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 The original name Schillerplatz was superseded in the early 1900s.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 the headquarters of the city's Stadtwehr militia and 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 remains to this 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 Saint 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.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Frankfurt. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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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 history of Jews in Frankfurt dates back almost 900 years, which is more than in any other German city. Attesting to this fact alone is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Europe, the Old Jewish Cemetery of Frankfurt, first recorded in the 12th century.

At some point, the city was even referred to as "Jerusalem of the West", highlighting its importance as a center of Jewish life...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

The German city of Frankfurt, also known as Frankfurt am Main, has a long and complex history, spanning more than a thousand years. The Romans established a military camp called "Nida" in the area that is now Frankfurt, on the northern bank of the River Main, in the 1st century AD.

The town itself was founded by the Franks, a Germanic tribe, in the 9th century. Its name comes from...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Shopping Streets

Shopping Streets

Frankfurt may well be an international business center in the first place, but not everything, by far, revolves here around finance. The city can also provide a top shopping experience for those seeking to invest in international and best German designer merchandise.

"Frankfurt is a shopping paradise - if you're a bird!" they say. This is a humorous way of saying that Frankfurt...  view more

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

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Today Frankfurt is a predominantly secular city, but it still has a significant Christian presence.

The history of Christianity in Frankfurt dates back to the Middle Ages when, as a free city-state, it became an essential segment of the Holy Roman Empire. As the city grew, so did its Christian community. Several important churches appeared during that period, including the Old Nicholas Church...  view more

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

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