Wall systems (Frankfurt am Main)

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A green ribbon between Opernplatz and Pfingstweidstraße at the zoo
Contour of the former city fortifications

The Frankfurt Wallanlagen form a ring-shaped green area around the city ​​center of Frankfurt am Main . They were created at the beginning of the 19th century on the site of the Frankfurt city fortifications, which were razed between 1804 and 1812 . The Frankfurt system ring runs around the ramparts .


August Ravenstein's Geometric Plan of Frankfurt am Main , 1862, the former old town of Frankfurt within the ramparts

The origins of the ramparts lie in the expansion of the city in 1333. At that time, Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian allowed the city to expand its borders enormously. In front of the old town , which has been protected by the Staufer Wall since the end of the 12th century , the initially sparsely populated new town emerged . In 1343 the construction of a new city wall around the new town began. It consisted of a wall six to eight meters high and about 2.5 to three meters thick at the top of the wall and an upstream eight to 10 meter wide moat that was fed by the Main and various small streams. To strengthen the wall, around 40 towers were built in the 14th and 15th centuries, including those of the five city gates, of which only the Eschenheimer tower remains today .

In the 16th century the wall was already out of date with the advent of powder guns. During the Thirty Years' War , the old walls were therefore reinforced by a fortress in front of a total of eleven pentagonal bulwarks and curtains in between . Around 1705 the first linden trees were planted on the ramparts and from 1765 a continuous avenue (Lustallee) around Frankfurt and Sachsenhausen.

Towards the end of the 18th century the fortifications had become militarily worthless. They even posed a threat to the city because if defended it was exposed to the risk of being shot at. In 1802 the city council decided to demolish the fortifications. The demolition really got going after French pressure after the end of the Free Imperial City in 1806. The new sovereign, Prince Primate Carl Theodor von Dalberg , commissioned Jakob Guiollett with the deconsolidation. He developed the idea of ​​a public park around the city center and commissioned the garden architect Sebastian Rinz with the design.

The walls and ramparts were torn down from 1806 to 1812, the fortress grounds were partly parceled out and sold with the condition that the gardens had to be open to the public, partly redesigned to a public landscape garden in the English style . In 1827, the Wall Service , which is still valid today, was issued, according to which this approximately 100 meter wide green strip must remain undeveloped. Magnificent villas with large gardens were built on the ring road. City architect Johann Georg Christian Hess had stipulated a strict classical style for all new buildings in his building regulations issued in 1809 .

The grounds were devastated when the French troops withdrew after the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, but the city gardener Rinz immediately laid out a new one.


The ramparts are divided into seven sections, most of which bear the names of the former city gates. In clockwise direction , these are: Untermainanlage , Gallusanlage , Taunusanlage , Bockenheimer Anlage , Eschenheimer Anlage , Friedbergeranlage and Obermainanlage .

Lower main system

Coordinate: 50 ° 6 ′ 26.9 ″  N , 8 ° 40 ′ 23.4 ″  E
"Fairytale fountain"

The smallest of the seven systems begins in the southwest of the city center on the banks of the Main , where it merges into the Nizza park , and extends in the north to Willy-Brandt-Platz .

The Untermainanlage was built on the site of the former Mainz bulwark , a strong fortification to protect the banks of the Main. Despite the Wall Service in 1902, its area was greatly reduced by the construction of the theater , so that only just under 5000 square meters are available as green space. After the theater was badly damaged in the air raids on Frankfurt am Main in World War II , it served as a venue for the Frankfurt Opera from 1951 . In 1960 the building complex was modernized and expanded, so that since then it has accommodated all branches of the municipal theaters . To the south of the Städtische Bühnen, the Untermainanlage is divided by Hofstrasse . On Untermainkai are the classicist Jewish Museum Frankfurt and the National House , a high-rise building from post-war modernism by Max Meid .

The parks were completely redesigned in 2003 after the construction of an underground car park for the municipal stages. In the area in front of the municipal stages is the fairytale fountain created in 1910 by Friedrich Christoph Hausmann , one of the few Art Nouveau fountains in Frankfurt. A beautiful Frankfurt washerwoman modeled the figure of the Main Mermaid .

Southern Gallusanlage at Willy-Brandt-Platz

Gallus system

The victims
Deutsche Bank from the Taunusanlage
Coordinate: 50 ° 6 ′ 34.6 ″  N , 8 ° 40 ′ 17.9 ″  E

The Gallusanlage begins in the south at Willy-Brandt-Platz and extends north to the Taunustor over an area of ​​around 17,000 square meters. In between, Kaiserstrasse crosses the facility. It takes its name from the Gallustor , as the medieval Galgentor was called since the 18th century. During the time of National Socialism from 1933 to 1945 it was called “Adolf Hitler Plant”.

