A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Thursday, 16 July 2015


The Paulskirche, or St Paul's Church, in Frankfurt. This church has great historic and political importance, as it was the seat of the first democratically elected German parliament in 1848. This first National Assembly paved the way for the unification of Germany as a nation state in 1871.

The Römer has been Frankfurt's city hall for over 600 years (the British Queen Elizabeth II visited this historic landmark just a few weeks ago). These buildings have been much restored, for in 1944 Allied bombers obliterated the Römer, along with much of central Frankfurt. 

Opposite the city hall, and forming the east side of the Römerberg square, are more reconstructed buildings.

The famous Eiserner Steg, or Iron Bridge — a pedestrian bridge connecting the Römerberg with Sachsenhausen on the south bank of the river Main. The bridge was blown up by German forces at the end of World War II, but quickly rebuilt in 1946.

The view west down the Main from the Iron Bridge.

Cityscape old and new: modern skyscrapers dwarf the Catholic Leonhardskirche, which originally dates from 1219 and is an important pilgrimage church. Frankfurt lies at an intersection of pilgrim routes leading to Jerusalem and Santiago.   

Frankfurt's Historisches Museum (Historical Museum). Once again, this has been completely restored.

At one corner of Saint Paul‘s Church stands this concentration camp memorial — a sober reminder of the Holocaust and the dark days of the early 1940s.

The Goethehaus at 23, Grosser Hirschgraben. Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born here on 28 August 1749. The house was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1944, but reconstructed as closely as possible to the original between 1947 and 1951. Inside you can see Goethe's study and the writing desk at which he wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther, a seminal book of the Romantic movement.

On the second floor of the Goethehaus stands this astronomical clock made in the eighteenth century by clockmaker Christian Kintzing of Neuwied.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Are you moving on Robert or staying in one place and travelling out from there?

George said...

Thanks for the nice little tour of Frankfurt, Robert. Glad to see you're out exploring your new environs.

Sabine said...

By total conicidence, my father told me about the inscription on the Eiserne Steg last night. It's from Homer's Odyssey (which he is still able to recite in parts) and roughly translates as: sailing on a wine dark sea towards people of another language.
Is this what you are doing, sailing? Be well.

The Solitary Walker said...

I'm living in central Germany, Pat, and making trips from there.

Hi, George — and Sabine: thanks for the translation; I wondered what it meant. That 'wine-dark sea' is quintessentially Homer. I'm not sailing, as I'm not that keen on water, but I'm doing plenty of dry land travelling on foot, by bike and by car.

Bouncing Bertie said...

Interesting mix of old, new, and new-old buildings.
Any thoughts on the pros and cons of the faithful reconstructions that the Germans seem so good at?
Cheers, Gail.

dritanje said...

It's always fascinating to visit writers' houses, I think. I was doing a bit of that too in Berlin (except I think it was demolished in the war). But these reconstructions are amazing, I think. I'd like to have a closer look at the astronomical clock!

Susan Scheid said...

I've just now caught up with all your Germany posts, and how lovely! (I wanted to step right into the photograph of the lane in Wildenburgerland you show in one of the posts.) As I did so, I realized I hadn't ever read through all your sidebar quotations about walking--and what a treasure trove they are. I was particularly struck by this one from Herman Melville: "It is not down in any map; true places never are."

The Solitary Walker said...

Hi Gail, and thanks for visiting. In general I'm for the reconstructions, though sometimes it does seem a bit Disneyfied.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Morelle, for this comment and the one before. I hope to visit Berlin.

The Solitary Walker said...

Susan — good to see you here, and thanks for reading. You're right, it's very lovely. And those walking quotations are inspiring, aren't they?