Pumped for Research

I stepped off the plane at the Frankfurt airport full of eager anticipation.  Only two weeks to find out all I could in two cities.  Our exchange daughter, Anke, met me at the airport.  We dropped my backpack and suitcase at her apartment and she took me on a streetcar-train-walking tour of Frankfurt so I would have a basic idea of how to get where I needed to go.  I bought a week’s transportation pass which includes both the streetcar and train.

The next morning Anke went back to work, and armed with a city map and notebook, I set out to find the Römerberg.  It took me a couple of minutes to establish just where I was when I arrived streetside from the train (which runs under the city in that area).

The Römerberg.  I knew the three buildings comprising the Römer were the old city hall and designated places for official functions in the 1600’s, the time period  of my research.  Fanning out from the Römer was a large open space, which in earlier times was the main market place and where the twice yearly trade fairs were held.  This market area was the Römerberg, very much a misnomer.  I laughed when I realized that this slight uphill slant was called a mountain (berg).  But it did provide a natural ampitheater for viewing public events.

It was disappointing not to be able to see the exterior of the Römer.  The three buildings were covered with scaffolding and some kind of material as some kind of work was being done to them.  But there are plenty of pictures in books and on postcards that show the exterior.

Frankfurt is a very modern city.  Its skyline is often compared to that of New York City.  I knew that the only way I might get a sense of the 1600’s would mostly be in the various museums.

2 thoughts on “Pumped for Research

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