On my way back to the States from a recent trip abroad, I had an opportunity to stop for a day in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Frankfurt is a fairly popular day-trip destination for many travelers thanks it’s close proximity to one of the world’s busiest international airports. Even a several hour layover is enough time to take an S-Bahn train from the airport into the city center for a quick tour or some shopping and back again to catch your flight.
Frankfurt’s modern skyline stands in sharp contrast to most of Germany’s other major cities, mainly because its buildings are so new. Much of the city was gutted by Allied bombing during World War II, and only a handful of original historic buildings remain. However, Frankfurt’s prime location in the center of Europe has made it a transit and transshipment hub, as well as the European Union’s largest financial center. As a result, the city has a thriving culture [video], and is frequently rated among the top ten cities in the world for quality of life.
Frankfurt’s once famous medieval city center was razed during World War II. Restored “historic” buildings in Romerberg bring back some of the architectural heritage that was lost. [video].
Situated near Frankfurt’s Westend business district, the Alte Opernhaus served as home to the city’s opera until its near-complete destruction during the war. The current structure, which now serves as a concert venue, was painstakingly rebuilt to the original specifications in the 1970s.
Frankfurt’s Imperial Cathedral was gutted by fire during Allied bombing raids, but fortunately, the historic structure survived. The site has been home to numerous small churches since A.D. 680, and in 1150 work began on a portion of what was to become the main structure.
Looking West at Frankfurt’s financial district from the top of the Imperial Cathedral’s spire.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in Frankfurt. The city honors their native son to this day with a museum at his childhood home and this namesake plaza in the center of town, which features a statue of the famous German writer, artist and politician [video].
I can say without reservation that Frankfurt is home to the tastiest wurstchenspezialitaten (German Sausage) I have ever tasted. There’s a good reason the city has a sausage named after it.
Frankfurt comes alive at night, especially in the historic district, which is home to numerous shops, restaurants and entertainment hotspots.
Check out all my high-resolution shots of Frankfurt in my set on Flickr!