Visit Frankfurt, Germany, By Mouse
Frankfurt am Main
(on the Main River), Germany (official web site
) is 121 miles southeast of Cologne
and 26 miles northeast of Mainz,
which we wanted to visit
next. Mainz is close enough to visit by train on a day trip from Frankfurt, which is what we did.
is now a large, modern city of financial center with a population of over 2 1/4 million. Much of the city--and all of its center--
was destroyed in bombing raids during WW II and its rebuilding gave only token attention to its former medieval architecture.
There are some buildings in the new center that resemble what that area looked like pre-war. These include the city hall.
Most of the rest of the business area looks like many other modern cities. A photo of the city hall and view of the city one
sees from the entrance to the Art Institute are on the right.
If you have surfed on other cities on this web site you have already realized that we especially like European food markets. These
include super markets like Auchan and Carrefour, which typically are in so-called commercial centers on city outskirts. Inside the
city centers you encounter open-air markets on market days, and enclosed food markets in which many different kinds of food venders
display their wares in various spaces around the building. Frankfurt has one of the best covered markets we have encountered, on a
par with the city market in Florence, Italy. We include a page of photos of this market here, and you can see the one in Florence
on this link
In Frankfort, there were more stalls featuring smoked and processed meats than fresh meats. Both looked first class.
The produce is artfully and appetizingly displayed. One of the items that stood out because of its bright orange color was a
mushroom called pfefferlinge (chanterelle in France).(see photo)
Frankfurt has a number of museums, many on the north bank of the Main River. We visited one of these, the Stadel Art Institute
has a very fine and large collection of European art. We include photos of some of those paintings on our photo page. It was the first
art museum we visited in Germany, and because it was, we discovered something about ourselves that we had not known before. It was
in this museum that a nagging question kept popping up in both our minds. We kept asking ourselves how they had acquired the paintings.
It is well known that during WW II Nazis looted art collections owned by Jews and other public and private collections. (See our 2005
letter from Ghent
in which we report what was said to us about the looting and restoring of the Van Eyck masterpiece, "The Adoration
of the Mystic Lamb".) It is suspected that some of these are still in museums that may have bought them in good faith but from people
who were not the rightful owners. This comment should not be construed as criticism of the Stadel, which is really no different in
this respect from museums in other countries. It is a comment about what we learned about ourselves. Although both the British and
French also stole art from other countries and display it in the British Museum and the Louvre, the question of proper ownership never
arose in our minds when we had visited them. But it should have, and will from now on.