Above & Beyond
Rheingau | Venue | Eberbach Monastery
In Sean Connery´s Footsteps
The old Cistercian abbey, Eberbach Monastery, is ensconced in the hills at the shore of the Rhine River, close to Wiesbaden. Built in the early 12th century, it is still in miraculously good shape. That surely contributed to its being chosen as a central location for the filming of The Name of the Rose (1986), starring none other than Sean Connery. In the summer, visitors can watch the film on the very site of the original film set. In addition, the decommissioned abbey has been hosting a slew of other extraordinary cultural events such as the renowned classical Rheingau Music Festival as well as arts and crafts shows. And of course, the abbey walls themselves are an attraction, especially for families. Eberbach is also known for its superb wines, being situated in the midst of one of Germany‘s best vinicultural regions.
FRM | Exhibitions | Science for the Senses
See, hear, smell, touch
With a region so packed with universities and research labs, it’s a good thing that some institutions are dedicated to popularising all the sciences. Frankfurt’s Senckenberg Museum, a famous natural history museum, invites you to foray into the past. Visitors can marvel at dinosaurs, gemstones and fossils, and sometimes even attend performances or dinners held right beneath a dinosaur. A bit farther north, at the Mathematikum in the university town of Giessen, we get to see how abstract mathematical equations can be transformed into something quite concrete, and how perplexing digits can actually make for fascinating experiences. Westwards, in Mainz, an annual Science Market takes place in mid-September, allowing people, and especially kids, to take part in hands-on experiments and other excursions. While in Mainz, don’t miss the Gutenberg Museum, dedicated to the inventor of the printing press, with this year’s exhibition ABC. Avantgarde – Bauhaus – Corporate Design.
F | Location | Palmengarten
World Flora and World Music
We all yearn to tune into nature and connect to our senses. An extraordinary and rare place for doing just that is Frankfurt’s Palmengarten, which is open year round. Started way back as a community initiative by Frankfurt citizens, the Palmengarten has been giving joy to people ever since with its lush, diverse and even tropical flora. Throughout the year, greenhouses and opulent gardens invite you to dive into another world. Aside from the many thematic gardens and botanical exhibitions, the Palmengarten is also known for its longstanding “Musik im Palmengarten” program. The program spans a wide range of music styles, from the world’s oldest open-air jazz series through to the Summer in the City festival and Kammeroper Frankfurt performances. Indeed, the tender and poetic ambiance of the Palmengarten ‒ rose and sunlight during summer and winter lights in winter ‒ make the garden a special place to enjoy music.
OF | Location | Hafen 2
Sheep and Screens
Open air cinema and concerts, hanging out by the water, child care ... plus grazing sheep? You never thought you’d ever find such a place in or near Frankfurt, did you? But Hafen 2 in the brownfields of Offenbach’s transformed harbour front offers exactly that: coffee shop, concert shed, green meadows, fine dune sand, benches and folding chairs. In the summer, families as well as plenty of offbeat types gather in this biotope to watch films, attend concerts or simply have good old casual chinwags while the kids play in the sand or gawk at the sheep. In the line-up: foreignlanguage films, singer-songwriters, World Cup and European Championship football ... No need for a brolly even, since events are moved inside the shed during off-season or when it rains.
F | Locations | The Trinkhallen
Cult and Cultural Heritage
It all began around 1900, when Frankfurt was experiencing a boom. Back then, water didn’t come from the tap but from Trinkhallen, which were kiosks and smaller buildings interspersed throughout the city. People from all generations and milieus would hence meet at these small flat stalls. Although a fixture for many decades, and becoming veritable corner stores with beer, snacks and newspapers, they were replaced by supermarkets and gas stations. Today they are seeing a revival, albeit their newer version is somewhat more upscale or hip. There’s Fein, a Trinkhalle-turned-café serving fine pastries located right by the former city wall; or Gudes, a fun pit stop in trendy Nordend on one of Frankfurts main thoroughfares. Nonetheless, many kiosks still exist as little shops or as tranquil places where a mostly older clientele gathers in the evening. In any setting, the old cultural heritage has become a cult. So whether original or revamped, kiosks are enjoying great popularity: there are kiosk days, Trinkhallen-hopping tours and even an online repertoire: line11.org - it is a good way to start a socio-cultural journey ...
F | Summer | Weseler Werft
Symphony and Street Theatre
Do you fancy gallivanting around, with a picnic blanket and a good bottle of wine? Or enjoying jugglers, street theatres and concerts under wide open skies? What Proms in the Park is for Brits and outdoor summer festivals are for the French, the Weseler Werft (a former shipyard) on the banks of the Main is for Frankfurters. For two weeks in July and August, the Sommerwerft with travelling artists from all over Europe transforms the riverbank into a second Avignon with theatre, dance, music, improvisation and poetry slams. A few days later, the Europa Open Air (with symphony orchestra) turns the shipyard and the opposite bank into a gigantic open air auditorium for one evening. Tens of thousands of visitors can experience the outdoor performances lounging on blankets while sipping on a glass of wine, which is kind of like having Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park at once. A magical night ...
F | Frankfurter Buchmesse
BOOKS AND MORE ALL OVER THE TOWN
Frankfurt’s Buchmesse is the world’s largest marketplace for publishers, writers and distributors. It’s also something like a huge bookshop that draws the public at large. And it spawns readings and parties galore in all parts of the city. Yet beyond being a Mecca for book lovers, the fair has become an international hotspot as well as a market for games, films and digital content. International publishers display their programme in separate halls. Art and new media are represented in The Arts+ section, where visitors can catch a glimpse of the B3 Biennial of the Moving Image. Finally, every year the fair zooms in on one guest-of-honour country – in 2019 it’s Norway. Museums and theatres usually chime in with theme-related shows, this year with the exhibition House of Norway and the Norsk Festival. Nordic authors also get to read in bookish places throughout the city. An air that will draw you right into this city!