Just a short ways downstream from the Städel is the Liebieghaus, a small but exquisite museum of sculpture not only from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman times, but also from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The newest piece is I believe from the beginning of the 19th century, unless I have overlooked something newer.
The items on display are mostly rather small, so you can expect to be impressed and intrigued rather than overwhelmed.
As of 2013, the museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00, Thursdays from 10:00 to 21:00. Closed on Mondays. The price of admission is now 7 Euros, or 5 Euros for those who are entitled to a reduction.
Second photo: The Gelehrter, a medieval sculpture from Nürnberg.
Third photo: There is a pleasant little café on the ground floor, with shady outdoor seating in the summer. In August 2006 we went there in the afternoon for part of a VT-meeting. From left to right: Holger (HORSCHECK), Christine (tini58de), Bernd (Bernd_L) and Andrea (Jadefrau).
Fourth photo: Upstairs in the Liebieghaus you can see this bust of Susette Gontard (1769-1802) by Landolin Ohmacht (1760-1834). Susette Gontard was the wife of a wealthy Frankfurt merchant named Jakob Friedrich Gontard, but she is famous because of her love affair with the poet Friedrich Hölderlin -- as I have described in some detail on my Bad Homburg page.
The majority of Frankfurt's museums are lined up along the Schaumainkai at the southern riverbank, which has since the 1980s been dubbed the Museumsufer.
Städelsches Kunstinstitut, opened in 1878
Liebieg Sculpture Museum opened in 1909.
Museum für Kommunikation opened In 1958
Museum für Angewandte Kunst opened in 1965
Museum der Weltkulturen opened in 1973
Filmmuseum and Architecture Museum opened in 1984
Ikonenmuseum opened in 1990
Museum Giersch opened in 2000 in the Holzmann.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born in this house in 1749 and spent his formative years here until the age of 26, when he moved to Weimar.
Once you pass through a Rococo garden hall bearing busts of his parents, note the massive water pump in the kitchen on the ground floor, a true luxury at the time. His parents' initials (JCG and CEG) have been wrought into the iron banister leading to the second floor. There, the music room presents a touching portrait of the Goethe children, including the others who didn't live long. A unique astronomical clock from 1746 stands on the next floor. On the top floor, you'll find the poet's puppet theater, as well as his private room, an inspiring place to work on the first version of Faust. The complementary Frankfurter-Goethe Museum on the ground floor features a collection of portraits of the writer at various ages, as well as period works like Caspar David Friedrich's
Admission: 7,00 EUR
Monday through Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday and on public holidays: 10am – 5.30pm
The great German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe, or von Goethe as he was known in his later years after being elevated to the aristocracy, was born here in Frankfurt am Main on August 28, 1749. The house where he was born and grew up has been reconstructed (after having been destroyed by bombs in the Second World War) and a small museum and lecture hall have been added.
Opening hours of the Goethe House and Museum are Monday-Friday 10 am – 5.30 pm; Sunday and public holidays 10 am – 5.30 pm; Saturday 10 am - 6 pm; last Saturday in the month 10 am - 8 pm. Admission is EUR 5.00 for adults, EUR 2.50 for students.
For those who don't speak German, I suppose I should point out that the name "Goethe" is pronounced with two syllables, sort of like a cross between "Ger-te" and "Gur-ta" but without really pronouncing the R. The main thing is to give it two syllables and put the stress on the first, otherwise people won't have a clue who you are talking about.
1. Goethe House and Museum
2. Signs near the Goethe House showing the beginnings of the Hölderlin Path (22 km) and the Goethe Trail (11 km). I have described the Hölderlin Path in some detail on my Bad Homburg page.
Frankfurt has some two dozen museums, most of which are located on or near the Main River on the Museumsufer or Museum River Bank. An elegant suspension bridge, the Holbeinsteg, leads directly to the outstanding Städel art museum. This bridge is for pedestrians and cyclists only.
If you want to go to several museums you can get Museumsufer Ticket, which costs EUR 12.00 and gets you into all Frankfurt museums on two consecutive days, or a Museumsufer Card, which is what I have. This costs EUR 65.00 for all Frankfurt museums for the entire year.
Second photo: The Städel from the Holbeinsteg during the Museum River Bank Festival 2005.
Third photo: The German Museum of Architecture, Schaumainkai 43, Tel. (069) 212-38844, http://www.dam-online.de.
