Many movies love the imagery surrounding the theme of the phoenix: in order for something to rise, it must first fall to ashes in a blaze of glory. Through pain and struggles, we find our true selves, and we are able to spread our wings and soar. This idea is pervasive through many cultures. Recently, in my travels I saw what it looks like when a city follows these cues.
On my way back to Maine, I was looking at flights and saw one airline connected through Frankfurt. As I looked further, I noticed I could get a 12 hour layover, and according to my research, this was ample time to get out and see the city. I found an awesome walking tour,Frankfurt on Foot, and I set the plan in motion. Everything I read was correct, it is an incredibly easy city to get in to. I dropped my carry on bags in a short term storage and hopped on the SBahn. Zum Römer!!
Walking out of the train station, I was greeted with architectural history unknown to the Americas. It was a marvelous site indeed.
What I began to notice right away was the classical styles of the buildings and how that was met with modern enhancements.
As I made my way to the meeting point, I took in as much as I could. This was gorgeous. I had some sausages while I waited, at Hanz & Franz. The place might not be gourmet, but it was the best frankfurter I have ever had. I saw the signs and headed to join the tour group.
Anne would be our fearless leader for the day. I feel like we walked 10 miles. But it was breathtaking. I continued to notice the modern/classic juxtaposition everywhere. As it turns out, during the war, a lot of the buildings were destroyed. The Allies used incendiary devices to torch the city, but, just like the Phoenix, Frankfurt rose from those ashes to become a relevant international city, despite its smaller size.
One of the houses was the original… To learn about it, you have to ask, or take the tour
We saw more in those 3 hours that I could talk about here. I just advise everyone to head over and see it yourself… you owe yourself that. I will be posting a bunch of pictures in subsequent posts.
A big part of the history in this city is the persecution of the Jewish people. Recently there are many efforts to commemorate the lives that have been lost over the centuries in Frankfurt. It is almost too heart-breaking to discuss.
The churches were truly marvelous. It was hard to capture the beauty with my simple Samsung phone, but I tried.
All of this got me thinking. This phoenix allegory… how relevant is it to me and my life and the places I am currently seeing? I live in a city and culture that has centuries worth of history but they are progressing into a modern society. Religion as a whole is seeing these movements in all areas of culture and belief. Just like the buildings in Frankfurt: the facade still shows the culture and history, but the building is supported by the new infrastructure and growth. Neither part could exist without the other.
This may not make sense to you, and if not, then hey, just enjoy the beautiful pictures. But I can’t be the only one that sees this connection, this theme, even this phoenix mythology and how it links to modern things.
I want to continue to explore these thoughts as I travel. but until next time…