Podcast on the Platz der Republik stop
Platz der Republik
From Platz der Republik, you can see the skyscrapers along Mainzer Landstrasse and the Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage (a square) to the right. At the junction with Mainzer Landstrasse on the right-hand side, you’ll also see City Hochhaus. This 142-metre building is also known as the Selmi tower, named after Ali Selmi who built the tower designed by Richard Heil between 1971 and 1974.
Further along Mainzer Landstrasse to the right is Westend Tower. Together, this tower and City Hochhaus are the headquarters of DZ BANK. The Westend Tower is also known as the ‘crown tower’ due to the crown-like structure that sits on top of it. At a height of 208 metres, this is one of the highest skyscrapers in Frankfurt and indeed all of Germany. The Westend Tower was designed by architect William Pedersen and completed in 1993. The crown at the top symbolises Frankfurt’s role as the coronation city of Germany’s emperors. For this reason, it faces Römerberg, where the coronations took place. The corona is heated in winter to avoid icicles forming that could be a danger to those using the roads underneath.
The former police headquarters building on the left-hand side of Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage was opened in 1914. Most of the building has been vacant since the police headquarters moved to a new building on Alleenring. The police headquarters was built in the historicist style, which is a blend of neo-baroque and classical styles, and this is now a listed building.
The next building on the left after the police headquarters is the Protestant Matthäuskirche built in 1905. It was severely damaged during the war and so most of the current building dates from the post-war period. The congregation now barely numbers 100 members, so in 2002, the regional association Protestant Church in Hessen and Nassau (EKHN) decided to let the building go and sell it for demolition. The local church congregation is fighting this move fiercely.
Frankfurt Westend district
Along with the railway station district, the Nordend and the Ostend, the Westend is one of Frankfurt’s densely populated inner city districts that was built during the Wilhelminian period. Nowadays it’s still one of the most expensive places to live in Frankfurt. The district stretches largely to your right as far as the Messe Frankfurt trade fair centre.
Together, the western section of the inner city, the eastern section of the railway station district and the southern part of the Westend form Frankfurt’s banking district with its many high-rise office buildings.
There’s also an above-average number of educational establishments in the Westend disctrict, including – most importantly – the Bockenheim campus of the Goethe University Frankfurt and the Senckenberg Museum.