Fourth photo: The German Film Museum, Schaumainkai 41, Tel. (069) 212-38830, http://www.deutsches-filmmuseum.de.
Fifth photo: The Museum of Applied Art (Museum für Angewandte Kunst), Schaumainkai 17, Tel. (069) 212-34037. I took this photo from across the river during the Museum River Bank Festival 2005.
From 1922 to 1938 there was a museum in Frankfurt called the Museum of Jewish Antiquity. It was destroyed by the Nazis during their infamous nationwide pogrom night in November 1938.
Exactly fifty years later, on November 9, 1988, this new Jewish museum was opened in the Rothschild Palace on the right bank of the Main River.
There are permanent exhibits on "Jews in Frankfurt from 1100 to 1800", "Jewish Life and Jewish Festivals", "Jews in Frankfurt from 1800 to 1950" and "Mayer Amschel Rothschild and his sons" -- about the Jewish banking family whose Frankfurt branch lived in this very house in the 19th century.
On the ground floor there are also temporary exhibits, for instance on the work of the Jewish painter Felix Nussbaum (1904-1944) or on the deportation of the Jews from Frankfurt by the Nazis between 1941 and 1945.
The first photo shows visitors in the exhibit on the development of Jewish rights in Frankfurt during the nineteenth century.
Second photo: A visitor in the exhibit on Jewish life and festivals.
Third photo: A painting in the Jewish Museum
Fourth photo: View from the back window of the Jewish Museum. For information on these skyscrapers, see the Frankfurt Skyline Countdown on my Land Hessen page.
Fifth photo: The Jewish Museum Stand at the Museum River Bank Festival in August 2005
The Jewish Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Wednesday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. It is closed on Mondays.
As of 2013, admission is six Euros for adults and three Euros for children, students and the disabled. This includes the audio guide and admission to the affiliated Museum Judengasse.
Jules Massenet (1842-1912) wrote an opera Werther, based on Goethe's best-selling novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, which is that one that made him famous across Europe when he was 25. (I have seen different productions of Massenet's Werther in Brussels, Darmstadt, Würzburg, Freiburg in Breisgau and Frankfurt am Main.)
Goethe's monumental dramatic poem Faust is much too long for an opera, but several composers have made operas out of parts of it:
--Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) used it as the basis of his opera Mefistofele, which has been performed recently (in the original Italian) both in Frankfurt and in Karlsruhe.
--Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) wrote an opera called Doktor Faust, which I recently saw in Stuttgart. Busoni based his opera on the medieval Faust legend, which was also Goethe's source.
--Charles Gounod (1818-1893) wrote a Faust opera which is was performed several years ago in Frankfurt (in the original French) with Andrew Richards as Faust and Mark S. Doss as Méphistophélès.
If you ever wanted to see the inside of a World War II bunker then this is the place to go. Nowadays it has been converted into a Science Center / Museum and event location. They show things like Holography, Optical Illusions, 3D-Anaglyphs, Anamorphosis, Stereoscopy, Mathematical Games, Stereoscopic Art, Puzzles, Lenticulars, MagicEye and tons of other stuff. You can take pictures and touch everything (except the staff ;-). In addition this musem is deep into qr codes - you can get a discount on the entrance fee by scanning the right qr code on the lotto or see the largest qr code in Europe (on the back of the museum). If you have a eBike oder electric car you can recharge there as well!
A great place to be for youngsters / small kids until grown ups. And they speak several languages there as well. If the owner is there he might can give a a view to the skyline from the terrace of his event space.
The Schirn Kunsthalle, or Schirn Art Gallery, is an interesting structure located right beside the Dom. Its cylindrical main hall is complemented by various wings, all of which serve to give the Gallery the appearance of being larger than it actually is. It was originally opened in 1986 and generally specializes in the exhibition of modern and contemporary art. When I visited the Gallery, they had an exhibition of Mohács-Nagy works and a few of modern photographers. In all honesty, the Gallery’s fee is rather high for the quality of the exhibitions and for their display; either too much or too little explanation is given, and there is little context provided for the lesser-known artists they exhibit.
