Frankfurt, or Frankfurt am Main, Germany, a city in the state of Hesse. Frankfurt lies on the Main River, 180 miles (290 km) northwest of Munich. The city is one of Europe's largest banking and commercial centers. More than 350 banks are here, including the Federal Bank of Germany. Frankfurt is the site of two major international trade fairs: the Frankfurt Book Fair and the International Frankfurt Fair (consumer goods). Items manufactured in the city include chemicals, machinery, textiles, and electrical equipment. Frankfurt is a railway center and also has a busy river port and one of Europe's largest airports.
Many of Frankfurt's historical buildings were restored after World War II bombings that destroyed about half the city. These include St. Bartholomew's Cathedral (where the Holy Roman emperors were crowned after 1562) and the home of the German writer Goethe. The Museum Embankment, located along the Main, is the site of several museums, among which are the Städel Institute of Art and the Museum of Applied Arts. Frankfurt's skyline has several tall buildings, including the 982-foot (300-m) Commerzbank, the tallest building in Europe. The chief institution of higher learning is Goethe University; it was founded in 1914 as the University of Frankfurt and given its present name in 1932.
Frankfurt was settled by the Romans, and passed to the Franks about 500 A.D. (Its name means “ford of the Franks.”) Frankfurt trade fairs were popular by 1240. The Frankfurt parliament of 1848–49 tried to unify the German states. In 1871 the Treaty of Frankfurt, ending the Franco-Prussian War, was signed here. After World War II United States occupation forces had headquarters in Frankfurt.