The Main-Neckar train station was located on the Gallusanlage from 1846 to 1880 . On the former railway yard the late nineteenth then emerged station district , including the neo-baroque splendor construction of the hotel Fürstenhof Esplanade . Today the Gallusanlage is shaped by the banking district . Striking adjacent high-rise buildings are the Eurotower of the European Central Bank , the Gallileo and the Taunusturm .

In the complex is the monument to the victims by Benno Elkan , which was originally inaugurated in 1920 and was intended to commemorate the Frankfurt soldiers who died in World War I. The bronze memorial figure, a mother figure bent in pain and sunk in deep lamentation, was created as early as 1913/14. With its dedication to all war victims, including those of the enemy, the emphasis on the lament for the dead instead of worshiping heroes, but also the nudity of the figure, the monument attracted criticism from nationalist circles from the start. After the National Socialists came to power in 1933, it was removed immediately. However, the Elkan memorial escaped the planned destruction for unknown reasons; it survived the Second World War in a municipal street cleaning depot and was inaugurated again in its original location in April 1946. A wreath-laying ceremony takes place every year on the anniversary of the November pogroms in 1938 .

There was also a Bismarck monument by Rudolf Siemering, built in 1908 . It was melted down in 1940 as a metal donation from the German people .

From 1952 to 2007 Ludwig von Schwanthaler's Goethe monument was also located in the Gallusanlage. The larger than life statue, created in 1844, was located on Goetheplatz until it was damaged in World War II . After its restoration, it was temporarily placed at the Gallusanlage until it moved back to its original location after the redesign of Goetheplatz. In its place in 2008 the sculpture The Olympus of Weimar by Andreu Alfaro was installed in the Gallusanlage . Another monument in the Gallusanlage is the Open Cubes property by Sol LeWitt .


Coordinate: 50 ° 6 ′ 46.7 ″  N , 8 ° 40 ′ 7.7 ″  E
The Heine monument by Georg Kolbe (1913)

The Taunusanlage is one of the largest ramparts. It is located in the northwest corner of the former city fortifications and covers around 45,000 square meters. The starting point and namesake is the Taunustor . The name does not come from a medieval city gate, but from two classicist gate structures that Johann Friedrich Christian Hess built in 1810 in place of the abandoned city fortifications. Its wrought iron bars were locked every evening until 1864; Anyone who wanted to pass it outside of the regular opening times had to pay a fee, the so-called blocking chunk . Across from the Taunustor was the Taunusbahnhof from 1839 to 1880 . It was the oldest Frankfurt train station and the eastern terminus of the Taunus Railway to Wiesbaden .

The Taunusanlage is located in Frankfurt's banking district. The high-rise buildings Japan Center , Skyper , Taunusanlage 11 and the twin towers of Deutsche Bank are located on the Taunusanlage .

The Taunusanlage is also known for the S-Bahn station of the same name . Entrances to the facility are on the highly frequented thoroughfare, Junghofstrasse . With the exception of the S7, all S-Bahn lines of the S-Bahn Rhein-Main stop there . When it went into operation in 1978, the tram lines 24 and 25 that had been running at the Taunustor until then were shut down.

At the Opera Square Taunusanlage ends. The Alte Oper is one of the few buildings in the otherwise connected ramparts.

The Taunusanlage was at times a meeting place for drug addicts. On July 21, 2006, the national day of remembrance for drug deaths, the then head of the health department, Manuela Rottmann, unveiled a plaque there to commemorate the victims of addiction.

Georg Kolbe's Beethoven monument

There are numerous monuments in the Taunusanlage: The Heine monument by Georg Kolbe has a particularly eventful history . It was created in 1913 on the initiative of the Frankfurt acting director Emil Claar as the first Heine memorial in Germany against the angry protests of anti-Semitic circles and was initially located in the Friedberg complex. After the National Socialist seizure of power , on April 10, 1933 , the Hesse State President Ferdinand Werner urged the mayor of Frankfurt, Friedrich Krebs , who had been appointed by the new rulers : "Please, remove the Heine monument, against whose construction in Frankfurt I met in stormy meetings twenty years ago in vain fought. "

On April 27, 1933, a group of Hitler Youth overthrew the memorial figures. They were recovered and placed under the neutral title Spring Song by Kolbe in the garden of the Städel . Stored in the basement during the bombing war , they were buried when the Städel was destroyed, but remained undamaged. On December 14, 1947, the memorial was unveiled again at its new location in the Taunusanlage. The portrait plaque on the base of the monument is the last work of Georg Kolbe, who died in 1947.

