Walking the old city walls

The medieval city walls no longer stand today. Instead there is a beautiful park, the Wallanlagen, that follows the path of the old walls and makes for an interesting and varied 5km walk. Look at any map of Frankfurt and it's easy to spot. It's the ring of green that surrounds the city centre and, at the southern edge, follows the river bank.

The ring of green is the former site of the medieval walls and today is a park.

The ring of green is the former site of the medieval walls and today is a park.

Constructed in 1343 the wall was up to eight metres high, three metres thick with a wide moat fed by the River Main. In the above map the blue line is the path of the wall, meanwhile the battlements are indicated by the yellow and black line. By the early 1800's the defensive walls were officially de-commissioned and the city planners approved the construction of a city park. The walls were dismantled between 1806-1812 and the area landscaped using designs by Sebastian Rinz.

There is plenty to see in the park. Small lakes provide for birds, children's play areas are plentiful along the eastern section of the Wallanlagen and there are some iconic sights such as the Euro sign and medieval Eschenheimer tower.

Euro Sign by the former ECB headquarters, at Willy-Brandt Platz (Gallusanlage)

Euro Sign by the former ECB headquarters, at Willy-Brandt Platz (Gallusanlage)

Cafe's and other highlights around the Wallanlagen

Starting from the eastern side, where Obermainanlage meets the river, and heading north the park has the air of an English garden. Along the way you'll notice a small lake and sculptures, plus a few children's play areas so the kids can enjoy the park too. As you reach the Zeil intersection there is the Haus Bar which opens in the evenings from 18:00. Very close by is Main Gold, a cafe and restaurant open from 10:00. As you carry on walking around the park there is another larger lake with weeping willows. If you cross over the road (Friedberger Anlage) at this point you enter Bethmannpark with it's beautiful Chinese garden. Heading back into the Wallanlagen, another key sight is the Italian sunken garden just before the Eschenheimer tower. Cross over the road into the next section of the Wallanlagen and at this point there is another cafe, "Good times for good people", which is great for lunch and coffees. Continue on to see the small garden house, the Nebbiensches Gartenhaus, which hosts regular exhibits by local artists. Walk past the lake and you are at Opernplatz. Carry on through to the Taunusanlage section of the park, and here you will find sculptures dedicated to Beethoven, Schiller, and Heinrich Heine, as well the Museum of Modern Art (MMK). After the MMK the large Euro sign is impossible to miss. Another 200 metres south and you are at the River Main and have completed a walk around the Wallanlagen.