River Princess docked in Frankfurt

River Princess docked in Frankfurt

We awoke to find ourselves in Frankfurt, Germany, the financial center of Europe. It is home to the Central European Bank, German Federal Bank, several large commercial banks, and the German Stock Exchange. In 2010, 63 national and 152 international banks had registered offices here. As a retired librarian, I know of it as the location for the world’s largest book fair, the Frankfurt Book Fair, which started in 1478. We used the Frankfurt airport last year on our way home from Istanbul. In addition to having the second largest airport in Europe, Frankfurt is a transportation hub where major autobahns and railway connections intersect. We did a loop hike along the Main, crossing the pedestrian bridge, the Eiserner Bridge or Iron Bridge. Lovers place locks, many with their names and the date, on the railings of this bridge and throw the key into the river. Frankfurt is the birthplace of the poet and author, Johann Wolfgang Goethe. The Town Hall is in Rőmer, the German name for “Roman” Square where its medieval appearance contrasts with nearby skyscrapers. Work is currently underway to reconstruct some historical buildings that were destroyed during World War II in a nearby area. The Dom or St. Bartholmew’s Cathedral is a Gothic building constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries and rebuilt after a fire in 1867. Saint Paul’s Church is a German national historic monument because it was the seat of the first democratically elected Parliament in 1848. The Kleinmarthalle or Small Market Hall is the largest public market place in the Frankfurt urban area. We sampled sausage and cheese. It is here that our guide told us that butcher Johann Georg Lahner made Frankfurter Wűrstel sausages which came to be known as Frankfurters in Vienna around 1805. The Zeil is the main shopping street. The MyZeil is an amazing shopping mall with an exterior of glass with a hole through the center that looks like a wormhole. Our visit to the Main Tower’s 54th floor coincided with a rain shower. The panoramic view was great, but any attempt at photographs was flouted by gray skies. Frankfurt represented a modern city that contrasted with the medieval villages earlier on our tour.

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