This old imperial city on the river Main is often ranked among the 10 best cities for living and business, and is a centre of cultural events and tourist activities. Its huge Messe Frankfurt trade fair complex hosts important events such as the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's most important publishing event, besides the inevitable Motor Show.
It is also known for a large number of museums of art, science and history. The highlight of the city tour is the crossing of the Main over the pedestrian bridge Eiserner Steg, built in 1911, which connects the district of Sachsenhausen with the city centre. Here we have singled out the sights that should not be missed when visiting Frankfurt.
Romerberg: Frankfurt Old Town
Located in the heart of Frankfurt’s old town (Altstadt), Romerberg is an irregularly shaped square with a fountain of justice (Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen) at its centre, the most picturesque public square in Frankfurt and the busiest pedestrian zone in the city, home to tourist attractions and entertainment, Christmas markets and other events.
It is adorned with open-door shops, once common throughout the old town, and Romer, a set of 11 buildings that together made up the Old Town Hall in the Middle Ages (Altes Rathaus), faithfully reconstructed in 1954, the new town hall (Neues Rathaus) from 1908, the 14th century Gothic church of St. Leonhard and the church of St. Nicholas. There is also the Historical Museum (Historisches Museum Frankfurt), founded in 1878, and the historic house of Vertheim (Haus Vertheim), the only building that survived the air raids of 1944, which destroyed most of the old city.
Thanks to its excellent collection of paintings from the 14th century, Stadel is the most important among the world-class museums that make up the Frankfurt Museum Quarter.
Of the many collections, the most important include works by old masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Goya, and from later centuries with Monet, Degas, Beckman and Picasso. More modern works include the works of Bacon and Baselik. The collection also includes prints from Dürer and Cezanne to Polak and Ernst.
Museum District: Museumsufer
The Frankfurt Museum District (Museumsufer) on the south and north banks of the River Main is a first-class collection of about 16 separate museums, many of which have a high international reputation.
In addition to the central part of the Stadel Art Museum, the Museum of World Cultures (Museum der Veltkulturen) also stands out as one of the best ethnological museums in Europe. Founded in 1904, its collections include more than 65,000 artefacts from distant lands such as Asia, Africa, North and South America.
The Museum of Ancient Sculptures (Stadtische Galerie Liebieghau) is housed in a 19th-century Liebieghaus and contains a large collection of Asian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman sculptures, besides works from the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods.
There is also the German Museum of Architecture (Deutsches Architekturmuseum), focused on architectural design with more than 200,000 plans, drawings and models; The Deutsches Filminstitut, with exhibits relating to the Lumière brothers and the history of cinema, the Museum Angevandte Kunst, or MAK for short, with more than 30,000 objects representing European and Asian decorative arts and the Frankfurt Archaeological Museum – Museum Frankfurt, housed in a former monastery.
Senckenberg Museum of Natural History
Located in the Frankfurt Gardens of Senckenberg, the Naturmuseum Senckenberg is one of the most modern museums of natural history in Europe and the second largest of its kind in Germany.
In addition to the many displays related to the biodiversity of our planet and the evolution of organisms, the museum also houses the largest European exhibition of large dinosaurs. It is also home to the world's largest collection of stuffed birds, along with an extensive exhibition describing the development of humanity.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral in Frankfurt (Frankfurter Dom) or the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew (Dom St. Bartholomaus) – is notable primarily for its beautiful colour.
Built of red sandstone in the Gothic style between the 13th and 15th centuries, with a tower 95 metres high, the cathedral still manages to stand out in this city of skyscrapers. It is one of the few churches in Germany that was declared an imperial cathedral, and from 1562 to 1792 the coronation of emperors took place in the Electoral Chapel.
Beneath the tower is the magnificent Crucifixion by Hans Bakofen, sculpted in 1509, while in the Marienkapelle is the altar of Mary Sleeping from 1434. Visitors also have the opportunity to see the tombstone of King Gunther von Schwarzburg, who died in Frankfurt in 1349, and a number of carved side altars from the 15th and 16th centuries. The most important relic of the cathedral is the skull of St. Bartholomew, which is kept in the late Romanesque Bartholomew's choir.
Goethe's House and Museum
Frankfurt was the birthplace of the greatest German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
The family house where he was born in 1749 and lived until 1765 shows how a well-to-do family lived at that time. You can see everything from the lavishly decorated dining room on the main floor to Goethe’s writing room on the top floor, where he wrote many of his early works and where he played with his puppet theatre as a child.
Next to it is the Goethe Museum, a gallery with 14 rooms that displays works of art from the writer's time, masterpieces of late Baroque and Romanticism.
Located in the middle of the city and one of the busiest pedestrian zones in Frankfurt, Hauptwach - literally translated as the "Main Guard" is known for its mix of historic and modern buildings. The old House of the Baroque Guard, after which the square was named, was built in 1730. It once housed the city militia, a prison, and later the police station, while today it serves as a cafe
Museum of Modern Art
The Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art (MMK, Museum fur Moderne Kunst Frankfurt) is considered one of the most important European galleries of contemporary art. Opened in 1991 in a postmodern building in the heart of the city, the museum’s huge collection contains about 5,000 examples of more than 450 leading artists from the 1960s to the present, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Francis Bacon.
The Old Opera House
Situated at the heart of the Frankfurt Opera Square (Opernplatz), the Old Opera House (Alte Oper) was built in 1880 in the style of the Italian High Renaissance. Destroyed during World War II, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1981 as one of the most important concert venues in the city. The new city opera, the Frankfurt Opera House and the Schauspiel Frankfurt Drama Theatre share a location known as the Stadtische Buhnen Frankfurt.
The Eschenheim Tower (Eschenheimer Turm) was built in the early 1400s and is the best-preserved part of Frankfurt's old city walls. 47 metres high, it still impresses with its dimensions and dominates the Eschenheimer Gate district. Today, the tower houses a café and meeting rooms used by local historical societies. Also interesting is the nearby stock exchange, built in 1879.
Frankfurt Jewish Museum
The Frankfurt Jewish Museum opened in 1988 on the 50th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, a key point of the persecution of German Jews in the 1930s. It is located in two places. The exhibits in the main collection at the Rothschild Palace focus on the more than 900 years of history of Jewish life and culture in Frankfurt. They also include an exhibition related to Anne Frank at the Frank Family Centre, and a state-of-the-art research library.
How to get to Frankfurt?
If what you have read seems interesting and you are thinking of visiting this city, you will be happy to know that you can get from Belgrade airport by an Air Serbia flight to Frankfurt, with affordable ticket prices, in just two hours.