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The huge metropolis of Frankfurt, sprawled out across the River Main, boasts a long history and an energetic city centre, full of vibrant, modern culture and a true international flavour.
Nicknamed 'Bankfurt', the city is home to most of the country's financial institutions including the stock exchange, reflecting its futuristic look with its many towering skyscrapers. This look was not entirely by choice; in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the heavily bomb-damaged city cemented its historic role as an economic powerhouse, rising from the ashes with its new skyscrapers to play a major role in Germany's recovery.
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Historically, Frankfurt has always held much political and financial clout, and its central location in Germany (and even Europe) suggests that it ought to have been the country's capital at some point in its history. In fact, in the 14th century it was established as the place where the Holy Roman Emperor was selected, giving it importance and influence outside of Germany.
Yet even without being a capital, its continued position of wealth and power has ensured that it is a fantastic destination to visit today. Along with its lively centre, fantastic museums, and fantastic shopping options, the city also retains some of its pre-war centre. Römerberg is the classic area that escaped most of the bombing, giving a wonderful 'other face' to this unique city.