Back in 2013 we visited Germany and our last stop was spending several days with friends in the city of Frankfurt. Now it’s almost time to leave and my last photographs were taken on the way back to our friend’s apartment. We pass by the Jewish Cemetery, see some beautiful autumn foliage and spy a few amusing modes of transport…
March 4, 2015
March 3, 2015
A few short steps from the beautiful Thurn und Taxis Palais of yesterday’s post you can find a tower.
Eschenheimer Turm (Eschenheim Tower) was a city gate, part of the late-medieval fortifications of Frankfurt am Main, and a landmark of the city.
The tower, erected at the beginning of the fifteenth century, is the oldest and most unaltered building in the largely reconstructed Frankfurter Neustadt (new town), now better known as the Frankfurt-Innenstadt (city center).
In the early 14th century the Frankfurter Altstadt (old town) gradually began to expand beyond its borders. With permission of Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV, the free imperial city began its so-called “second city expansion,” increasing the surface area of the city threefold.
The new fortifications took over 100 years to build, on 11 October 1349, three years after the beginning of construction, the cornerstone was laid for a gate tower at the site of the later Eschenheimer Turm, at the time simply described as “round.”
Located at the end of Große Eschenheimer Straße (an extension of the Kornmarkt, the city’s second most important north-south axis), the fortification was of great strategic importance.
The architect of the Frankfurt Cathedral, Madern Gerthener, completed the new Eschenheimer Turm in 1426–1428.
In 1806–1812 the old city walls were replaced with new fortifications at the command of the Prussian government, and Eschenheimer Turm, along with all the other historic gates and towers, was slated for demolition.
At the objection of the ambassador of the French occupying forces, Count d’Hédouville, Eschenheimer Turm was allowed to remain as a monument.
Besides Eschenheimer Turm (the most famous of the ca. 60 towers that comprised the city’s fortifications), only two other towers—the Rententurm on the Römerberg (Frankfurt’s main city square) and Kuhhirtenturm in Alt-Sachsenhausen—were spared demolition.
Eschenheimer Turm is 47 metres high, consisting of eight levels and two attics (see diagram, left … to see this please click on the link at the end of this post).
Atop a square base that houses the gate sits a round tower, which culminates in a steep spire appointed with four, small, equally proportioned side turrets and a projecting battlement.
Adolfsturm, a similar tower built in the imperial city of Friedberg in 1347, may have served as a model.
Originally, Große Eschenheimer Straße led through the gothic arches of the gate, turning into Eschenheimer Landstraße once outside the city fortifications (the street now goes around the tower).
Both sides of the tower display coats of arms in relief: facing the city is a silver eagle on a red field, the Coat of arms the free imperial city of Frankfurt, and on the opposite side is a black double-headed eagle on a golden field, the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire.
On top of the tower is an iron weather vane. According to legend, Hans Winkelsee, a poacher who was condemned to death and was being held in custody in the Tower, was able to shoot the figure 9 into the weather vane with nine pistol shots.
The city council is said to have been so impressed by the spectacle that it pardoned Winkelsee. The holes in the weather vane are clearly visible today, but it is no longer the same vane.
Underneath Eschenheimer Tor is a subway station, erected in 1963-1968. The subway tunnel passes directly under the foundations of the tower.
The tower is part of the corporate logo of the former Henninger Bräu AG. Today it serves as the logo for Henninger Kaiser Pils in the Radeberger Gruppe KG.
I didn’t manage to get a good enough photograph of the weather vane to see the nine bullet holes, and the base of the tower was obscured because of the Frankfurt Marathon. In spite of that it’s easy to see that this is a fascinating building and well worth a closer look on a future visit.
Looking back down the street towards the St. Catherine’s Church…
March 2, 2015
In this archive post in documenting our 2013 travels in Germany, Family Kiwidutch are spending some time staying with friends in their home city of Frankfurt.
We’ve been touring the central city with one of our friends and on this day have come across another beautiful building.
Close to the MyZeil building complex stands a historic building called: Thurn und Taxis Palais.
I found some information about it (link at the bottom of this post).
“One of the most unusual building projects in Europe features the 18th century Thurn und Taxis Palais as its centrepiece.
Around this baroque city palace the PalaisQuartier is now unfolding to reveal its many possibilities.
For over 50 years the valuable city-centre site of today’s PalaisQuartier was not accessible to the public.
Today it is pulsating again thanks to the international charisma of the trendsetting new complex with the shopping centre MyZeil, the NEXTOWER office block, Hotel Jumeirah and the Thurn und Taxis Palais.
he PalaisQuartier is a jewel and on a street with one of the highest sales outputs in Germany, combines four buildings with different possible uses and independent architecture to form an urban living space.
The four buildings are connected by the new square Thurn-und-Taxis-Platz. Under all this is the largest basement car park in Frankfurt, the MyZeil/PalaisQuartier Car Park.”
I’m of course not interested in the shopping opportunities here, but rather in the myriad of little details that make this building special. There’s a massive arched doorway is a thoroughfare that cuts completely through the building, and is a short cut our friend assures us to the road we want outside.
The “hallway” inside is also beautiful, as are the architectural details on the doors each side. The beauty doesn’t stop there however, the entire building is aesthetically pleasing and to top it all off, the exit onto the street beyond is via a gate, the detail on which is the icing on the cake. After all, who doesn’t like putti? (especially ones who look drunk LOL)!
The lion roars his approval !
March 1, 2015
It’s a strange quirk of mine… I’m a
secret not so secret lover of iron drainage grates and manhole covers. Naturally when I walked over this one in Frankfurt am Main I felt the urge stop and take a photograph. Texture and pattern, the artistic side of my brain can’t resist.
