The Baroque Hauptwache is a former police station turned into a café. It is located at the heart of Frankfurt’s inner city, centrally located in the middle of a large shopping area with several pedestrianized streets.
Frankfurt’s master builder Johann Samhaimer designed the Baroque Hauptwache building with hipped roof in 1729 as the seat of the city’s defense authorities. The building, which included a prison, was stormed on the 3rd of April 1833 by students trying to free inmates. Several soldiers were killed in the event, known as the Frankfurter Wachensturm. The young students’ attempt to trigger revolutionary uprisings failed however.
In 1866 the Hauptwache lost its military function and was used as a police station until 1904 when the building became a café. It was rebuilt in 1954 after it was heavily damaged by bombardments during the Second World War. Located at the central point of the city’s public transportation, the Hauptwache became an obstacle when the U-Bahn (the subway) was built, so in 1967 the building was dismantled stone by stone and later rebuilt on top of the U-Bahn station.
An der Hauptwache
The Hauptwache is located at the center of a large plaza, ‘An der Hauptwache’. It’s a good place to start shopping since it’s at the heart of Frankfurt’s shopping district. The ‘Zeil‘, Frankfurt’s main shopping street, starts east of Hauptwache. And on the west side are more shopping streets, including Goethestraße and Grosse Bockenheimerstraße. Those who’d rather stay put can have a drink at the Hauptwache’s popular café.