Höchst Old Town
Höchst became world famous as the location of the industrial site of the former Hoechst AG company. Much less well known is that the district in the western section of Frankfurt has an interesting historical Old Town with a closed timber-framed development. Ideally placed on the bank of the Main, Höchst is a worthwhile destination for an excursion, with medieval streets to walk through and places of interest to look at. Since 1972, the Old Town of Frankfurt’s oldest district has been an officially preserved site of historic interest, and offers picturesque buildings such as the Bolongaro Palace (Bolongaro-Palast), the City Fortifications, the Main gate, the Customs Tower and the Old Town Hall.
A special attraction on the banks of Main is Höchst Castle, the former residence of the archbishop of Mainz, which was built in several stages between the 13th and the 16th centuries. Today, visitors can see exhibitions on the company history of Farbwerke Hoechst, the Höchst porcelain manufacturing centre and the history of the town. Outside the picturesque castle square invites visitors to linger with its pleasant guesthouses and a view of the Customs Tower. Through the Main Gate you reach the riverbank, where visitors can use Frankfurt’s only ferry to travel to the Schwanheimer Riverbank and discover the Schwanheimer Dune (Schwanheimer Düne) nature reserve. Not far from the castle is the oldest church in the Frankfurt area – St. Justin’s Church. The basilica, which was consecrated in 850, has a Gothic choir and is a famous venue for classical concerts.
In the eastern part of the Old Town lies the glorious Bolongaro Palace, which was built between 1772 and 1774 by the Bolangaro brothers, two Italian snuff manufacturers. In addition to the baroque structure there is also a romantic park, where local residents and visitors can relax near pavilions, sculptures and the Neptune Fountain. While doing so, they can enjoy a beautiful view of where the Nidda flows into the Main. Today, the town government with the Höchst Administrative and Registrar’s Office is housed in the Bolongaro Palace, along with a porcelain exhibition.
After Meissen, Höchst has the second-oldest porcelain manufacturing in Germany, and today porcelain continues to be made there according to the old tradition. At the Höchst Porcelain Manufacturing Centre (Höchster Porzellan-Manufaktur) visitors can see how the “white gold from Hesse” comes into being. The full splendour of the art of porcelain can be admired in the Kronberger House, where approximately 1,000 Höchst faiences and porcelains from the Rococo period to the Classical period are displayed.
In June and July, the entire Old Town becomes a showplace for the annual castle festival. For 4 weeks, visitors are entertained with numerous events, such as a garden party at the Bolangaro Palace, jazz concerts, the Höchst Summer Organ festival and the Old Town Festival around the castle and St. Justin’s Church.