Frankfurt's location at the heart of Europe has helped make it Germany's financial, commercial and industrial hub. Founded in the first century, it began to develop as a financial centre in the 13th century, when annual fairs attracted merchants from around the known world. Trade fairs are still a mainstay of the city's economy. The International Book Fair annually draws anyone who's anyone in publishing, while ACHEMA draws in engineers to debate trends in chemistry and biotechnology.
With its gleaming steel and glass high-rises, Frankfurt looks more North American than European, but it has its fair share of historical and cultural sites. Although much of the old city was destroyed by Allied bombers at the close of the second world war, you can get a feel for the pre-war landscape in the reconstructed area of Römerberg. This "medieval" square is home to the Römer, Frankfurt's city hall since 1405, and a row of restored half-timber houses known as the Ostzeile.
The southern bank of the river Main is known as Museumsufer (museum embankment), as it hosts 13 of the city's museums. The centres, ranging from the Film Museum and Museum of Applied Art to the Jewish Museum and Architecture Museum, are housed in restored villas from the 1900s that are set between structures dating back to the 1800s. barenbib
Yes, Frankfurt! The image is of a city devoted entirely to high rise offices and German banking. If that's all you want to see, then so be it, but behind the scenes of commerce there's a lot more to discover between the business meetings and the airport. How about Goethe's house for a start.