Frankfurt am Main, the dynamic and international financial and trade fair city with the most imposing skyline in Germany. This is the image that many visitors associate with the Main metropolis. But the city in the heart of Germany and Europe can offer many other facets and contrasting variety. Near the skyscrapers you can find cozy Ebbelwei pubs and at the heart of the bustling city centre you can find historical sights again and again. Frankfurt is not just proud of its most famous son, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The Kaiserdom (Cathedral) and the Paulskirche, the cradle of German democracy, are also to be found here.
The bigger and better known libraries of Frankfurt are complemented with numerous smaller facilities with the main focus on special collections. The German National Library, for example – where every book published in Germany is collected and stored in subterranean cabinets for future generations – enjoys international reputation. With its extensive supplies and collections, the University Library “Johann Christian Senckenberg”, is one of the central scientific libraries in Germany. And the Library of Art History / Städelbibliothek and Islamic Studies is considered to be a national library for art and architecture history.
The successor organisation of the old Town Archives which was founded in 1436, is the Institute of Town History which is ranked as one of the most important German municipal archives. The Town Library has three central facilities, as well as 16 branches and a mobile library.
The intercultural library work in Frankfurt has to be emphasised which takes into account the cultural diversity of the urban population. The “International Library” was set up in the context of the International Library Scholarship in the year 2002. In the course of this work the Town Library held the chairmanship of the professional commission for intercultural library work in the German Library Association from 2009 to 2012.
Since the days of Goethe, numerous authors settled down in the town at the Main River. Many known authors – Eva Demski, Bodo Kirchhoff, Ulrike Kolb – are doing this also even today. Not to forget: The German “Pope of Literature” Marcel Reich-Ranicki lived and “argued” in Frankfurt.
In addition to the family business of Hugendubel, many specialised bookshops are located in Frankfurt am Main. A majority of these specialised bookshops are located near the university institutes and university faculties. The specialised book trade has adjusted to the fulfilment of all customer and reading wishes. A decades-old institution is the “British Bookshop” with its assortment of exclusively English books, videos and audio-books.
The first German bookshop focussing only on crime fiction, “Die Wendeltreppe”, opened in 1989. Its collection is comprised of around 4,000 new titles as well as about 5,000 antiquarian books in the second-hand bookshop located next door. Not far from Frankfurt, in the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, four millenniums of history of written culture of the world can be found. The development of book, printing press and scripture is shown with the help of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the movable-type printing press.
Antique printing presses and typography machines bring the history of print to life. The permanent exhibition shows important prints from the 15th century to the present. You can even see two copies of the world-famous 42-line Gutenberg Bible in the vault. Numerous important prizes and honors of the German literature business are awarded in Frankfurt: The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Hessian Library Prize, the Literature Conveyor Prize of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation, the Ludwig Börne Prize, the Wilhelm Merton Prize of European Translations – just to name some of them.
This and even more still qualifies Frankfurt am Main as a German literature town and book town.
Thanks to its varied and comprehensive cultural offering, Frankfurt am Main enjoys an excellent reputation at both the national and international level. The highlights of the Frankfurt cultural scene undoubtedly include the ‘Museumsufer’, where eleven well-known museums are lined up like a string of pearls on both sides of the Main. Around 50 other museums and exhibition halls, including, for example, the Schirn Kunsthalle, are situated in the immediate vicinity or in a central location.
The Main metropolis offers many renowned stages: The Frankfurt opera house has already been awarded the title of ‘Opera House of the Year’ for its overall artistic performance. And the Frankfurt theatre sets new accents in local and national cultural life with its own high-quality productions as well as top-notch co-productions. In addition to these two municipal theatres, a lively free theatre scene has also established itself with more than 20 venues. Foreign-language productions are offered primarily by the English Theatre and the International Theatre Frankfurt. The Old Opera House in Frankfurt, with its world-renowned late-classical façade, is an important concert and event venue far beyond the boundaries of the Rhine-Main region.
Whether bargain hunter, lover of fine fashions or Fashion Victims: Frankfurt am Main is a paradise for shopping fans. The main shopping street of Frankfurt, the Zeil, is one of the top-selling shopping streets of Germany. Large department stores and shopping malls invite shoppers to stroll. Exclusive brands and designers can be found only a few meters away in Goethestrasse. However, also off the city centre, even more stores can be discovered. The Skyline Plaza mall directly next to Messe Fankfurt offers a variety of shopping possibilities to conference attendees.
Individualists can make a find in Bergerstraße at Bornheim or in the boutiques of Sachsenhausen. A visit to one of the many weekly markets in Frankfurt or a short culinary trip to the Kleinmarkthalle is also worthwhile.
Frankfurt is set in the low mountain ranges of Taunus, Odenwald and Spessart – and has the largest city forest of Germany. In the meadows of the small rivulet Nidda, strollers and cyclists can cross almost the entire city of Frankfurt while staying exclusively in nature. This is a main part of the “GrünGürtel” (Green Belt), which surrounds Frankfurt completely and offers grilling locations, children’s playgrounds, and recreation in the middle of Frankfurt.
Grüneburgpark, Günthersburgpark, Holzhausenpark are the green oases of the northern city center. The Goethe Tower is located in the city forest in the south. It is the largest wooden tower in Germany with a view to the bank towers and the peaks of the Taunus. The wine-rich mountain “Lohrberg” offers a quite special perspective of the skyline of Frankfurt from above. Conference delegates will find numerous parks and relaxation spots along the shore of the Main
Also worth a visit is the “Palmengarten” (Palm Garden) with its rich botanical variety and the zoo which hosts more than 4,500 animals.
The culinary offering in Frankfurt am Main is international and fanned out broadly. Whether a dinner on one of the highest patios of the town with a local Riesling, or a Pastrami sandwich in the area around the main station: Everybody finds something after his or her taste.
A classic in Frankfurt is the hard cider (Apfelwein) which is poured into the “Bembel” (stoneware jug) and is served in the “Gerippten” (glass). It complements the famous “Frankfurter Sausages” and local dishes like the “Green Sauce” or “Handkäs’ mit Musik” perfectly. These Frankfurt specialties can be tried in the traditional cider bars in Sachsenhausen. In the afternoon it is recommended to visit one of the many cafés which are in the city centre and on the shore of the river Main. Everybody should try the “Frankfurter Kranz” and the “Bethmännchen”, a cake specialty made from marzipan. Also in the evening hours, Frankfurt offers a wide range of entertainment: sky lounges, elegant piano bars, live concerts in clubs or international variety theatre.
Quelle: Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main