Another work by Kolbe in the Taunusanlage is the Beethoven monument on Junghofstrasse , which was cast in 1948 based on a model made before the war . Its location, a small hill, is a remnant of the Junghof bulwark of the former Frankfurt city fortifications. From 1896 to 1940 there was a monumental equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I at this point . The work of the sculptor Clemens Buscher , like the nearby Bismarck monument, was melted down in 1940 as a metal donation by the German people.

The Schiller monument at the Taunustor is a larger than life bronze statue on a cubic base. It was built between 1859 and 1863 based on a design by Johannes Dielmann and was installed in 1955 at its current location. At the level of Guiollettstrasse is the monument to Jakob Guiollett , the initiator of the Frankfurt ramparts, created by Eduard Schmidt von der Launitz in 1837 . Not far from there is the vintner's fountain created by Johann Nepomuk Zwerger in 1859 . A sandstone pillar with a fountain bowl in front bears the bronze bust of a laughing drinker and a bronze plaque with the inscription Blessed should the drink be to us: You the water and me the wine.

On October 27, 1963, the Marshall Fountain was unveiled in front of the Alte Oper in memory of George C. Marshall . The work by the Munich sculptor Toni Stadler , financed by donations from Frankfurt companies, shows the three graces Aglaia , Hegemone and Euphrosyne . A stone slab bears the verses from Goethe's Faust II , with which the poet presents the graces as symbols of giving, taking and thanking. 1970 to 1981 the monument was temporarily dismantled due to the construction of the S-Bahn .

Other monuments in the Taunusanlage are the Snow White Monument created around 1930 by August Haag , a girl lying on a stone sarcophagus with dwarfs at her feet, the Flora , a neoclassical woman statue by Paul Seiler , a reclining woman by Rudolf Kipp , the Great Diagonal , a granite block of the Frankfurt artist Michael Siebel and the concrete sculpture A House for Goethe by the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida . The bronze sculptures Dancer by Doris Schmauder and Stella by Baltasar Lobo are located between Junghofstrasse and Opernplatz .

The pond in the Bockenheimer Anlage from Hochstraße
Nebbiensches garden house with Florentine fountain
Stadtbad Mitte

Bockenheimer plant

Coordinate: 50 ° 7 ′ 0.9 ″  N , 8 ° 40 ′ 28.9 ″  E

At the Opera Square , where once the Bockenheimer gate was, Bockenheimer plant begins. It has an area of ​​around 40,000 square meters. A small part of it is named today in honor of the Frankfurt folk actress Liesel-Christ-Anlage .

Across from the Alte Oper, a luxury hotel was built on behalf of the French chain Sofitel from 2012 to 2016 instead of a former substation . The project called Opernplatz XIV had caused protests and inquiries in the city council because more than 20 old trees were felled for the construction of an underground car park. To the east of the Opernplatz, the green area extends partially to the inner ring road, which is called Hochstraße here . There is a small pond in the complex, a remnant of the former irrigated city moat. The statue Torso II , a female bronze torso by the sculptor Waldemar Grzimek , has been located north of the pond since 1973 . To the west of it stands the bronze sculpture Caryatid by Gerson Fehrenbach (1964).

In 1810, the Nebbiensche Garden House , a classicist pavilion designed by the architect Nicolas Alexandre Salins de Montfort , was built in the Bockenheim complex . Since its renovation in 1952, the building has belonged to the Frankfurter Künstlerclub e. V. , who regularly holds art exhibitions here. The complex includes an Italian Renaissance fountain and another small fountain made from a capital . Opposite at Mozartplatz is the Mozart monument . The Schwindhaus was built in 1845 by the artist Moritz von Schwind .

A striking building is the Hilton Hotel on Hochstrasse , which opened in 1998 . The swimming pool of the former Stadtbad Mitte, built in 1960, was integrated into the building complex with a thirteen-story main building . It was one of the first post-war indoor swimming pools in Frankfurt. In 1995 the city sold the swimming pool, which was in need of renovation, to the hotel chain, with the condition that the listed swimming pool should be preserved and kept open to the public. Another example of post-war Frankfurt architecture is the Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, also on Hochstrasse.

There is a bronze memorial plaque for Ludwig Börne on the garden side of the Rentenbank . It is the work of the Frankfurt sculptor Georg Mahr and was unveiled in 1960. A Börne monument by Gustav Kaupert has been located here since 1877 . It was desecrated by unknown persons in November 1931; the city had the badly damaged bust stored, but could not have it restored until 1933 due to the global economic crisis . The National Socialist government had the monument base removed after 1933.

