Frankfurt as a research location
Frankfurt am Main is home to high-ranking educational and research institutions including the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, which got through the first two rounds of the nationwide Universities Excellence Initiative to promote research, making it one of just thirty that did so. As a financial centre, Frankfurt has its own business school in the shape of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. As the location of the Stock Exchange it is not suprising that Frankfurt contains many banks and financial institutions.
Well-known research institutions such as the Max Planck Institutes for Biophysics, for Brain Research and for European Legal History are based in Frankfurt, as is the German Institute for International Educational Research and the Senckenberg Nature Research Society.
Although there were Roman settlements on what is now Cathedral Hill, the first documented mention of 'Franconofurd' was in a letter from Charlemagne dated 794. At that time the place was a fortified royal court. Frankfurt expanded and became a city under the Staufer dynasty and the Frankfurter Messe (Trade Fair) is known to have been established by the late 12th century. By then, the city was an important centre of European trade and continued to grow over the centuries that followed.
During its history, large parts of Frankfurt have been destroyed time and again due to fires in the Judengasse (Jewish area) in 1711 and 1721 and another major fire, the 'Christenbrand' of 1719, meaning portions of the city had to be rebuilt. Already badly damaged in the First World War, Frankfurt's city centre was virtually obliterated during the Second World War leading to 150,000 new apartments being built once the war ended. The construction of many administrative high-rise buildings and industrial developments totally transformed the face of Frankfurt.
Today, Frankfurt is home to Germany's leading stock exchange.