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Frankfurt - Old City (Altstadt)


A great place to start the day in Frankfurt is at the Alte Nikolaikirche. The facade of "Old Nicholas Church" is dominated by sculptures of St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus). Once the court chapel, today it belongs to a Lutheran congregation. At nine a.m., noon, and 5 p.m. you'll hear the 40-bell Glockenspiel play German folk songs. Go inside to see the Schmerzensmann, medieval sculpture dating from 1370. In summer months, on Wednesday evenings, catch the English language musical vespers.

  The Römer (on Römerberg Square) consists of three houses built around 1300 and used in the 16th century as the city's Rathaus (town hall). In the center house you'll find the Kaisersaal with a collection of the portraits of 52 Holy Roman Emperors.
Struwwelpeter Museum – This is a free museum of memorabilia of the children's books, Struwwelpeter ("Slovenly Peter"). Written and illustrated in the 19th century by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman for his family, Struwwelpeter are the misadventures of various badly behaved children, including "Slovenly Peter," who lets his hair and fingernails grow and grow. Mark Twain did the first English translation of Struwwelpeter in 1848.
    Dom St. Bartholomäus History buffs (and those who love pomp) shouldn't miss Dom St. Bartholomäus. Dominated by a red-sandstone tower, in this chapel the Holy Roman Emperors were elected and crowned for 300 years.
The Historical Museum (Historisches Museum) – A great place to go to get the feel of the city. Check out the scale model of the Old Town, the apfelwein (apple wine) museum (which also serves as a cafe) and the Children's Museum.
Take a boat ride – Take a one hour cruise on the Main River, with super views of the bridges and skyline. Boats have open air decks, and snacks. You can pick up the boats at the Eiserner Steg (near the Dom and Historical Museum); there are family tickets.
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