Monday, May 14, 2007

Frankfurt Skyscraper Festival

Frankfurt is the only city in Germany with skyscrapers, and a skyline. Seen from a distance, it could be somewhere in North America. After the river Main that goes through the city, Frankfurt downtown is commonly called 'Mainhattan'.

If you are walking around in town, and do not happen to work in one of these bank towers, you can only look up to the buildings - there is only one of them, the Main Tower, which has a viewing terrace on the roof and is accessible for everyone.

This weekend, everything was different: It was the 'Wolkenkratzerfestival', the Skyscraper Festival, and you had a chance to visit and ascend most of towers. Well, you could have, if you had been lucky and obtained one of the 80.000 or so tickets that were distributed for free via a webpage two months ago. It seems that all tickets were gone within an hour or two.

For all those people who, like me, didn't have that luck, there was a big party organized in town, and the day ended with an impressive firework. That was again looking up to the towers - but great!

13 comments:

Bee said...

I believe you only like the skyline because didn't grow up staring at it. anyway, I am almost looking forward to see Frankfurt again. promise me we will get lost in the Westend jungle while desperately trying to find a sparking spot ;-)

Arun said...

May you get lucky next year and ascend the towers (and for the rest of us) with a camera and wide-angle lens!

Walt said...

Doesn't Berlin have skyscrapers? Or are the buildings not tall enough to count as skyscrapers?

paul valletta said...

Hi Stefan, great pictures, and if I may add a great looking skyline.

One has to be thankfull if you have access to such wonderful skylines, if a city grows to the extent that it obscure's the sky, and casts shadows to the extent of covering the people as they go around their everydays,then I would state that this is not a pleasant city.

Frankfurt appears to have just the right mix of sky and skyscrapers, best pv.

Bee said...

gna. I totally fail to see what is so great about these distortions of a pretty horizon line. Arun has a point though, I like to look DOWN from them. anyway. I can't recall Berlin has any large buildings except the TV tower. One more reason why I like Berlin. (Okay, okay, they have these three things, but that's about it.) I guess though it's easier to scrape skies in Frankfurt, as clouds like to hang deep over the city. It's pretty common that the tops of the buildings vanish in them.

Regarding the right mix, as far as I know Frankfurt has tight regulations on city planing that includes shadowing as well as air circulation (there is the recurring issue that buildings in the city shouldn't break the wind from the mountains that cleans the air. It's a regulation that extends to the suburbs that's how I know of it.) Best,

B.

Francis Caestecker said...

I like them skylines, but I think they give a feeling of smallness to the people. A big metropolis ruins the selfimage of a person I think, however I'd like to live in one, due to the dynamics and lifestyle.

This is the skyline of where I live currently: click

Quite the different skyline.

stefan said...

Yes, maybe I like the skyline because I've grown up in a small village on the countryside, with the next town a place with some 10.000 inhabitants :-)

Anyway, more than I like it, I am impressed by it - on clear days, you can see it from really far away, and that's impressive!


Hi arun,

... with a camera and wide-angle lens!

indeed, good equipment is essential! I was on the viewing platform of the Main tower just three weeks ago, when a good friend came by for a visit. It was a very bright evening, wonderful light, and I tired to make some photos, but with my small & cheap digital camera, the result was quite disappointing...

Best, stefan

stefan said...

Hi francis,


wow, you live in Bruges - that's great! Bruges is one of the most beautiful towns I've ever been to...

About the dangers of growing, looming skyscrapers on the people living in the city, you may know Brusel by Schuiten&Peeters ;-)

But in this respect, there is no real problem with Frankfurt: It has some impressively high buildings, but it is definitly not a big metropolis ;-) In fact, many quarters away from downtown, which is not so huge, have a small-town or even rural character.

Best, stefan.

Bee said...

Gee, I am not so sure. Frankfurt's problem is that there's no space to grow horizontally (say, unlike Toronto). It's completely surrounded by suburbs and smaller cities. The Rhein-Main area is the most crowded area in Germany (at least it was a couple of years ago), and Germany's pop density is pretty high by itself. So they grow vertically. Whenever there's a chance to trash down a building they will build a higher one.

Btw, speaking of Toronto: look at this. When I was first in Toronto I arrived by plane at night and couldn't see the lake (actually, I didn't even know there is one). I woke up, looked out of the window and had a very confused moment when I thought it's actually Frankfurt. I mean, they have this funny tower to the left, a skyscraper that tops in a pyramid, and to the right there's one with this round top. The city center is about the same size as F. Took me some seconds to realize there is no river going through the city.

Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hey Francis,

welcome to the blogosphere...

Best,

B.

Francis Caestecker said...

Thanks for the welcome! Yes, Bruges is indeed a very nice city, I enjoy to ride through it every day. I'll see if I can get my hands on Brusel, in my local library.

Rae Ann said...

In my small city there are only two skyscrapers, and neither are really that tall. The tallest is maybe 26 stories, but I'm not sure. Even in the faster growth areas (not the urban area which is struggling for "revitalization") there aren't any highrises being built.

Cynthia said...

I'm rather fond of the pictureque skyline of Seattle... Gotta say, there's nothing quite like seeing a city skyline with the alien-looking Space Needle in the foreground and the glistening snowcaps of Mount Rainier looming in the distance--all in a single snapshot...