Elegant by design
After securing their political dominance in the Napoleonic wars, Frankfurt’s merchants began to build summer retreats on Westend’s leafy boulevards. The large, neoclassical villas marked the new elite’s desire for peace and refinement. A fashionable social scene emerged, with the Palmengarten, the tropical botanical garden founded in 1868, at its elegant heart
When Germany’s last emperor, Wilhelm II, opened the Frankfurt Festhalle in 1909, its 40-metre high dome was the largest in the world. Friedrich von Thiersch designed the neo-baroque exhibition hall for the Frankfurt fair. Today, it is a venue for conferences and performances, including the touring Night of the Proms.
Walks through the old Rothschild estate
In 1760s Frankfurt, Mayer Amschel Rothschild founded the banking dynasty that would make his family owners of the largest fortune in modern history. In the 19th century, the family purchased a large tracts of land, which became the Grüneburgpark and Rothschildpark one can enjoy today.
The family palace was bombed during the second world war, but Rothschildpark’s neo-gothic tower has survived from 1832.
Germany’s largest dinosaur collection
Unconventional neighbours are one of the advantages of Westend. The Naturmuseum Senckenberg houses a triceratops, stegosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex, as well as Lucy — the world’s oldest and most complete Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, an early human ancestor that walked upright. She is thought to be 3.2m years old.
The restaurant at the Grandhotel Hessischer Hof is filled with an exclusive porcelain exhibition. This gift from a Russian tsar gives the room its name. The menu rivals the exquisite setting, exemplified by dishes such as foie gras with mustard and pear confit, prepared by head chef Roland Füssel.
Photograph: Alamy; Dreamstime