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Frankfurt's Towers

Many visitors to Frankfurt miss out on one of the city's great points of interest, never having taken the time to look up. You'll find several interesting skyscrapers lying along the Neue Mainzerstrasse, known jokingly as "Bankenklamm" (bank gorge), or "Little Wall St." Except for the Europaturm, you'll find the others in the grid stretching to the train station district and fairgrounds.

Europaturm -- At 337.5m (1107 ft.), a tad taller than the Eiffel Tower, this needle-shaped structure north of the city center has been Frankfurt's highest structure since its construction in 1979. Used today as a communications tower, it is not open to the public.

Commerzbank Tower -- The tallest office building in the European Union rises to a height of 258.7m (848.5 ft.), just shy of San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid. Famed British architect Norman Foster, creator of London's bullet-shaped 30 St. Mary Axe known as "The Gherkin," designed the tower, erected by 1997, with a distinct triangular floor plan and 19th-floor park, which is unfortunately not open to the public.

Messeturm (Trade Fair Tower) -- Some say this 256.5m (841.3-ft.) tower finished in 1991 is the displaced twin of the Bank of America Plaza in Atlanta. Its designer, German-American Helmut Jahn, is also known for Berlin's futuristic Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz.

Kronenhochhaus -- Also known as the Westend Tower, this distinctive 208m (682.2-ft.) tower gets its name from its bill-shaped crown. It also features a giant sculpture at its entry called "Inverted Collar and Tie," by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, which reminds us bankers can also have a sense of humor.

Main Tower -- If your neck aches from looking up all the time, let the elevator here whisk you imperceptibly to the 54th floor. At a height of 200m (656 ft.) the splendid views extend across the city and its skyscrapers to the distant Feldberg (826m, 2709 ft.) mountain visible to the northwest.

Trianon -- Like the Commerzbank Tower, this 186m (610.1 ft.) tower features a triangular floor plan in addition to a glass facade that makes it look like a prism on end.

Silver Tower -- At 166.7m (546.8 ft.), the seat of Dresdner Bank is notable for its aluminum exterior, giving it a silver sheen, and the only rounded corners on a Frankfurt skyscraper.

Deutsche Bank Towers -- These twin towers have taken on the nickname "Soll & Haben," meaning Debits and Credits, which apparently sounds funny to Frankfurt's bankers. Although built between 1979 and 1984, these 158m (518 ft.) towers were rebuilt from within as "Green Towers," which now use half the electricity.

Skyper -- Based on the common, though unofficial, convention of defining a skyscraper as a building 150m (492 ft.) tall or more, this 154m (505.1-ft.) favorite of many is Frankfurt's shortest skyscraper. Its quarter-circle floor plan blends in with the neighboring Silver Tower. A great selection of shops and restaurants fills the ground floor.

Gallileo -- The name of this 136.8m (448.7-ft) building had little to do with the Italian astronomer Galileo, but rather with its proximity to the former Gallus Gate (hence the extra 'l'). Built between 1999 and 2003, its 4,000 windows provide natural heating, not to mention a transparent view of what's going down inside. Its original plans called for it to be taller, but were reduced to these 37 stories after September 11, 2001.

Kastor und Pollox -- These Gemini twins may look more like an odd couple, but the squatter Castor, 91.4m (299.8 ft.), and taller Pollox 126.9m (416.2 ft.) with the Messeturm form the portrait of the fairgrounds.

Japan Center -- Although far from the tallest, you may find this unsung hero of the bunch is the most charming, if a skyscraper can be such. Completed in 1996 and rising to 115m (377.2 ft.), the humble Japan Center features a hanging roof and a red granite, square-paneled facade, of which the measurements are based on a Japanese tatami mat measuring roughly 180cm by 90cm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.