Local Heart, Global Soul

February 12, 2015

The Detail Of History…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m continuing yesterday’s post, where we were visiting the Römer, in the historic heart of Frankfurt.

I’m intrigued by the history of it all, and if you are a regular reader you will be more than familiar with my fascination for detail of any kind.

In this instance the architectural detail on display has turned me all dreamy eyed, and in my further reading on Wikipedia I’m equally fascinated by it’s whereby more and more buildings were added to the complex, and interconnected like a rabbit warren.

Therefore this post is a combination of history and detail…

“In 1843, the Frauenstein house and the Salzhaus were added. Finally, in 1878 the city bought the Alt-Limpurg house to the right of theHaus Römer for 214,000 marks.

The current neogothic front with a balcony was built from 1896 to 1900. It was initially planned to be much more imposing, but mayor Franz Adickes decided against Kaiser Wilhelm’s suggestion and had the front designed in a more welcoming manner. 

At the same time, the houses Frauenrode and Viole were demolished to make way for streets through the city centre. They were replaced by a newly erected building to the east. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This new building is divided into two wings by the Braubachstrasse. These two wings (the north wing and south wing) are connected by a bridge.

The Frankfurt citizens, who paid their taxes in the north wing, named the covered bridge the Seufzerbrücke (the “Bridge of Sighs”) in reference to the other Bridge of Sighs in Venice. 

The two towers in the south wing attracted nicknames as well: the larger one was called Langer Franz (Tall Franz) in homage to the city’s tall mayor and the smaller one the Kleiner Cohen (Small Cohen) after a popular song of the time.”

It’s now that the penny drops… I used photographs of the “Bridge of Sighs”  in a blog post a few days ago without being aware that it was connected to the Römer, and indeed since it’s some distance away from the other buildings it shows just how far the “rabbit warren” of buildings extends.

“On the night of March 22, 1944, the Römer, along with the rest of the centre of Frankfurt, was largely destroyed in one of the heaviest Allied bombing attacks of the Second World War.

Rebuilt after the war, the Alt-Limpurg, the Römer, and the Löwenstein houses, whose roof structure had in part withstood the attack, were restored in a simplified form as were the completely destroyed houses Frauenstein and Salzhaus.  This resulted in the Löwensteinhouse having an open stairwell. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Römer was re-inaugurated in 1955. Further restoration took place in 1974 and 2005 when the houses on the Römerbergregained the neogothic look of 1900.

The entire three-storey building complex occupies about 10,000 square metres and consists of nine houses, encircling six courtyards. The front, with today’s main entrance, faces the Römerberg plaza.

The famous three-peaked façade has medieval elements of design: The left-hand corner of the Alt-Limpurg displays the so-called Frankfurtia, the female embodiment of the city. In the centre, the Haus Römer shows the four kaisers of the Holy Roman Empire, two city coats of arms, a clock face, and a placard describing the most important facts about the building.

The four kaisers are Frederick Barbarossa ( first king to be elected in Frankfurt), Louis the Bavarian (gave convention rights to the city and allowed expansion of the city), Charles IV ( made Frankfurt the location of the Kaiser selection vote), and Maximilian II ( first kaiser crowned in Frankfurt cathedral).

Another approach was chosen for the design of the fronts of the two north-east houses (the Wanebach and the Salzhaus). In contrast to the other houses in the complex, instead of reconstructing the old Wilhelminean front, the architects created a completely new design using a combination of medieval timber framing and modern styles. The mosaics in the timber frames feature the motif of a phoenix, a symbol for modern Frankfurt’s new start after the war.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Bridge of Sighs” … (that I posted previously, not knowing what it was…)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B6mer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B6merberg_%28Frankfurt%29

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