For more than 6 centuries, Frankfurt’s destiny has been directed from the patrician houses on the Römerberg. Like most of her predecessors, the municipal leader lives above the Schwanenhalle, with a view of St. Paul’s Church. The Römer is where the city councillors meet. Many offices reside here, and the civil registry office guarantees a wonderful ambience for weddings. In 1405, the city council purchased the buildings at the Römer from the merchant Kunz for “800 guldens of good Frankfurt currency in cash”. Over the years, nine buildings and several inner courtyards have been added to form the present-day Römer complex.
From the beginning the Römer had an importance that went beyond the city. 52 pictures of the emperor in a splendid imperial hall bear witness to the election and coronation of German rulers, and can also be viewed by the public. The National Assembly was to meet here in 1848, but it was moved to St. Paul’s Church because of space considerations. Until 1846, the Römer halls in the middle building served as halls for markets and fairs. Frankfurt’s town hall suffered serious damage in the Second World War. Its reconstruction began in 1945, and it was reopened by Theodor Heuss in 1955. It was not until 1975 that the city restored the Römer’s famous 3-gabled façade to its condition in 1897. In 2004, it was renovated, and a few statues and the “Frankofurtia” were given a new gold coating. The most famous landmark, however, is undoubtedly the Römer balcony, from which many famous people have waved to a cheering crowd.