Frankfurt is not your “typical” German city. It seems more modern, sleek and shiny. There’s a reason for that. Frankfurt decided to go in a new direction after it was decimated in World War II. Whereas most German cities rebuilt in the same style as the original town under the rubble, Frankfurt decided to start new. Most of the new buildings were built in a modern, simple style.
The city then bloomed into Germany’s financial and business center. With the coming of the Euro, Frankfurt now is the banking center for continental Europe. It is a figurehead for Germany and other Euro nations and stands for business, industry, and wealth.
But a little piece of the city’s old heart still stands.
In 1405 the city council of Frankfurt acquired a nine houses all in a row with European shared walls. The houses were formerly owned by a rich merchant family and were suitable to be used as the Rathaus (city hall) and serve other civic functions. Emperors held banquets in the Kaisersaal (Emporer’s Hall) in the upper hall. The building complex was called the “Römer” (Roman) and the surrounding square became the Römerberg.
This little corner of Frankfurt was also damaged in the war, but was built back to its former style unlike the rest of Frankfurt. Even today there is a push to redevelop the area between Römerberg and the Frankfurt Cathedral into a true Altstadt (old town).
This is the area where Frankfurt holds its Christmas market. It is fitting that this market, which was first documented in 1393, be held in the most historic part of town.
The market has three different areas, all interconnected and within walking distance from each other. In addition to the Römerberg square the market also covers St Paul’s Square and Mainkai (Main Quay). There are 200 stalls each tempting with their Christmas gifts, foods, and of course, glühwein.
You may want to time your visit to hear the Carillon (Glockenspiel) at St. Nicholas’ Church. The 47 bells play daily at 0905, 1205 and 1705. The church, also known in German as Alte Nikolaikirche is on the south end of the Römerberg. Other highlights include the giant Christmas tree and the carrousel.
Tips for Your Trip:
25 November – 22 December, 2015
Monday – Saturday: 1000 – 2100
Sunday: 1100 – 2100
Römerberg, St Paul’s Square and Mainkai (Main Quay)
If you use this address you will get to the Römerberg area and can walk to the other areas:
60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Nearby Public Parking Garages:
Parkhaus Dom/Römer, Domstraße 1
Parkhaus Hauptwache, Kornmarkt 10
Parkhaus Konstabler, Töngesgasse 8
Public transportation options:
Subway Station: Dom/Römer
Subways (U-Bahn) U4 and U5
Tram Station: Römer/Paulskirche
Trams (Straßenbahn) 11 and 12