Overview of Frankfurt

Geography of Frankfurt

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Frankfurt is part of the Land of Hesse, and is bisected by the River Main. The centre is on the north side of the river. Frankfurt claims to be at the geographical centre of Europe, between Amsterdam (440 km), Paris (600 km), London (640 km) and Milan (670 km).

The commercial centre of the city is centred around Zeilstraße, on which the huge commercial centre the Zeilgalerie is located. The Römerplatz, where you will find the city hall, is often used for fairs, including the city's Christmas market.

Frankfurt has 655,000 inhabitants (2005) and has 6 important districts:

  1. Bornheim - a young, vibrant area with many cafes and bars. The main street is Berger Strasse
  2. Sachsenhausen - the quaint, touristy area, with cobbled streets and restaurants serving local specialities. The main road is Gr. Rittergasse
  3. Bockenheim - popular with students at the large Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. The area has attractive parks, including the beautiful Palmengarten floral garden
  4. Westend - a smart, quiet area with a good selection of cafes from which to watch the world go by on sunny days. On Sundays, the area is popular with roller-bladers and cyclists
  5. City Centre - well known for it's commercial streets, the Zeil and the Hauptwache.
  6. Old Town - here you can admire the historical sites of Frankfurt, such as the Römerplatz, the town hall, the Paulskirche church and the cathedral

During the 1980's, many distinctive skyscrapers were constructed in the business area. The majority of the towers hold banks (including The European Central Bank):

  • 1980 - The Messehochhaus: height 117 m, designed by Oswald Mathias Ungers. It is sometimes known as 'the Toaster'
  • 1980 - The Aluminiumhaus: 149 m, designed by Richard Heil, home to BfG-Bank
  • 1980 - The twin towers of Deutsche Bank: 166 m designed by ABB
  • 1980 - The tower of the Japanese centre, designed by Christoph Mäcklers
  • 1989 - der Messeturm: 256.5 m, designed by Helmut Jahns for exhibitions and fairs. Fondly known as 'the asparagus'
  • 1990 - The Kommerzbank: 298.74 m, designed by Norman Foster, is Europe's tallest building
  • 1999 - The Europaeum tower

It is interesting to note that Frankfurt's skyscrapers are quite narrow compared to those found in other cities. This is due to the requirement to build them on enormous concrete pilings, up tp 4m thick, to avoid them sinking into the soft ground of the Main valley.

Update 7/11/2006

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