FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Before we even arrive in Germany I had done some researched things to do while here. I immediately found the Frankfurt on Foot tour. This is a 3-4 hour walking tour that takes you all around downtown Frankfurt. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable. This was the perfect introduction to our new city. I have included some of the highlights from the trip.
- Mainhattan Frankfurt is nicknamed Mainhattan because of the many skyscrapers that make up its skyline. Although it is not quite manhattan it does have over 72 high rise buildings. The tallest The tallest habitable building in Frankfurt is the Commerzbank Tower, which rises 259 meters (850 ft) and 56 floors.
- St. Lenard’s Church built in 1290. People often stopped here during their pilgrimages and many people who did not make it to their finally destination were buried here. When an archeological dig happened years later they found 3.5 meters of headstones buried in the ground.
- Apfelwein (Apple wine) is a popular Germany drink. It is served in these blue and white decorative jars called bimbles.
- On the bridge that welcomes you into the center city of Frankfurt there is a sign in greek. The inscription reads ΠΛΕΩΝ ΕΠΙ ΟΙΝΟΠΑ ΠΟΝΤΟΝ ΕΠ ΑΛΛΟΘΡΟΟΥΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥΣ which translates to “While sailing over the wine- dark sea to men of strange speech.”
- In the central part of Frankfurt there is a Carmelite Cloister (Karmeliter Kloster) that houses the largest religious wall painting north of the Alps. This was painted by Joerg Ratgeb in the early 1500 and is 15o meters long.
- Much of Frankfurt was destroyed during WWII the Goethe house was the first building to be rebuilt
- House Wertheim: This house was the only half-timbered house to surviving the bombing in WWII. In preparation for the bombing the people of Frankfurt built underground tunnels connecting their house to the house depicted above. This house has an exit to the Main River which people crossed to escape the city. When the bombing started, the fire department of Frankfurt focused all of their resources to keeping this house from bringing so everyone could safely escape.
- Frankfurt was a walled city and some of the original wall still stands in the city.One of these section is the Eschenheimer Turm, an original guard tower from the city’s outer defensive wall, built early 1400’s.
- The Jewish Ghetto wall: This wall was built in 1180 and later was used as the boundaries to create the Jewish ghetto. The Rothechilds lived here and when they were released in the early 1800’s they were able to buy, in cash and 18 bedroom machine outside of Frankfurt.
- Around Frankfurt you will find Stumbling Stones (Stolper Steine) these are brass squares placed on the sidewalk outside of the homes of the Jewish people who lost their lives during WWII and the Nazi regime.
- This is the Jewish Holocaust Memorial wall. Each name listed on this wall is of someone who lost their lives during the Holocaust. This includes Anne Frank and her sister and mother. Anne Frank was born in Dornbouch section of Frankfurt. If you look above you will see that some of these plaques have been covered over. These are people who were thought to have lost their lives but who actually escaped and the names have been covered up to show this.
- The wall above surrounds the Medieval Jewish Cemetery this is one of the oldest and largest Jewish cemeteries in Germany
- St Bartholomew, better known as the Kaiserdom, Imperial Church which was the site for elections and coronations of the Holy Roman Emperor for centuries
Reading Wish List:
The House of Rothschild: Volume 1: Money’s Prophets: 1798-1848, Niall Ferguson
Secret Reports on Nazi Germany: The Frankfurt School Contribution to the War Effort, Franz Neumann
Goethe (Life &Times), Peter Boerner