Frankfurt am Main (German pronunciation: [ˈfʁaŋkfʊɐt am ˈmaɪn] ( listen), English: /ˈfræŋkfərt/), commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2009 population of 672,000. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,295,000 in 2010. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5,600,000 and is Germany's second largest metropolitan area.
In English, this city's name translates to "Frankfurt on the Main" (pronounced like English mine or German mein). The city is located on an ancient ford on the river Main, the German word for which is "Furt". A part of early Franconia, the inhabitants were the early Franks. Thus the city's name reveals its legacy as being the "ford of the Franks".
Situated on the Main River, Frankfurt is the financial and transportation centre of Germany and the largest financial centre in continental Europe. It is seat of the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Trade Fair, as well as several large commercial banks. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world's busiest international airports, Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest terminal stations in Europe, and the Frankfurter Kreuz (Autobahn interchange) is the most heavily used interchange in Europe. Frankfurt is the only German city listed as one of ten Alpha world cities. Frankfurt lies in the former American Occupation Zone of Germany, and it was formerly the headquarters city of the U.S. Army in Germany.
I'll Take Mainhattan: A Guide to Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main may be the city's official name but it's often referred to as Bankfurt or Mainhattan. That's hardly surprising: the city has more than 40 gleaming skyscrapers, the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world (the Borse) and 400 banking institutions, including the European Central Bank -- home of the euro and all things monetary. Frankfurt also has the second largest airport in Europe and hosts some of the largest trade fairs in the world, including the Frankfurt Book Fair. It's no wonder that most people who come here are on business.
31 May 1980, New York (NY) Times, "Visit Tests Emotions of Jews Driven From Germany" by John Vinocur, pg. 2:
Where there was agreement was that the Germany, or at least Frankfurt, that they once loved was gone. Among Germans the city's architecture is sometimes described as planless barbarity. Mrs. Adler found it "rebuilt without taste or feeling" and Mrs. Posner said, "The whole character is lost.'
"Mainhattan," Mr. Adler punned.
4 April 1982, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pg. E3:
For Frankfurt, where Goethe was born, this year gives the city a golden opportunity to broaden its image as the "Mainhattan" of Europe, the metropolis on the Main River that believes it has even more visitor appeal than New York's Manhattan.
20 December 1984, Washington (DC) Post, pg. E1:
With some exaggeration, publicists have dubbed the city "Mainhattan" -- likening the high-rise skyline along the Main River to Manhattan in New York City.