Römer (City Hall) and Römerberg
The Römer ("Roman") has been the city hall of Frankfurt for more than 600 years. There are various explanations where the name "Römer" derives from. Many Frankfurters think that the house was named after its owners, the "Römer" family. However, that does not seem to be true. Neither does the name go back to ancient Rome, even though a close-by archaeological site could suggest. The most likely explanation, according to the City of Frankfurt, is that the name has something to do with Italian merchants who used to hold fares here in medieval years. For the people in these day, "Roman" was synonymical to Italian.
These oldest halls within the Römer, Römerhalle and Schwanenhalle, still look like they would have 600 years ago. The first Frankfurt book fairs took place in these halls, as did other fairs where merchants would sell their products. The massive structures of these rooms have survived the bombardmends of WWII basically undamaged.
The Römer is actually a building-complex, consisting of nine houses and six court yards. The famous landmark facade is the one facing the square Römerberg. It is here, where the famous Kaisersaal (Emperors' Hall) opens to the square with a large balcony on which -up until the world cup in 2006, when the celebration moved to Berlin - the German national football team used to be welcomed by German fans whenever they returned home from a World or Euro cup. Certainly, also the Frankfurt football club "Eintracht Frankfurt" already celebrated the one or other return to the 1. Bundesliga right here, with their fans converting the square into a sea of black and red covered by the smoke of bengal fires.
The Römer also houses the main registar's office, and generations of newly-weds have stepped down the little staircase, welcomed by the cheers, rice and flowers of their friends and families.
Since most of the "Römer" has an actual function and is "in daily use", only parts are open to visitors. The main tourist attraction is the mentioned Emperors' Hall. During the Holy Roman Empire, coronation banquets took place here (after they had been crowned at the Kaiserdom...), and a unique collection of portraits frames the walls of the room.
60311 Frankfurt am Main