Boarding – Mohamed Nour
Frankfurt is first and foremost a city of modernity. Business, architecture and Europe’s third-largest airport – they’re all here and they’re all at the cutting edge. Perhaps that’s why Frankfurt has grown a particular fondness for museums that vary greatly in terms of size, style and subject matter. The city prides itself on always staying ahead of the times, whilst preserving traditions at the same time.
Open Museum in a Business city
Most people associate Frankfurt with brokers, banks, stocks and shares – and they wouldn’t be wrong, but there is much more to the city than just big business. Frankfurt does, after all, have an unrivalled museum scene. The museum embankment on the southern bank of the Main is a wonder to behold, in particular the magnificent Städel Institute of Art with the Municipal Gallery. Situated in the heart of Frankfurt’s museum mile, this is of one Germany’s preeminent art galleries and features masterpieces spanning nine centuries of European art. The recently opened underground extension houses a collection of works from 1945 onwards, including such famous names as Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter. To the east of the gallery you will find the film museum and the architecture museum, which in itself is an innovative and unconventional example of building design. And just a stone’s throw from there stands the Museum of Applied Art (MAK). A thousand years of arts and crafts are represented in this striking building designed by American architect Richard Meier. On the opposite riverbank, again only a few minutes away, the Museum of Modern Art (MMK) designed by Hans Hollein is well worth a visit. As is the Schirn Kunsthalle gallery, which has made a name for itself a leading exhibition house in Germany and Europe. There are also a number of smaller galleries around the cathedral, some of which are less mainstream but feature exceptional displays of art nonetheless. You can even admire art in the metro system. The Grenzland (borderland) project at the Dom/Römer station, for example, showcases works that blur the lines between art, architecture and design.
Frankfurt’s most famous son is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. You can retrace the famous writer’s footsteps for a glimpse of 18th century Frankfurt. For example at Goethe’s House or in the slightly less poetic setting of the Gerbermühle, a quaint beer garden on the banks of the river Main, where the great poet indulged in an occasional glass of cider in his day. The Gerbermühle was also a likely haunt of the Frankfurt doctor Heinrich Hoffmann, whose illustrated Struwwelpeter books became classics of children’s literature. In a beautiful old villa in the upmarket Westend district there is a museum devoted to the children’s author, featuring drawings, rare editions of his works, translations, parodies and much more besides. And if that tickles your funny bone, you should be sure to stop by Caricatura, Germany’s leading museum for sophisticated satire and comic art. F.W. Bernstein, Robert Gernhardt, Chlodwig Poth, Hans Traxler, F.K. Waechter, Bernd Pfarr and many others are guaranteed to put a smile on visitors’ faces.
It might be more serious, but the financial district is well worth a visit for a true taste of Frankfurt. The towering banks and office blocks form Europe’s most impressive skyline, and Frankfurt’s ultimate landmark. But rest assured, the art found in this part of the city is also of international standing. Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and DZ Bank own art collections any museum would be proud of, and these are opened to the public at certain times. Skyscrapers as art galleries? Only in Frankfurt.
Business and Tourism Leading
Frankfurt is one of Germany’s leading tourist destinations. Wealthy bankers, creative folks, businessmen, scientists, students and granola drop-outs coexist in this city that has some of the highest skyscrapers of Europe making Frankfurt the only German city with a typical American-like silhouette.
Frankfurt is Germany’s business capital and home of the European Central Bank. It is also the place where Germany’s major autobahns, railways, air traffic routes and other important infrastructure intersect. About 1 million people commute to central Frankfurt each day, not counting the 700.000 people who actually live there. With one of the world’s most busy airports Frankfurt is the gateway to Germany and for many people also the first point of arrival in Europe. Frankfurt is also the most diverse city in Germany with more than 50% of the population not being ethnic Germans. Furthermore, Frankfurt is home to a vibrant cultural scene, to many galleries, clubs, theatres and a world-class opera.
Frankfurt’s various parks, its diversified architecture, its historical sites and its unrivalled museum scene are unique in Germany. The museum embankment south of river Main is a cultural wonder to behold, in particular the Städel Institute of Art with the Municipal Gallery. It is of one Germany’s preeminent art galleries and features masterpieces spanning nine centuries. Nearby the Museum of Applied Art offers thousand years of arts and crafts in a striking building designed by American architect Richard Meier. The Schirn Kunsthalle gallery made a name for itself as a leading exhibition house in Germany and Europe.
This blend of attractions made 4.3 million tourists (2014), spend their holidays in Frankfurt. The Hotels in central Frankfurt offer 34,000 beds in 228 hotels, of which 13 are luxury hotels and 46 first-class hotels.
The city can be accessed from around the world via Frankfurt Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt am Main) which is located 12 km (7 mi) southwest of the city centre. The airport has four runways and serves 265 non-stop destinations. Run by transport company Fraport it ranks among the world’s busiest airports by passenger traffic and is the second-busiest airport by cargo traffic in Europe. The airport also serves as a hub for Condor and as the main hub for German flag carrier Lufthansa. Depending upon whether total passengers or flights are used for calculations, it ranks third or second busiest in Europe alongside London Heathrow Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport in 2012 was 57.5 million. There are plans to expand the airport with a third passenger terminal to increase the capacity up to 88 million in 2020.