Die Paulskirche, originally a gallery building (1789-1833), is the national symbol for freedom and democracy in Germany par excellence.
On 18 May 1848 the first freely elected National Assembly met in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt.
The following months were marked by work on a constitution for a unified Germany, which later failed due to resistance from Prussia and Austria.
The following uprisings to enforce the constitution were defeated and Parliament was finally dissolved by force of arms on May 30, 1849.
From 1852 to the destruction of 1944, church services were again held in St. Paul's Church.
On March 18, 1944, the Paulskirche church burned down completely after a bombing raid and was rebuilt after the war as the first historical building in Frankfurt.
On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the National Assembly it was ceremoniously reopened on 18 May 1948 as the home of all Germans.
Fritz von Unruh gave the speech. His "Speech to the Germans" was a critical analysis of the Nazi era.
On 28 August 1948 Fritz von Unruh was awarded the Goethe Prize of the City of Frankfurt in the Paulskirche. Since 1949, the Goethe Prize has been awarded every three years in the Paulskirche.
Since 1948, the Paulskirche has no longer been a church, but is mainly used for exhibitions and state or municipal events.
The best known is the award of the "Peace Prize of the German Book Trade", which is presented on the occasion of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The first two book fairs were still held in the Paulskirche in 1949 and 1950, after which they were moved to the exhibition grounds.
On 25 June 1963, US President John F. Kennedy visited Frankfurt and also spoke in the Paulskirche. In his speech, he pointed out that "no other building in Germany could claim the honorary title of the cradle of German democracy more justifiably".
For the 1200-year celebrations of the city of Frankfurt in 1994, the French artist Philippe Petit stretched a 300-metre rope between the Paulskirche and the Cathedral, and then carried out a thirty-minute high-wire run. At a height of 60 to 70 meters, he mimed important events from Frankfurt's history.
In 1998, on the 150th anniversary of German democracy, the Paulskirche was once again the focus of public attention.
The permanent exhibition "The Paulskirche. Symbol of democratic freedom and national unity" was redesigned.
Various panels and monuments were attached to the outer facade of St. Paul's Church over the course of time:
· stone relief tablet for Heinrich Friedrich Karl Freiherr vom Stein
· Statue for the First President of the Reich Friedrich Ebert
· Memorial to the Victims of National Socialism
· commemorative plaque for the Hessian Prime Minister Georg August Zinn
· plaque for Theodor Heuss, the first Federal President of the FRG
· relief plaque for the American President John F. Kennedy
· plaque for Walter Kolb, the first post-war Frankfurt OB
address: Paulskirche · Paulsplatz 1 · Tel. (069) 212-34920
Opening hours: Mon. - Sun. 10.-17 o'clock (except at events) - Admission is free.
Text from: Frankfurt-Tipp.de