Frankfurt – February

European Central Bank building, Frankfurt

The European Central Bank in Frankfurt.

The Römer building, Frankfurt.

The Römer, Frankfurt. Part of the ancient Römerberg district near the cathedral.

The city of Frankfurt-am-Main (Frankfurt on the Main – to helpfully distinguish the city from Frankfurt-an-der-Oder in the east of the country) in the Hesse region of Germany is today the financial centre of the Eurozone, and rivalled in this regard only by London in Europe as a whole. The headquarters of the European and German Central Banks are located here as are the head offices of the main German commercial banks. Banks being what they are, this has led to the growth of huge skyscrapers in the central part of the city, so much so that the city has earned the nickname ‘Mainhattan’.

Fortunately, however, the city also has a rich history, having at one time being the site of election and coronation of the Holy Roman Emperors who had the tricky job of attempting to rule the conglomeration of German-speaking nations, dukedoms and free imperial cities – of which Frankfurt was one – and other miscellaneous lands outside what is now Germany. The coronations took place in the Frankfurter Dom (Cathedral) on the Römerberg. The combination of old (although much rebuilt after massive WW2 bombing) and new gives lots of attractive photographic possibilities.

Frankfurt old and new

Frankfurt old and new. The striking yellow of the Matthäuskirche Tower against a sky-reflecting modern office building.

Städtische Bühne, Frankfurt

The Städtische Bühne, Frankfurt - home of the Oper and Schauspiel Frankfurt

Apart from this, Frankfurt like all German cities, is a wonderful cultural centre and my initial reason for heading there was the opportunity to hear the wonderful American soprano Angela Meade singing in a performance of Giacomo Puccini’s early opera Edgar at the Frankfurt Oper. While there I also attended a concert of Bach and Handel in the rebuilt Alte Oper – Frankfurt’s original opera house. Frankfurt was also the birthplace and youthful home of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Germany’s pre-eminent literary figure and author of Faust, The Sorrows of Young Werther and Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, as well as works on science and biology.
Zeilgalerie interior, Frankfurt

An interior view of the Zeilgalerie shopping centre, Frankfurt.

The presence of the River Main means that there are several of one of my favourite photographic subjects – bridges! The internal architecture of the newly built shopping centre on the Zeil, Frankfurt’s main shopping street also proved an interesting photographic subject.

See all my Frankfurt images.

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