The Historische Museum, or Museum of History, is a long-standing cultural institution in the city of Frankfurt. It was originally opened in 1872 and was moved to its current location, with an entrance on the Römerberg, in 1955. An addition was opened in 1972, and the Museum now hold a collection documenting the history of the city of Frankfurt from the Middle Ages to the present. I was pressed for time and didn’t have the opportunity to visit this particular museum, although it is supposed to provide a fairly good view into the history of the city.
the german museum of architecture opened in 1984 and the building was designed by oswald ungers. it is the only architecture museum in europe. the museum has on display over 500 models of man's building history from a primeval hut to today's skyscrapers. the museum has a collection of over 160,000 architectural plans. for those interested in architecture this is a must see spot.
frankfurt's museum of sculpture is located in the 1896 villa of baron von liebieg. the liebieghaus has an excellent collection of egyptian, greek, and roman antiquities. there are also rooms devoted to medieval, renaissance, and baroque sculpture. a very worth while museum to visit when in frankfurt.
For many centuries Frankfurt was the place where the German kings/emperors were elected, later - from 1562 on - also crowned. Before this date the electors and the new kings had to travel to Aachen and the crowning took place there.
The constitutional contract which put down the details of the election was written in the year
1356. It was called the "Goldene Bulle", nothing to do with a bull at all. The case in which the seal was kept was kept was called a "Bulle", and since this was a royal seal it was made of gold.
Because of the 650th anniversary this year four museums in Frankfurt have put together a special exhibition.
The city archives - Institut für Stadtgeschichte- shows the original Goldene Bulle. For me, it was something really special to see this very old book. I was surprised how thin it was. Somehow I'm absolutely sure if a contract of this importance would be put together today, we'd be talking about 1000 pages at least, with paragraphes and sub-paragraphes and sub-sub-paragraphes.
The Jewish Museum dedicates its exhibition to the special relationship between the Frankfurt Jews and the emperor. As Frankfurt was a Free Imperial City there was no hereditary nobilty ruling the city, but an elected council. The next higher authority was the emperor.
The Dommuseum shows the religious part of the election. It was in the cathedral where the electors met and voted for the new king/emperor.
The History Museum shows the logistic problems of the election. I will write about this in the next tip, since otherwise it will be too long.
Sorry no pictures, I would have loved to take some, but it's not allowed in any of the museums.
Update January 30,2007:
The special exhibition is over and the "Goldene Bulle" can no longer be seen. But the museums are showing their regular exhibiton items and they are all worth a visit.
Planning the election of the new emperor meant:
Seven, in later years nine prince-electors come to Frankfurt. And the candidate. And their wives. And their servants. And their horses and carriages.(Several thousand !)
And their soldiers.
They have to stay somewhere. They have to be fed. Special meals have to planned,enough provisions have to bought.
Who is taking taking care of the music?
Enough hay for the horses, it has to be stored somewhere.
The city has to be cleaned before the election. And during the election - imagine what a
couple of thousand horses can drop! How to get rid of these droppings?
Beggars? They are supposed to leave the city.
Prostitutes? Officially, they are also supposed to leave the city, but on the other hand the city authorities know that many visitors want them to be in the city.
The religious leaders protest. How to calm them and yet provide this special service?
How can the citizens celebrate? Can the barrels of wine be hooked up to the fountains?
Free wine? Or do the citizens pay??
These are some of the questions the exhibition in the History Museum tries to answer. It is an fascinating exhibition. Quite randomly put together, a bit chaotic, but this way you really get an idea of the many problems Frankfurt faced at election time.
I loved one particular item. There is a small ship on wheels. It was put on the table for the banquets after the election and filled for example with salt. When someone sitting at the end of table said "Could you pass the salt, please" the ship was pushed and rolled down.Very practical.
I've been in the History Museum before and always had the feeling I was barely tolerated there as a visitor, something like a necessary evil whose entrance fee they needed.
This time there is a new staff, very friendly, multilingual and actually interested in the visitors. They've left their ivory tower!
The same update here, January 2007: The special exhibition is over, but if you have time enough go and see some of the museums here in Frankfurt.
Do you remember the old telephones? Grey, you had to dial instead of push and there was a cord, which always got entangled and you spent ages trying to straighten it out again? And just when you succeeded, you realized that this had broken the connection.
In the Museum fuer Kommunikation they made good use of these old phones: They turned them into a very special flock of sheep.
You can see them on the ground floor, opposite of the café in the museum.
Apart from the sheep, the museum has an interesting display of old and new methods of communication. There are also special exhibitions, but as far as I know,explanations are given in German only.