Monument to Johann Philipp Reis
The Moorish house at Eschenheimer Anlage 29

Eschenheimer plant

Coordinate: 50 ° 7 ′ 8.3 ″  N , 8 ° 41 ′ 2.1 ″  E

The Eschenheimer Anlage begins at Eschenheimer Tor and extends east to Friedberger Tor . North of the Eschenheim facility is the Nordend , a densely populated residential area. Particularly noteworthy is the listed Moorish House , built in 1856/57 for a romantically inclined Frankfurt master mason. There are also numerous residential buildings along Bleichstrasse, which runs south, and Krögerstrasse , a small cul-de-sac, including listed classicist houses from around 1850.

In the 19th century, the building of the Physical Society was located near the Eschenheimer Tor . Here, on October 26, 1861 , Philipp Reis first demonstrated an instrument he had invented, which he called the telephone . To commemorate Reis and his epoch-making invention, the sculptor Friedrich Hausmann created a memorial in 1919 , which was erected in the nearby complex. Reis' bust stands on a stone pillar, next to it are two naked youths talking on the phone. Behind the Philipp Reis monument and facing Krögerstraße there is a slightly lower baroque garden with sandstone columns and sculptures from the former Löwenstein palace .

In the middle part of the Eschenheim facility there have been two sculptures since 1983, a seated person made of sandstone by Michael Siebel and the larger than life bronze figure of Betty by Wanda Pratschke . Petersstrasse crosses the complex further east . To the east there is a monument to Anton Kirchner . The work of the sculptor Heinrich Petry was erected in 1879 on Kirchner's 100th birthday. At the junction of Eckenheimer Landstraße at Scheffeleck , the route of the U5 has been crossing the street since 1974 and then leads underground over a ramp on the Eschenheimer facility in the direction of Konstablerwache . Before that, two tram lines ran here: Coming from the Zeil via Petersstraße , the 7 led to Eckenheimer Landstraße, while the 12 went via Scheffelstraße to Friedberger Landstraße .

Shortly before Friedberger Tor stands the Fina-Haus on Bleichstrasse, built in 1966 and modernized in 2000 , a 14-storey high-rise that, at 51 meters high, was one of the most distinctive buildings in Frankfurt at the time of its construction.

Friedberger plant

Coordinate: 50 ° 7 ′ 0 ″  N , 8 ° 41 ′ 35.4 ″  E
The memorial for city gardener Rinz in the Friedberger plant
The former “Odeon” in Seilerstrasse

Black oak

The largest facility in terms of area begins at Friedberger Tor and goes to Allerheiligentor . In the northern part there is initially the schill oak. This oak was planted on November 10, 1859 (on Friedrich Schiller's 100th birthday). Despite this (for an oak) young age, it is in poor condition today.

The Bethmannweiher follows a few hundred meters south . It takes its name from the Bethmannpark , which is located directly outside the Friedberg complex, with the Bethmann family's country house built around 1760 . Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte stayed here on October 31, 1813 on his retreat after the Battle of Leipzig . At the Bethmannweiher is the monument to Simon Moritz von Bethmann , which the city had erected on his 100th birthday in 1868 to honor the important banker, diplomat and philanthropist. The monument, a work by Eduard Schmidt von der Launitz , is a bronze bust on a granite base in which bronze reliefs with allegorical representations of the Francofurtia are embedded.

Not far from the pond on Seilerstraße is the building still known today as the “Odeon”, one of the few remaining classical buildings in Frankfurt. Bethmann had it built as the Ariadneum in 1812 to display his collection of antiquities. It was the first publicly accessible museum in Frankfurt. The name is derived from Ariadne auf dem Panther , a major work by Johann Heinrich Dannecker . The marble sculpture was one of the most popular works of art of the 19th century, drew an international audience and has been reproduced countless times. It moved to another building in Bethmannpark in 1856, was badly damaged in World War II, partially restored at the end of the 1970s and is now in the Liebieghaus . The Ariadneum has been used as a café under the name Odeon since the end of the 19th century and has been home to the le Panther music club since 2016 .

Rechneigrabenweiher in the Obermainanlage

The Julius-Leber-Schule on Seilerstraße is a vocational school with a technical college . The building, erected in 1956, is a typical example of post-war modern architecture and is a listed building. In the 19th century, the garden of the house in which Karl Konstanz Viktor Fellner lived was located here . A bronze plaque by Georg Mahr commemorates the last mayor of the Free City of Frankfurt , who committed suicide here on the morning of July 24, 1866, his 59th birthday, because he had lost urban freedom and the tough measures imposed by the Prussian occupation army could not stand.

