Germany of the post-war

In 2014 I went to Germany with a friend for the first time. We went to visit Frankfurt, a city with some interesting things to see but a lot of contrasts, since a lot of the old monuments were destroyed by the war and now a big part of the city is modern.

 

Facts about the city:

During ancient times, Frankfurt was the center of the Holy Roman Empire where kings – and later emperors – were crowned.

The famous writer, humanist and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born in Frankfurt in 1749. In 1860, it also became the final resting place of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.

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I went with my friend to Frankfurt for my birthday and it was freezing cold. We stayed in a very nice hotel in the center of Frankfurt, near the train station. It was called Frankfurt Hostel and it was on Kaiserstr. 74, Bahnhofsviertel, Frankfurt. We paid € 147 for three nights – 24.50€ each, per night. We also had breakfast included. The balcony of our room had a very beautiful view of the skyscrapers.

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Behind our hostel we discovered that there was the Red Light District of Frankfurt. Creepy! Despite being a city with not much to see, we had a lot of fun. We went to Starbucks, we went for kebabs in an Indian restaurant down the street… We also went to a calm bar next to the hostel where Rita sang me happy birthday.

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The coolest place where we went out at night was a pub called O’Reilley’s Irish Pub. Some German guys who were there chatted with us and there was one who asked me for a second of my time and I literally gave him a second of my time and said “bye!” haha

Then on the street we also met a gentleman who asked us for the lighter, who had just moved to Germany. A funny thing in Germany is that, because I was blonde and white, everyone spoke to me in German, thinking I was from there. The same didn’t happen with Rita, because she really looks latin. Another funny thing about the trip was the fact that we always used the underground without paying.

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Speaking now of what we visited, the most beautiful place was Römerberg without a doubt. It is very beautiful with those typical buildings. If it was not for World War II, Frankfurt would still be pretty. The Römer house is located opposite the Old St. Nicholas church and has been the city hall (Rathaus) of Frankfurt for over 600 years. The Haus Römer is actually the middle building of a set of three located in the Römerberg (square).

 

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We also went to the Museumsufer, which is the “neighborhood” of museums, on the other side of the river, and entered the Staedel Museum. The Städel Museum has one of the most important collections in Germany. The Städel Museum owns 2,700 paintings (of which 600 are displayed) and a collection of 100,000 drawings and prints as well as 600 sculptures.

We went to Dom St. Bartholomaus (or Frankurt Cathedral), a giant cathedral that we could barely fit into photos. Then we crossed Eiserner Steg, a bridge full of love locks, and visited the Liebieghaus, a beautiful house that contains a sculpture museum.

The Eiserner Steg (Iron bridge) is a footbridge. The first bridge of wrought iron was built in the year of 1868. It was replaced in 1911/1912 by a slightly larger cantilever bridge. The bridge was blown up by the Wehrmacht in the final days of World War II, but it has been rebuilt shortly afterwards in the year of 1946. In 1993 it had been fully renovated.

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We passed Paulskirche (St. Pauls Church). Paulskirche is notable for being the seat of the 1848 Frankfurt Parliament, the first publicly and freely-elected German legislative body. Although now a United Protestant church, it was started as a Lutheran church in 1789—coincidentally the same year as the French Revolution.

We also went to Dreikönigskirche, to the Hauptwache square, which is a central point of Frankfurt and one of the most famous squares and to Katarinenkirche, a lutheran church located nearby. The Stock ExchangeBerger Strasse (a cosmopolitan boulevard with many bars, pubs and restaurants and two of Frankfurt’s most traditional cider houses, Solzer and Zur Sonneand) the Goethe House.

We also went to the Alte Oper (opera house). It was inaugurated in 1880 but destroyed by bombs in 1944. It was rebuilt, slowly, in the 1970s, opening again in 1981. Many important operas were performed for the first time in Frankfurt, including Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in 1937.

 

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We discovered the Chinese Garden. In 1990 a Chinese garden, the ‘Garden of Heavenly Peace’ was created in memory of the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The garden is authentic, created according to the principles of feng shui by Chinese craftsmen. Most of the materials were imported from China. The walled garden’s entrance is guarded by two Chinese lions. The garden features a temple, pagoda and the beautifully carved Jade Bridge.

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There was also another day when we left the center of Frankfurt and went to a “neighborhood” full of typical German bars and pubs (and we also visited Hooter’s, a typical American pub). As I forgot the Citizen’s Card in the hostel and there is even mandatory to show it to drink, no bar was accepting us inside.

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At the end we ended up in a Moroccan bar, with the owner passing Brazilian music to please us and even chatted with us. It was fun!

 

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