Click on the word "Images" above for a slideshow gallery of Frankfurt's skyline.
When the Europaturm was first completed in 1979, it was the tallest free-standing structure in the Federal Republic of Germany. Today, its height is trumped only by the Fernsehturm Berlin. The telecommunications tower has a rotating disc at its apex that once housed a restaurant and discothèque. However, the tower has been closed to the public since 1999.
Locally the Europaturm is known as the “Ginnemer Spasche” (translation: the Ginnheimer Asparagus) or simply as “Fernsehturm.”
Address: Ginnheimer Stadtweg 90
Commerzbank Tower (259m/849ft)
From 1997 to 2003, the Commerzbank Tower laid claim to the title “tallest building in Europe.” Today it remains the tallest habitable building in Frankfurt and Germany, 170th tallest in the world, and 6th tallest in Europe. The 56-story headquarters of the Commerzbank was built in 1997 in a design collaboration by Foster & Partners, Arup and Krebs & Kiefer, J. Roger Preston and P&A Petterson Ahrens, and Schad & Hölzel. It contains 121,000 square meters of office space.
The Commerzbank Tower is also known for being the world’s first “ecological skyscraper.” It uses a natural ventilation system to reduce energy consumption. The façade consists of two shells that allow air to freely circulate and is supplied entirely by “green” electricity. The building also contains three gardens and houses a pair of endangered peregrine falcons.
For information on touring the tower, visit the Commerzbank website.
Address: Große Gallusstraße 17–19
Standing at 63 stories and 257 meters, the Messeturm, or Trade Fair Tower, was built in 1991 and is located in the Westend-Süd district of the city. Until the completion of the Commerzbank Tower in 1997, it was the tallest building in Europe.
Designed by Helmut Jahn, the building, despite its name, does not host trade fair events, but houses offices. The construction of its foundation set a world record for the longest continuous concrete pour. It is one of the few buildings in Germany with its very own postal code.
Address: Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 49
Westendstraße 1 (208m/682ft)
The headquarters of the DZ Bank, known by its address, contains 53 stories and received the “Best Building of the Year” award from the American Chamber of Architects in 1995, two years after its construction was complete.
Address: Westendstraße 1
Main Tower (200m/656ft)
Named for the river it overlooks, the Main Tower is the only Frankfurter skyscraper with a public viewing observatory. It houses the offices of various companies.
For information on visiting the Main Tower, visit their website.
Address: Neue Mainzer Straße 52–58
Tower 185 (200m/656ft)
Tied with the Main Tower for 4th tallest building in Germany, Tower 185 also houses offices. The name was a result of the architects' initial plan to build a 185 meter building with 50 stories, but when the height was increased, the name was not changed.
Address: Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 35–37
The Trianon gets its name from the façade’s most prominent architectural feature: the upside-down pyramid suspended from the building's three spires. It was built in 1993 and houses offices.
Address: Mainzer Landstraße 16–24
Facing the Alte Oper, the Opernturm was one of the first European buildings to be certified with the Gold Standand for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design with 23 percent less energy consumption than the 2007 EnEV Energy Regulation stipulated. It was completed in 2009 and houses offices.
Address: Bockenheimer Landstraße 2–4
The Silberturm, or Silver Tower, has housed a number of well-known German institutions. It began as the headquarters of the Dresdner Bank, which merged with Commerzbank in 2009. It now houses the offices of the Deutsche Bahn. At the time of its completion in 1978 until 1990, it was the tallest building in Germany.
Address: Jürgen-Ponto-Platz 1
Westend Gate (159m/522ft)
Before the Silberturm was built, the Westend Gate was the country’s tallest building. (How quickly times change!) It is commonly referred to as the Marriott, as the hotel company of the same name is the building’s main tenant. In 2011 it was completely renovated as a “green building.”
Address: Hamburger Allee 2–4
Deutsche Bank Twin Towers (155m/508ft)
This twin skyscraper complex houses Germany’s largest bank: the Deutsche Bank. The buildings are sometimes nicknamed debit and credit (German: "Soll and Haben"). A sculpture by Max Bill known for being the largest man-shaped monolith in the world, stands at the building’s entrance.
The towers were built from 1979 to 1984 in order to house a Hyatt Hotel. When the company canceled its plans, the Deutsche Bank decided to take over the project for its headquarters. Renovation at the start of the century left the towers a shining standard for green buildings and CO2 emissions.
Address: Taunusanlage 12
Each year the city hosts a festival to celebrate the architectural majesty of its skyscrapers. The program includes concerts and entertainment of many shapes (human pyramids) and varieties (base jumping, tight roping for world records). The event climaxes on Saturday night with a display of lights and fireworks against the backdrop the Frankfurt skyline creates.
To find out when the festival will be held next, visit their website.
Looking for more information?
For a list of more of Frankfurt’s skyscrapers and notable buildings, visit the Wikipedia list of Frankfurt’s tallest buildings here.