Podcast on Festhalle/Messe
The Festhalle is the venue for many big events, including concerts by well-known artists and bands or sporting events such as the ATP world tennis championship in the first half of the 1990s and large-scale horse-riding shows.
The first events staged here in 1909 were the German Gymnastics Festival and the International Air Show. The Festhalle was built between 1907 and 1909.
The architecture of the 256-metre-tall MesseTurm is a postmodern nod to American skyscrapers of the 1920s. When the tower, nicknamed ‘pencil’ was completed in 1991, it was the tallest building in Europe. The roof pyramid alone, which is what makes the building look like a pencil, is 36.6 metres tall. The pyramid, which is not accessible to the public or people hiring the building, is illuminated at night. Because of this, it is particularly visible from planes landing at Frankfurt Airport at twilight. Since 1997, the Frankfurt Commerzbank has been the tallest building in Europe, with a height of almost 300 metres including its antenna. The tower is called the MesseTurm due to the fact that it’s located to the south-west of the trade fair grounds. However, it’s used as an office building rather than for trade fair events.
To your right behind Tower 185 is the Europa quarter built on the site of the former freight depot. This district contains offices, hotels, flats, shops and leisure facilities, and it is planned to be a place where 10,000 people will work and 3,000 people will live. Tower 185 is 200 metres tall. The actual tower rises above the centre of a horseshoe-shaped plinth, looking as if it’s made from two halves of a skyscraper.