Frankfurt Central Station, also known as Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof, is the busiest railway station in the German state of Hesse, and is considered the most important station in Germany due to its location in the middle of the country and its use as a transport hub for long and short distance travelling.
The station was built in 1888, replacing three smaller stations located beside each other, and until the completion of Leipzig Hauptbahnhof in 1915, it was the largest station in Europe. Today, it has 24 platforms with 26 tracks on one level, making it probably the world’s largest one-level railway hall.
The appearance of the station is divided into perron (track hall) and vestibule (reception hall), with Neo-Renaissance features in the parts built in 1888 and neoclassical style in the outer two halls added in 1924. The station’s operational layout has posed problems, with trains having to change direction and reverse out of the station to continue on to their destination, causing long turn-around times and placing passengers in the opposite direction of where they had been sitting. There have been several attempts to change this, including the abandoned Frankfurt 21 project, which aimed to put the whole station underground and connect it with tunnels.
Frankfurt Central Station has a wide range of facilities and services for passengers. The station has a large shopping center, which includes a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as a supermarket, a pharmacy, and a bookstore. There are also several ATMs and currency exchange offices, a post office, and a tourist information center. The station provides free WiFi for passengers, and there are charging points for mobile devices and laptops.
In terms of transportation, Frankfurt Central Station is a major hub for local, regional, and long-distance trains, with connections to many cities and towns across Germany and Europe. The station also has several bus stops and taxi stands outside the main entrance, as well as a large car park for both short-term and long-term parking.
In addition to its role as a transport hub, Frankfurt Central Station has historical and cultural significance. The station building is a listed monument, recognized for its architectural and engineering achievements, and has been the subject of numerous books and articles.
The station has also been used as a location in films, TV shows, and music videos.
Overall, Frankfurt Central Station is a vital part of Frankfurt’s transportation infrastructure, as well as an important cultural landmark and a hub for commerce and social activity.