Hauptwache (Main Guardroom Square), Frankfurt

Hauptwache (Main Guardroom Square), Frankfurt (must see)

Hauptwache is a central point of Frankfurt and one of the most famous plazas in the city. The original name Schillerplatz was superseded in the early 1900s. The Hauptwache ("Main Guardroom") building, which gave the square its current name, dates back to 1730, and was designed by German master builder Johann Samhammer. It features red sandstone Baroque-style exterior and a hipped Gothic style triangular roof with three chimneys.

The original purpose of the place was to house headquarters of the city's Stadtwehr militia and a prison, when Frankfurt was an independent city-state. The Hauptwache went down in history when it was stormed by student activists in a failed attempt at freeing political prisoners in 1833, called the Frankfurter Wachensturm. The building then served as a police station, and in 1904 became a cafe which it still remains to this very day. It marks one end of the Zeil and adds a great deal of old-world architectural charm to this busy part of Frankfurt.

On 7 April 1920, the square was the scene of yet another Hauptwache incident when French troops opened fire on students protesting against the French occupation of Frankfurt. Heavily burned in World War II bombing, the building was reopened in a provisional form with an altered roof in 1954. In 1967, amid the construction of the U-Bahn tunnel through the city, the Hauptwache edifice was dismantled, moved and then rebuilt over the new underground U-Bahn station.

Today, Hauptwache station is one of the most important crosspoints of the Frankfurt public transport system, served by eight S-Bahn and six U-Bahn lines. A key element of the plaza is a sunken terrace leading down to the station and an underground pedestrian area with shops, dubbed by the locals as "das Loch" (the Hole).

Visitors, commuters and shoppers can enjoy a light refreshing meal at the Hauptwache café with its quaint ambiance reminiscent of a momentous past. Apart from it, the surrounding buildings are mostly modern high-risers, except for the imposing St. Catherine's Church.

Tip:
If the weather permits, sit down and have a glass of beer, glühwein, or Frankfurter apple wine outside the Hauptwache.
If you're lucky, there will be an apple wine festival when you arrive; then you could mingle with the local professionals, wine-lovers and travelers alike.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Hauptwache (Main Guardroom Square) on Map

Sight Name: Hauptwache (Main Guardroom Square)
Sight Location: Frankfurt, Germany (See walking tours in Frankfurt)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Frankfurt, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Frankfurt

Create Your Own Walk in Frankfurt

Creating your own self-guided walk in Frankfurt is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Jewish History Walking Tour

Jewish History Walking Tour

The continuous history of Jews in Frankfurt stretches back almost 900 years, which is more than in any other German city. For centuries, Jewish merchants, bankers, politicians, philanthropists, artists and scientists have made their living in the city prior to and after the dreadful period of the Nazi persecution in the 1930s-40s. If you're keen to explore some of the chapters of...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Shopping Streets

Shopping Streets

While Frankfurt is known as a hard-nosed business metropolis, by far not everything here revolves around finance. The city on the Main also provides top shopping experience for those seeking to invest in international and best German designer things. If you come for a leisurely shopping spree or just wish to explore the most popular and sophisticated shopping places in Frankfurt out of pure...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Frankfurt is home to a wide range of religious sites and places of worship. Religious or not, everyone is likely to be impressed by the huge cathedrals, small chapels and humble cloisters this city offers. We invite you to take this self guided walking tour of Frankfurt's downtown and visit some of the most formidable churches in town.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Museum Embankment Walk

Museum Embankment Walk

Frankfurt is a city rich in art and history as well as museums for celebrating them. The embankment to the south of the Main River is called Museumsufer or Museum Embankment because of the high concentration of museums. Here you will find both permanent and temporary exhibitions, but regardless of where you visit, you will not regret the time spent inside a museum or two in Frankfurt.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

Sitting on the northern bank of the river Main, Frankfurt's Altstadt (Old Town) is the smallest district in the city, covering less than half a square kilometer, yet formally this was one of the largest half-timbered towns in Germany until the extensive destruction in WWII. Most of its original structures – like the Imperial Cathedral, Römer town hall, Römerberg square and others – date...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles

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