February 28, 2015
Not every amazing building in Frankfurt city centre is an old one…
Regular readers of my blog know that it’s not often that a modern building makes it into these pages because I’m a die-hard historic building fan.
I have to confess that there are two parts to this post, there is a second reason that this building drew my eye, and that’s because it also has an artistic element to it too.
Not only does the building have a flowing natural form, but the mural at the bottom of it does too.
The building is at the back of the MyZeil shopping centre complex and it’s very fluid looking in it’s appearance.
The mural depicts a mother and child, with the phrase “There is something better than perfection”.
Both the mother and the child have theatrical masks which have been removed to reveal their faces.
The “what” part of the “something” that is better than perfection is not stated …motherhood? Humanity? children? Who knows, but as a lover of murals I’m very happy to add this contemplative piece to my collection.
February 27, 2015
When we visited Frankfurt am Main in 2013, we stumbled on the fact the that the Frankfurt Marathon was on during one of the days of our stay only by the fact that we happened to be in the centre of the city at the time it was on.
Yesterday I made a blog post about the Hauptwache (guardhouse), but that’s not the only amazing building in this location because literally just steps away on the opposite side of the … we can find an amazing church: “Katharinenkirche” (St. Catherine’s Church)
Wikipedia (link at bottom of the post) tells me that: ” Katharinenkirche is the largest Lutheran church in Frankfurt am Main, dedicated to the martyred early Christian saint, Catherine of Alexandria.
It is located in the old city centre near one of the most famous plazas in the city, the Hauptwache (Main Guard).
The current church building, built between 1678 and 1681 replaced the Ss. Catherine’s and Barbara Chapel from the late 14th century.
With the adoption of the Lutheran Reformation by the Free Imperial City of Frankfurt in 1533 the city unilaterally appropriated all religious buildings within its old city centre.
This status was statutorily fixed in 1830 by the deeds of dotation, which is why St. Catherine’s is one of the city’s dotation churches left for eternal usage by a Lutheran congregation.
The German writer, artist, and politician Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) was baptized in this church in 1749.
This church is built in the baroque style and stands 54 meters in height. St. Catherine’s was destroyed in 1944 by the Allied bombing of Frankfurt am Main during the Second World War. The city reconstructed its church between 1950 and 1954. “
As with yesterday’s post, it’s hard to get photographs because of the barriers put up for the Frankfurt Marathon, but I do my best…
February 26, 2015
I always have an eye for detail, especially when it comes to architectural detail on beautiful historic buildings.
Whilst watching the Frankfurt Marathon I spy one such beautiful building and want to find out more.
I find several websites (links at bottom of this post) and
“The Baroque Hauptwache is a former police station turned into a cafe.
It is located at the heart of Frankfurt’s inner city, centrally located in the middle of a large shopping area with several pedestrianized streets.
The Hauptwache is the central point from where landmarks like the Alte Oper, Eschenheimer Turm, Goethehaus and Paulskirche are all within walking distance.
Located at the central point of the city’s public transportation, the Hauptwache became an obstacle when the U-bahn (the subway) was built so in 1967 the building was dismantled stone by stone and later rebuilt on top of the U-bahn station.
February 25, 2015
We finally know what the helicopter hovering above us is about… one of the days we are visiting Frankfurt happens to be the day of the Frankfurt Marathon. We come across sectioned off streets and lines of runners pounding the pavements as the kilometres tick by. Himself took up running a few years ago and is busy building up between a half marathon and a full one. At first he joked to my friend that he hoped that one of his first full marathons might be here in Frankfurt, but since he and I have spoken together about it since we made this trip, it’s possible that one day sooner than later, this might actually be the case. In the meantime we enjoy taking a look…
February 24, 2015
We are just leaving the amazing building and shopping centre that is MzZeil in Frankfurt when I hear Little Mr give out two loud exclamations.
The first is clearly delight and the second is single word stretched out like a sad moan of disappointment.
The first was a very high pitched shrieking exclamation of the word “Lego!!!!” announced like the discovery of the century, and the second was “Noooooo” as he realised that the shop he had just discovered is closed.
I must say that the image of my son pressed up against the shop-front glass with a face that didn’t know if it was delighted or disappointed was rather funny, but I didn’t dare even crack even so much as a smile or a small fury at his helplessness would surely be unleashed.
We had found a dedicated Lego shop, and the clear glass shop-front window was probably the best marketing gimmick ever, because all the treasures inside were on display for any Lego-radar processing child to detect in an instant. Frankfurt instantly became Little Mr’s favourite city and he’s keen to return (any time when this shop is open of course).
Not so many meters away there was another sight to make me smile… a tiny glass door leading into a shop, one clearly made for children, and naturally alongside it, another door that was made to accommodate adults.Again, the shop was closed so we didn’t see our kids show us the small door in action, but the concept is sweet and of course, again, directed directly at children.
I assume they have lost count of the number of young ‘un’s who have broken free from their parents and dashed in via the little door, leaving the bemused parents to follow through the big one and then try and entice their child out without making a purchase.A hat-tip to marketing men / women for both shops… enticement comes in many forms and starts young these days.
February 23, 2015
There are some things that you don’t expect to see when you are out and about and one of them is a fashion photo-shoot. That’s exactly what we saw when visited MyZeil in Frankfurt am Main. I have no idea if it was for a fashion student’s portfolio, a model looking to promote her career or for a magazine or catalogue, but it was interesting to watch and of course the location was stunning.