Before we cross the Main River, you’ll see the former Westhafen on the right. This is now being transformed by the construction of attractive modern residential complexes. The Westhafen is a former inland port separated from the Main by a breakwater that’s 560 metres long and 75 metres wide. The Westhafen Tower has stood at the entrance to Westhafen since 2003. At a height of 109 metres, it is one of the city’s smaller skyscrapers. The tower is referred to locally as Geripptes, or the largest cider glass in the world, due to its diamond-shaped windows. These diamonds look very much those on the typical cider glass called Geripptes. Because the foundation of the building is round and the floors are square, there are 18 conservatories situated between the inner facades and round outer facade.
Our trip across the Main will now take us over the Friedensbrücke (peace bridge). This 300-metre bridge was rebuilt between 1950 and 1951 and is supported by four columns.
In 1945, this was the only bridge over the Main in Frankfurt that had not been completely blown up. It was over this bridge that the US army was able to enter the city on 26 March 1945.
On the south side, there is a bronze figure called Der Hafenarbeiter (the dock worker) created by Meunier in 1893 in memory of Frankfurt’s Westhafen. The worker is wearing a hood to protect him from coal dust.
Städel and Museumsufer
On the other side of the Main, we come to the museum embankment (Museumsufer) on the south side of the river. To the left, you can see Städelsches Kunstinstitut and Städtische Galerie (municipal gallery) immediately alongside the next bridge across the river, the Hohlbeinsteg. The Städel building was constructed in historicist style between 1874–1878 and is fully accessible again following renovations that started in 2000. It is one of the most beautiful and richest art galleries in Europe.
The Frankfurt museum embankment (Museumsufer) is one of the most significant museum sites in Germany – in all of Europe. There are currently 13 exhibition buildings here on the Schaumainkai. The idea of bringing various museums together was put forward by Hilmar Hoffmann, who was Frankfurt’s head of cultural affairs at the time, in 1977. Between 1980 and 1990, existing facilities were expanded and new buildings were constructed. Museums that you will find here include:
- Frankfurter Ikonenmuseum (icon museum)
- Museum für Angewandte Kunst, museum of applied art), formerly Museum für Kunsthandwerk (museum of crafts), along with Villa Metzler
- Weltkulturen, Museum (museum of world cultures), formerly the Völkerkundemuseum (museum of ethnology)
- Deutsche Filmmuseum (German film museum)
- Deutsche Architekturmuseum (German architecture museum)
- Museum für Kommunikation (museum for communication), formerly the Bundespostmuseum (post office museum)
- the Liebieghaus sculpture museum
- Museum Giersch featuring regional art
On the northern side of the Main River, you will also find Historische Museum (the museum of history) and the Jewish Museum. If you are interested in public transport, we recommend visiting the VGF Transport Museum in Schwanheim. Take a journey through the history of public transport in Frankfurt am Main.