Frankfurt am Main 1936 to 1946

Geography                                    Close Window

City and Suburb

People lived in a town by and large simply laid out, along the meanderings of the Main River. Although a bit arbitrary, the town's residential sections could be parsed into the central city area including the so-called medieval town, residential areas contiguous to the central area, and also "suburban" areas now largely incorporated into contemporary Frankfurt. 

Central Area

The central area, the medieval town, was girdled by open spaces and public buildings. Living  in any medieval town was cramped, with a very high population density living in narrow streets with half-timbered buildings usually with several floors, typically four floors, and with no open spaces behind them. The cathedral - the Dom - is in that part of town that contained not only the bulk of the city's retail stores and businesses but also its administrative housing, including the courts.  

Several Parts

The surrounding residential areas contained in the main four-story tenements with a high population density and could be divided into several parts: 

* Part of the medieval town immediately north of and in effect bordering the Main;

* Sachsenhausen, now a tourist area bordering on the kitschy, on the south side of the Main; and,

* Residences in the northeast, southwest, and western parts of the city. The latter typically had wide streets and boulevards with tenements, large two- to four-story houses, often with gardens front and back. I lived in the western part, the so-called West end, first with my parents and sister and then with my mother. To finish up, the city proper was surrounded by suburbs, where predictably the housing densities were much lower than in the city, and the houses mainly single family interrupted by blocks of two to three story apartments.

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