Römerberg, is the Historisches Museum displaying artifacts and historical models of Frankfurt. Facing the museum is a small but beautiful 11th-century Gothic church - Alte Nikolaikirche. Several attractions lie in the surroundings of this charming square so stop for a visit while in the city.

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Frankfurt Cathedral

Situated near Main River, the Imperial Cathedral of Saint Bartholomew is one of the most historically rich monuments in the city. Its Gothic style structure has become a part of Frankfurt's skyline. With its origins dating back to 7th Century BCE, the church is steeped in Roman history. The cathedral is renowned for being a coronation church for Roman emperors from the years 1562 to 1792. Withstanding the Second World War, the church was rebuilt in the 1970s. Housing several relics and prized possessions, the sculpture by Hans Backoffen depicting a scene of Christ's crucifixion is a masterpiece belonging to the early Renaissance period. While its status as an imperial church declined after the Roman Empire's fall, it became a beacon of national integrity after the 19th Century.

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St. Paul's Church

The spectacular facade of St.Paul's Church is a landmark and also a unique anomaly in Frankfurt. Paulskirche (St. Paul's Church) became famous not as a church, but as a meeting place. Built to replace the Barfüßerkirche, it was opened in 1833. The first freely-elected German parliament sat here in 1848. It met 99 times and passed 59 articles which are still part of the German constitution today. Destroyed in an air-raid in 1944, the church was rebuilt immediately after World War II as a memorial to the aftermath of war. The hall is now a venue for important events such as the annual German Peace Prize ceremony and the City of Frankfurt's Goethe Prize awards.

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Museumsufer

Schaumainkai, the quay on the southern bank of the Main between Friedensbrücke and Dreikönigskirche, is also known as Museumsufer (Museum Bank). Several important museums are clustered here, most of them housed in magnificent 19th-century mansions. The Liebighaus, Städel Art Institute, Communications Museum, National Museum of Architecture, National Film Museum, Museum of Popular Culture and the Museum of Applied Arts are all dotted around the wonderful gardens which were originally laid out in the 19th Century. In September, the quay hosts the three-day Museumsufer Festival, one of Frankfurt's most popular open-air attractions.

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Naturmuseum Senckenberg

One of the largest natural history museums in the country, the Naturmuseum Senckenberg originates from a foundation set up in 1763 by local doctor Johann Christian Senckenberg. Dedicated to education and scientific research, the collection includes a multitude of fossils and other objects from the Paleozoic period to the Stone Age. Special collections provide an insight into the history of life on earth. Many exhibits enjoy worldwide fame: the large free-standing animal skeletons are especially impressive and are particularly popular with children. Apart from that, the complex houses a restaurant and a book shop.

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Goethe House

The house where Goethe was born on August 28, 1749, is a fine example of how the affluent lived in the late Baroque era. In 1733, Goethe's family acquired two neighboring half-timbered houses in Großen Hirschgraben. The family sold the property in 1795, by which time Goethe himself had already moved to Weimar. It is also worth taking a trip to the adjoining Goethe Museum, which was renovated and contains both a library and a bookshop. The house itself is a reconstruction of the original which was destroyed during World War II.

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Main Tower

Acquiring its name from the renowned Main River, Main Tower is a stunning 56-story architectural structure that also happens to be one of the most important buildings around the Innenstadt neighborhood. Through its spectacular blue glass structure, the tower reflects the bustling streets of Frankfurt. The two attached towers are collectively considered to be one of the tallest structures in Germany. They comprise the German offices of the famous Standard & Poor's, Merrill Lynch, the Hessischer Rundfunk television studio and many others. The Main Tower Restaurant & Bar on the 53rd floor serves Euro-Asian cuisine that is loved by patrons.

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Historical Museum

Since its founding in 1878, the Historical Museum (Historisches Museum) has focused on cultural objects and works of art which are of particular significance to the city of Frankfurt. The museum has a particular emphasis on industrial and technological history, and the development of the modern city. In the foyer, visitors are greeted by a model of how the old city looked before being destroyed in the Second World War. The permanent exhibition includes paintings, photographs, graphics and posters and provides a unique insight into the history of Frankfurt from the early settlement to the present day.

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