The monument to Sebastian Rinz commemorates the city gardener and creator of the ramparts. Heinrich Petrys' work was created in 1892 and was initially located in the Gallus complex. When the theater was built, it was moved to its current location. The bronze memorial had already been transported to Hamburg to be melted down during World War II, but was saved from destruction and was re-erected in the Friedberg complex on November 30, 1949.

The clock tower, built in 1894, is located on the border between the districts of Nordend and Ostend . It was designed by the Frankfurt artist Alexander Linnemann . At this lively square, the Sandweg , Pfingstweidstraße and Zeil branch off from Friedberger Anlage. To the south of the clock tower, in Friedberg Annex 5/6, a memorial commemorates the former synagogue of the Orthodox Israelite religious community . The Art Nouveau building erected in 1907 was the largest synagogue in Frankfurt and one of the largest in Europe. It was deliberately destroyed by fire during the November pogroms on November 10, 1938, and its ruins were then removed by order of the city authorities. In its place, an air raid shelter was built in 1943 , which still exists today.


Coordinate 50 ° 6 ′ 41.1 ″  N , 8 ° 41 ′ 41 ″  E

The Obermainanlage, named analogously to the Untermainanlage, closes off the ramparts in a southeastern direction. It begins at the All Saints Gate , which got its name from a nearby All Saints Chapel, founded in 1366 . The densely built-up surrounding districts of the Ostend and the eastern inner city were badly destroyed in the Second World War. Today's buildings mostly date from the 1950s and 1960s and are of little architectural importance.

A fortress was built south of the gate in 1631, the All Saints ' or Jews ' bulwark (after the nearby Judengasse ). Remnants of the walls of this bulwark are still preserved above the Rechneigrabenweiher that characterizes this part of the complex. The Rechneigraben was part of the former moat. On the shores of the lake, the Fischernachen , a memorial by Michael Siebel made of red Main sandstone , has been a reminder of the Frankfurt fishing guild founded in 945 since 2002 . It is modeled on the approximately five meters long and one meter wide, shallow Mainnachen , which fishermen used to lay out their gillnets and pots .

Near the pond is the grave of Jakob Guiollett, the founder of the ramparts, whose memorial is in the Taunusanlage. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's monument was created in 1882 on the occasion of Lessing's 100th anniversary of the death of Gustav Kaupert. Lessing's white marble bust rests on a red porphyry base . The work originally stood in front of the Old City Library and was moved to its current location in 1962 after it was destroyed during the war.

In the stairwell of the Old City Library, a memorial was erected in 1895 in memory of Arthur Schopenhauer , who died in 1860 in the nearby Schöne Aussicht 16 building . The memorial is a work by Friedrich Schierholz . Schopenhauer's bronze bust stands on a simple basalt base . The bust was supposed to be melted down during World War II, but was saved thanks to petitions from the Association of Old Town Friends and the Schopenhauer Society . Upon her return, the bust was stolen by metal thieves in 1951 . Weeks later, it reappeared damaged in the basement of a rubble property. After its restoration, the monument was placed in its current location.

The Holy Spirit Hospital is located in the southern section of the Obermainanlage . The oldest hospital in Frankfurt, first mentioned in 1267, has been at its current location in Lange Straße since 1835, as the only hospital in the city center. The most striking building is the sister tower.

The Old City Library at the Ignatz-Bubis Bridge forms the end of the Obermainanlage . Since its reconstruction in October 2005, it has housed the Literaturhaus Frankfurt .


  • Wolf-Christian Setzepfandt : Architecture Guide Frankfurt am Main / Architectural Guide . 3. Edition. Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-496-01236-6 , p. 7 (German, English).
  • Benno Reifenberg: The plant ring. In: The uniqueness of Frankfurt. Waldemar Kramer, Frankfurt am Main 1979. ISBN 3-7829-0220-3
  • Björn Wissenbach: Walls to gardens: 200 years of Frankfurt ramparts. Societätsverlag, Frankfurt am Main 2010. ISBN 3-7973-1240-7

Web links

Commons : Frankfurter Wallanlagen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Street renaming after the war in Frankfurt ( Memento from December 31, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  2. The removal of the memorial to the victims
  3. ↑ Donation of material for the Bismarck monument
  4. The removal of the Heine monument
  5. ^ Heine memorial
  6. Beethoven's genius
  7. The Marshall Fountain ( Memento from January 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Municipal report B143 of March 18, 2013 (PDF; 223 kB)
  9. ^ The forgotten Ludwig Börne monument
  10. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the Friedberger Anlage synagogue
  11. ^ Website on the history of the synagogue