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August 2020
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The Frankfurt Fair - The oldest fair in the world

The Frankfurt Fair - The oldest fair in the world

Category: Favourite places
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The historical roots of the Frankfurt Fair go back to the year 1240 when Emperor Friedrich II granted the city the fair privilege. This makes it the oldest fair in the world.

The oldest trade fairs were the Autumn Fair (1240), the Spring Fair (1330) and the Book Fair (1485).

Today, Messe Frankfurt is the third largest in the world.

The exhibition grounds in the west of Frankfurt are located in the districts of Bockenheim and Westend.

It has direct access to the motorway (A 648) and parking at the Rebstock site.

It can be reached by public transport via the underground and tram stops Festhalle/Messe and the S-Bahn station Messe.

Approximately 42,000 exhibitors and around 2.6 million visitors flock to the 32 trade fairs and 16 leading trade fairs every year to benefit from these short distances.

Some of the largest and most important trade fairs in the world, such as the International Book Fair, the biennial International Motor Show (IAA), the Musikmesse and the Ambiente Spring Fair, are located here.

The exhibition grounds currently offer nine exhibition halls with 320,000 m² exhibition space and 96,000 m² open-air grounds, a central logistics centre and an adjoining congress centre on an area of around 578,000 m².

The oldest building on the exhibition grounds is the 1909 Festhalle. Affectionately called "Gudd Stubb" by the people of Frankfurt.

The cantilever dome construction of steel and glass over 40 metres high was completed in 18 months according to a design by the Munich architect Friedrich von Thiersch.

The Festhalle was the largest dome construction in Europe at the time of its construction.

After the Second World War, the festival hall, which had been severely damaged by a major fire and air raids, was rebuilt and reopened for the Spring Fair in March 1950.

In addition to trade fairs such as the Book Fair and the IAA, six-day races (1951 to 1983), equestrian tournaments, the ATP World Tennis Championships (1992 and 1995) and, since 1970, music events have attracted crowds of visitors to the hall.

Today the Festhalle is still a popular venue for concerts by prominent artists and sporting events such as the Frankfurt Marathon. Of course it is also used for trade fairs.

From 2004 to 2007, the Festhalle was restored in accordance with the requirements of a preservation order. Just in time for the 100th birthday on 28.06.2009 the "Gudd Stubb" shines in new splendour.

In the 1980s, the exhibition centre essentially took on its present form. The postmodern buildings of the Galleria and the gatehouse (148 m) were built.

A landmark of the Main metropolis and an architectural jewel is the 256.5 metre high Messeturm, built in the Art Deco style (construction period: 1988-1991).

The shape of the Messeturm, designed by architect Helmut Jahn, is reminiscent of a pencil.

From 1991 to 1996, it was the highest skyscraper in Europe. And for the Frankfurters it is still the most beautiful.

In front of the Messeturm stands the moving 23-meter-high and 32-ton artwork "Hammering Man" by the American artist Jonathan Borofsky.

It represents the moving silhouette of a worker hammering an object with a hammer and is considered a symbol for the work.

In the 1990s, further buildings were constructed, such as the New Forum (4500 m² area) and the Congress Center opened in 1996 with 15,000 m² event area.

In 2009 the construction of the new exhibition hall 11 with adjoining entrance building was completed.

Messe Frankfurt GmbH is a "globel player" with a presence in over 150 countries and a turnover of around 424 million euros (2007) with over 1400 employees.

It has 29 subsidiaries, five branches and 48 international sales partners.

What trade fairs will take place in Frankfurt in the coming months can be found in our trade fair calendar

Messe Frankfurt GmbH, Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1, 60327 Frankfurt am Main
Telephone: +49 69 7575-0 - Fax: +49 69 7575-6433

The Messe Frankfurt on the Internet.

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