The Römer marks the center of Frankfurt’s Old Town. For six centuries, it has been the local town hall, where the city council regularly meets, just as it did in 1405. Over the centuries, it has grown into a large council complex, taking up an entire block of old Frankfurt townhouses.
The Römer’s three-gabled facade is one of Frankfurt’s landmarks. The building in the center is called “Zum Römer." It is thought that the name comes from the fact that many Italian merchants used to reside in the house and so the name "Römer" is a reference to Frankfurt's past as a trading city.
Visit the Kaisersaal, or Emperor Hall, on the second floor of the Römer. The coronation banquets of many Holy Roman emperors took place in this room. The long, wood-paneled space now features portraits of 52 emperors painted over the centuries. Look for Franz II, who abdicated the throne in 1806 and thereby dissolved the Holy Roman Empire. There is a small fee to enter the Kaisersaal, and it is open daily.
Walk around the plaza in front of the Römer, called the Römerberg, for more glimpses of historical Frankfurt. The plaza itself was the site of trade fairs as early as the 12th century. These eventually developed into the Frankfurter Messe, which is now a huge international trade fair held elsewhere in the city.
Directly across the plaza from the Römer is the Ostzeile, or East Row, which is a line of six half-timbered houses built in a classic German style. These were originally built in the 15th and 16th centuries, but were reconstructed in the 1980s according to historical plans after they were destroyed by bombs during World War II.
If you are here in late November and December, visit the Christmas market before the holidays. Have samples of delicious local foods. Find unique gifts for friends back home.
The Römer is easily accessible from the main U-Bahn station and tram stop in the Altstadt. Parking is available for a fee in several underground garages nearby, including one on Domstrasse, only a short walk from the Römer.