Highlights 2017

The coming year promises to be another very exciting one in the metropolis on the River Main. Frankfurt’s museum embankment will as always be at the centre of the action, with locals and visitors coming together here and everywhere else to celebrate customs, culture and cuisine at the many excellent events taking place throughout 2017.

DomRömer Project - Reconstruction of Frankfurt’s Old Town
DomRömer Project - Reconstruction of Frankfurt’s Old Town - © HHVISION, DomRömer GmbH

Frankfurt is a city on the move, a place that is in a constant state of change. There’s been plenty going on in the old town centre in particular, the new DomRömer Quarter and the adjacent historical museum frankfurt being close to completion after comprehensive reconstruction and renovation. With these two large-scale projects almost finished, a famous part of Frankfurt’s cityscape will be taking on a new look. Over the past several years, the “new old town” between Emperors’ Cathedral and the Römerberg has been meticulously recreated according to the original plans. Once restored to its former glory, the quarter will feature historical townhouses, winding laneways and picturesque plazas reminiscent of a bygone era. The new Stadthaus (Municipal Centre) was recently completed and formally inaugurated in June 2016. The rest of the quarter is expected to be finished by Autumn 2017, at which time Frankfurt urbanites will once again take up residences and run businesses in the beating heart of the city. Here, the past and present of Frankfurt will meet in harmonious juxtaposition, with the former coronation route of ancient kings and emperors becoming accessible once again.

The new museum building and forecourt of the historical museum frankfurt is also being reconstructed according to the original blueprints, forming a unique architectonic ensemble that will soon be inviting visitors to learn more about the colourful history of Frankfurt. Scheduled to open in 2017, the museum complex will be entirely barrier-free. In May 2017, the frankfurt children’s museum will move back into the museum, from which time onwards it will be known as the Young Museum. Later in autumn, the historical museum’s two permanent exhibitions – “Old Frankfurt“ and “New Frankfurt” – will also open. The museum’s new show concept promises to offer visitors an entirely new museum experience, replete with guided tours and multimedia access.

Frankfurt is of course not only historically interesting, it is also one of Germany’s leading centres of culture, offering locals and visitors a diversified programme of events. The year’s cultural activities will commence with an impressive art show on display at Schirn Kunsthalle from 10th February to 05th June 2017. Entitled “Magritte. The Treachery of Images”, the exhibition will be drawing attention to the enigmatic artworks of the celebrated Belgian painter, René Magritte.

An exhibition named “Primary Structures. Minimal Art from the Collections of the Museum of Modern Art” (25th March – 13th August 2017) promises to be similarly interesting. On show at the MMK 2, the exhibition will be presenting works by American representatives of the movement of minimal art.

“Picnic” (27th May – 17th September 2017), on the other hand, is sure to bring back fond memories for visitors of the Museum of Applied Arts. Spanning diverse eras and cultural circles, this exhibition will be taking a closer look at the modern phenomenon of picnicking. What were picnics like in the baroque era? How does one picnic in the colder climes of the far north? And how do people picnic in Japan, the so-called Chrysanthemum Empire?  The answers are fascinating to say the least.

Nearby, the Städel Museum will be paying tribute to two of the most famous French modernist artists. Entitled “Bonnard-Matisse. Long Live Painting!” (13th September 2017 – 14th January 2018), the exhibition takes a closer look at the artworks of these two great Frenchmen, who were also great friends.

The Frankfurt Music Fair (05th to 08th April 2017), meanwhile, is all about beautiful sounds. Introducing a brand-new concept, the fair will be dividing into three specific segments. Fair visitors will have the chance to experience the world of music while testing instruments, enjoying live music performances and meeting stars and starlets of the world’s music industry.

Those who like things a bit more folksy will find the Wäldchestag, to their liking. This traditional forest festival annually attracts revellers of all ages to city’s municipal woods to celebrate what is commonly referred to as Frankfurt’s “national holiday”. Taking place from 03rd to 06th June 2017, the folk fair is well known for its many beer gardens, fairground attractions and live acts.

The Opera Square Festival is a culinary celebration par excellence. Featuring fine foods from across the globe and a colourful live music programme that features everything from jazz to pop, the festival will be taking place in the heart of downtown Frankfurt from 28th June to 07th July 2017. The evening-time atmosphere is particularly stunning, with the illuminated façade of the Old Opera House casting a beautiful light on the plaza.

Sports fans, meanwhile, are urged to mark the 09th of July 2017 in their calendar. On this day, the IRONMAN European Championships will once again be taking place in Frankfurt. The event, which requires its participants to complete 3.8 kilometres of swimming, 180 kilometres of cycling and the small matter of a full marathon, is known for its breathtaking backdrops and unique atmosphere. The setting at the finish line is particularly impressive, runners arriving at the historical Römerberg while being cheered on by thousands of enthusiast fans.

Culinary delights of a slightly different variety are on presentation at the Apple Wine Festival, to be held from 11th to 20th August 2017. Situated in the heart of the city centre, this celebration pays tribute to Frankfurt’s beverage of choice. Here, visitors have the chance to sample the popular cider-like beverage in all of its variations – in its traditional form, as a trendy mixed drink or a summer cocktail. A superb range of regional foods round off the festival’s culinary offer spectrum.

Another highlight of 2017 will be the Museum Embankment Festival, known to be one of Europe’s largest and most spectacular cultural celebrations. Traditionally held on the last August weekend (25th to 27th August 2017), the festival annually attracts up to two million visitors from near and far. Museums remain open late into the evening, while arts, crafts and other accessories are available at the countless sales stalls set up along the museum embankment. A diversified stage programme featuring music, dance, comedy, theatre and cabaret provides entertainment for young and old. And no one need go hungry, either, with culinary delights from around the world being on offer at every turn.

During the later part of summer, winemakers from the renowned Rheingau region set up shop along Frankfurt’s culinary mile, the Freßgass´, to present their latest vinicultural creations. Over 600 varieties of red, white and sparkling wine are available for tasting and purchase at the Rheingau Wine Market (30th August to 08th September 2017), ranging from noble vintages to light and fruity summer wines. Aside from the Rheingau’s world-famous Rieslings, connoisseurs will also find wines made of alternative grape varieties.

The year traditionally ends with the Frankfurt Christmas Market, one of the oldest and most beautiful in all of Germany. Taking place from 27th November to 22nd December, this time-honoured yuletide celebration annually transforms Frankfurt’s old town into a festive holiday destination with over 200 stalls selling handcraft, Christmas ornaments, food and beverages. The market is accompanied by a number of special events, including Advent concerts held regularly on the open-air stage at the Römerberg and the much-loved playing of the tower horns from the balcony of St Nicholas Church. It’s the perfect way to wind up a year of activity in Frankfurt!