It’s often the quiet tones that make the music. On first glance, Frankfurt is not a city for quiet tones, but one of many contrasts. 15th century buildings are reflected in high tech glass façades of skyscrapers, luxury shopping miles and gourmet restaurants are being contrasted by simple shops and snack stands.
But in our hectic everyday life, it‘s often not the loud and the colourful things that we seek out. The ultimate luxury goods of our days are time and free space for our personal growth. If you have the first and are looking for the second, if you’d like to explore the city beside the well-trodden paths, you should definitely pay Frankfurt Nordend a visit. Which doesn’t mean that you’ll find a sleepy suburb, far from it! Here, you’ll find tasteful cafés, relaxed shopping and magnificent Wilhelminian style mansions. It is a district on the upswing.
Long before any thought of Frankfurt even existed, the area of today’s Nordend was already occupied: as far back as in the antiquity, a roman estate flourished here, but the greedy ravages of time have long since gnawed their way through the ancient ruins and haven’t left much to look at. Not so with the medieval mansions that took the Villa’s place: part of these hide not only in street names such as Bertramstraße and Stalburgstraße (named after the respective mansions), but also behind all the modern glass and Wilhelminian sandstone. Like the charming little moated castle belonging to the former Holzhausen Mansion or the tower of Kühhorn Mansion, which – after extensive restauration – now accommodates a fireside lounge, among other things.
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The name "Nordend" for the two city districts, Nordend-East and Nordend-West, as well as the districts flowering period date back to the Wilhelminian era. It is because of this that you’ll find the most beautiful tree-lined avenues framed by historical mansions: neo-baroque meets neo-classicism and art nouveau. But it is also a very lively place with an excellent infrastructure, so many of the elegant buildings are inhabited by cafés, restaurants or shops. In contrast to the famous Goethestraße, it’s little jewels like dreamy antique shops, owner-run boutiques and jewellers and cosy wine stores. And with its arts and music academy, Nordend is culturally up to date.
Still, if you seek out serenity, you’ll find it in the many parks, like the chinese garden with its enchanting pagoda, or on the cemeteries. Those who visit cities like Milan or Vienna should not leave without a melancholy view of the famous cemeteries there, and Frankfurt’s are also worth a visit – especially the old Jewish graveyard. With its countless magnificent monuments, it is a part of Frankfurt’s important Jewish cultural heritage.
After returning from your "memento mori" expedition full of the sought-after inner peace, you will likely venture to other parts of the city. To the opera, for example, or one of the many gourmet restaurants along and around the Main river, where you will arrive shortly, thanks to Nordends centrality. And while you sit there and watch the stage or the river, you’ll feel like you brought something with you from your trip: maybe a bit of nostalgia, maybe some inner peace – definitely some lasting impressions.