Neue Altstadt Frankfurt am Main

Some impressions of the new Altstadt in Frankfurt am Main following a guided tour on October 22.

Frankfurt’s original old town was the biggest in Germany and consisted of about 1250 medieval and Renaissance timber-framed buildings over an area of 7000 square metres. It was destroyed in air raids in WWII and largely replaced by a 1970s brutalist Technisches Rathaus, administrative buildings, which must have robbed the area of its life. The buildings were eventually bought back by the city and the whole area was ‘rebuilt’ from 2012-2018. The small buildings, alleyways and squares have returned: 15 buildings following the old plans (though no longer 12 families sharing one lavatory) and many others designed in a variety of similar styles. There are shops and restaurants in the lower floors. The area was opened in September 2018 and at the moment is full of groups of tourists like me being led around it.

Here’s a picture of the Technisches Rathaus taken in July 2008 by L. Willms:

Some impressions of the new buildings:

Four buildings in the street called Markt or Krönungsweg

On the left is part of no. 32, Goldene Schachtel, a new building. Then the dark red Altes Kaufhaus, also new. The following two buildings are both reconstructions: the pale blue Würzgartn and the pharmacy Schlegel, which forms the end of the Hühnermarkt.

This is just to show the combination of reconstructed and new buildings. There are better pictures online, For instance, here is the Goldene Schachtel from Matthias Alexander (Hg.): Die Neue Altstadt Frankfurt am Main, Societäts Verlag – playing with the use of overhanging storeys.

Rebuilding Frankfurt’s Old Centre

Here is a map of the district on which you can see which building are reconstructions and which are new.

Detail of the Goldene Waage, the most elaborately restored building, to be a café.

Hühnermarkt with fountain to Friedrich Stoltze, a dialect poet whose museum has not yet opened.

A mysterious text on the house Zur Flechte:

Slate – section of the jeweller’s shop Neues Paradies – slate in Old German style.

Soapstone columns behind Goldenes Lämmchen building

And here is a current screenshot of Google Maps showing building still going on. This has been completed now (although shopkeepers are still doing the final work inside) – Google Maps is obviously a bit out of date, so look forward to the next version.

2 thoughts on “Neue Altstadt Frankfurt am Main

  1. Hello, it’s me, again. Thanks for that fascinating tourist tip, Margaret. Whilst Frankfurt am Main’s Old Town may have been bigger than that of its Polish-border namesake of Frankfurt an der Oder, the latter as a town was historically once larger as a whole than the former cathedral city.

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