Frankfurt is often seen only as a transit hub or a business centre, but it’s so much more. It boasts Germany’s most spectacular skyline, mirrored in the Main River, and Europe’s tallest office building. It’s also the country’s most international town; more than a quarter of its citizens are foreign.
Today’s city is a mishmash of papier-mâché past and Gotham-city present, with the banking district’s glittering skyscrapers a forceful symbol of postwar (western) Germany’s phoenix-like economic fortunes. Much of the historical centre has been painstakingly reconstructed, and although the effect can be a little theatrical and one-dimensional it’s preferable to the bald streetscapes and brutal concrete creations that went up in the 1960s. The arts received mega injections of cash in the 1980s and ’90s, transforming the city into a cultural destination to rival Berlin, and money is now being thrown at the redeveloping riverside precincts.
The city might have lost out to Bonn, and now Berlin, as the nation’s capital, but Frankfurt continues to have international appeal as the nation’s economic and transport heart.
(1) Frankfurt Skyline (c) Pixabay_Leonhard_Niederwimmer