Settled In: Romans in 1st Century; Franks by the 500s.
Officially Founded: Founded in 794 AD; trade rights since 1150; Free Imperial City from 1372-1806; German 1815-1866; joined Prussia in 1866.
Alternative Names: Nida during Roman times; Frankfurt am Main in modern times.
Language: German, but basic English gets you by.
Suggested Stay: 1-2 Full Days, but it can also be a longer base camp with day trips.
Overview of Frankfurt:
With roots as a small Roman settlement, Frankfurt grew as a key village for the Franks. As of 794 Charlemagne, The Great started to hold Imperial Assemblies in Frankfurt which helped to put it strongly on the map. The village quickly expanded around the Main River thanks to official trade rights and Frankfurt become a Free Imperial City in the Holy Roman Empire in 1372. Frankfurt am Main grew so important that from 1562 until 1792, the Holy Roman Emperors were crowned here (previously Aachen since 855).
While Frankfurt was a powerful trading hub in the Middle Ages, that faded as the Holy Roman Empire fell in 1806 and the region was later absorbed into Prussia. This downslide actually helped to preserve Frankfurt’s old architecture as it had the largest preserved Medieval city center in all of Germany by the 1930s. Sadly Nazi occupations during World War 2 led to serve battles and bombing in Frankfurt which results in the almost complete destruction of the city and the attacks left over 5000 residents dead.
Unlike Nuremberg, which has totally rebuilt their city center based on the previous Medieval-style, Frankfurt went much more modern complete with skyscrapers. The modern style to the rebuild led Frankfurt to be known as the German Manhattan and it is even now the national headquarters for the European Union. Sleek new buildings aside, there are still enough rebuilt and preserved Medieval elements in mixed into Old Town Frankfurt to make a full day visit one of the most enjoyable in Germany. As you will see in this Frankfurt travel guide, there are also tons of excellent day trips nearby to make staying here for a few days as a base camp a viable option.