Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Pål Stagnes

Frankfurt am Main: Main Tower and Frankfurt Zoo

Frankfurt am Main is the largest city in the German state of Hessen and the fifth largest city in Germany. The city has a lot to offer; From the top of the Main Tower there is a wonderful view of the city and in the Frankfurt Zoo you can meet around 450 different species of animals.

Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Pål Stagnes

Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt, located on the River Main, has approximately 670,000 inhabitants. The city is the largest financial metropolis in continental Europe and one of Europe’s most important cultural cities. Frankfurt has been Germany’s capital of finance for centuries, and is Europe’s richest city after GDP per capita. The European Central Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, one of the world’s largest exchanges, and the German central bank Deutsche Bundesbank are all present in the city. The same is the large banks Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank.

The city is characterized by its good infrastructure and high standard of living. According to The Economist’s Living Conditions Survey, Frankfurt has the highest cost level in Germany and the 10th highest in the world. The city was ranked number seven of the world’s cities by quality of life in Mercer’s 2011 ranking.

Frankfurt uses large sums on art and culture and is one of the German cities with the most museums. The best known museum is Städelsche Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie and the Nature Museum Senckenberg. The Museum of Modern Art and the Schirn Kunsthalle are also excellent. Frankfurt also has a large and famous botanical garden, Palmengarten. The city is also the birthplace of the world-famous writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The city is also the world’s largest publishing town.

It is the only European city with a large number of skyscrapers, so it is often called Mainhattan. Sometimes it is also called Bankfurt. Europe’s tallest skyscraper, besides 8 out of 10 highest, is found here, otherwise only Düsseldorf has high skyscrapers in Germany.

Main Tower. Photo: Pål Stagnes

Main Tower

In 1991 an international architectural competition was held. Well-renowned architects from all over the world participated. The German architectural firm Schweger und Partner won the competition.

The construction work started in 1996 and up to 1,000 workers spent 3 years building the 56 story and 200 meter high tower, which is Frankfurt am Main’s fourth highest skyscraper, only hit by Commerzbank (258m), Messeturn (256m) and DG Bank (208 m). It is named after the River Main which flows through the city.

The tower has five floors below ground level and two public view platforms. To get to the 56th floor view platform, you take one of the fastest elevators in Germany. The 29 elevators run at a speed of between 4 and 7 meters per second.

From the viewing platform you can see the whole city from a bird’s eye view.

The building is the headquarters of Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba). Other tenants are Merrill Lynch and Standard & Poor’s. Several prominent law firms have their offices in the Main Tower. Hessischer Rundfunk has a TV studio in the building. Weather reports from the station are made from the top of the building.

Photo: Pål Stagnes

Frankfurt Zoo

The Frankfurt Zoo is a green oasis in the middle of the thriving main metropolis. The zoo is home to more than 4 500 animals of around 450 different species. 150 employees work to take care of the animals. Over 800,000 visitors makes it one of Germany’s most visited animal parks.

Every year, more than 65 tonnes of apples, 36 tonnes of carrots, 16 tons of fish and 20 tons of meat are fed to feed the animals.

The Giraffe Hatari is the largest animal of the zoo with its estimated 5.5 meters. The heaviest animal is the hippo Petra weighing more than 1.5 tons.

As a modern nature and conservation center, the zoo provides diverse information about our environment and shows us what we can do to protect it. In cooperation with the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the zoo follows the famous animal welfare promoter and former director of the Frankfurt Zoo, Professor Dr. Bernhard Grzimek examples.

Among the many animals you will find proud African animals like lions and giraffes next to seals and majestic tigers. In Grzimek House, the day turns into night as you immerse yourself in Madagascar’s mysterious wildlife. In Exotarium (aquarium and reptile house) you can see fishes, seahorses, penguins, snakes and crocodiles.

In the ape house Borgori Forest you can meet our hominide “relatives”.