Frankfurt (Oder)

Frankfurt (Oder) (also known as Frankfurt an der Oder, German: [ˈfʁaŋkfʊʁt ʔan deːɐ̯ ˈʔoːdɐ]; abbreviated Frankfurt a. d. Oder, Frankfurt a. d. O., Frankf. a. d. O., lit. 'Frankfurt on the Oder') is a town in Brandenburg, Germany, located on the west side of the Oder River, on the Germany-Poland border, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) east of Berlin. Until the end of Second World War (1945), the city of Słubice, Poland, was a part of Frankfurt. Until 1990 Frankfurt an der Oder was part of East Germany.

Frankfurt an der Oder in July 2011


Coat of arms
Location of Frankfurt (Oder)
Coordinates: 52°21′N 14°33′E
DistrictUrban district
  Lord MayorRené Wilke (Die Linke)
  Total147.61 km2 (56.99 sq mi)
19-135 m (−424 ft)
  Density390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes0335
Vehicle registrationFF

At the end of the 1980s, the city reached a population peak with more than 87,000 inhabitants. The number dropped below 70,000 in 2002 and was just above 60,000 in 2010.[2]

The city's recorded history began in the 13th century as a Polish settlement. Throughout its history it was part of Poland, Brandenburg, the Bohemian Crown, Prussia and Germany, including East Germany. The official name Frankfurt (Oder) and the older Frankfurt an der Oder are used to distinguish it from the larger city of Frankfurt am Main.


Prior to 1249, a settlement named Zliwitz along with the Lubusz Land was part of Poland. The Piast duke Henry the Bearded granted Zliwitz staple rights in 1225.[3] In 1226 construction of the St. Nicolaus Church (today's Friedenskirche) began. In 1249 the settlement became part of the Margraviate of Brandenburg. The town of Frankfurt received its charter in 1253 at the Brandendamm. The early settlers lived on the western banks of the Oder; later the town was extended to the eastern bank. In the late Middle Ages, the town dominated the river trade between Wrocław and Szczecin. In years 1373-1415 along with Brandenburg it was part of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. In 1430, Frankfurt joined the Hanseatic League.

In April 1631, during the Thirty Years' War, Frankfurt was the site of the Battle of Frankfurt an der Oder between the Swedish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire.[4] After a two-day siege, Swedish forces, supported by Scottish auxiliaries,[5] stormed the town and destroyed lots of buildings, eg. the Georgen Hospital.[4] The result was a Swedish victory.[4][5]

The city was briefly occupied by the Russian Imperial Army during the Seven Years' War, in August 1759, in the prelude to the battle of Kunersdorf.[6]

With the dissolution of the Margraviate of Brandenburg during the Napoleonic Wars, Frankfurt became part of the Province of Brandenburg in 1815. In the 19th century, Frankfurt played an important role in trade. Centrally positioned in the Kingdom of Prussia between Berlin and Posen (Poznań), on the river Oder with its heavy traffic, the town housed the second-largest annual trade fair (Messe) of the German Reich, surpassed only by that in Leipzig.

There was no fighting for the town in 1945 during World War II even though the town was declared a fortress (Festung) in an attempt to block the Red Army's route to Berlin. The nearly empty town was burned down. The postwar German-Polish border ran along the Oder, separating the Dammvorstadt on the eastern bank - which became the Polish town of Słubice - from the rest of Frankfurt. While part of communist East Germany, Frankfurt was administered within Bezirk Frankfurt (Oder). It became part of the reconstituted state of Brandenburg with German reunification in 1990.

Today, Frankfurt and Słubice have friendly relations and run several common projects and facilities. Poland joined the European Union on 1 May 2004, and implemented the Schengen Agreement on 21 December 2007 leading to the removal of permanent border controls.

In the post-communist era, Frankfurt has suffered from high unemployment and low economic growth. Its population has fallen significantly from around 87,000 at the time of German reunification in 1990.

1. FC Frankfurt is the town's local football team.

In March 2008, the Jewish community of Frankfurt celebrated its first Torah dedication since the Holocaust. The procession of the new Torah scroll began from the spot where the town's Frankfurter Synagogue stood prior to World War II, 500 meters from Germany's current border with Poland. Celebrants marched with the scroll into the town's Chabad-Lubavitch centre, where they danced with the Torah, which had been donated by members of the Chabad-Lubavitch community in Berlin.


The city was historically known in Polish as Słubice.[7][8]


Frankfurt (Oder): Population development
within the current boundaries (2017)[9]
YearPop.±% p.a.
1875 43,491    
1890 50,108+0.95%
1910 59,905+0.90%
1925 62,044+0.23%
1933 65,717+0.72%
1939 66,962+0.31%
1946 54,153−2.99%
1950 55,514+0.62%
1964 60,163+0.58%
1971 64,484+1.00%
1981 81,009+2.31%
1985 85,593+1.39%
1989 87,126+0.44%
1990 86,171−1.10%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1991 85,357−0.94%
1992 84,937−0.49%
1993 83,850−1.28%
1994 82,323−1.82%
1995 80,807−1.84%
1996 79,784−1.27%
1997 77,891−2.37%
1998 75,710−2.80%
1999 73,832−2.48%
2000 72,131−2.30%
2001 70,308−2.53%
2002 68,351−2.78%
2003 67,014−1.96%
2004 65,242−2.64%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2005 63,748−2.29%
2006 62,594−1.81%
2007 61,969−1.00%
2008 61,286−1.10%
2009 60,625−1.08%
2010 60,330−0.49%
2011 59,063−2.10%
2012 58,537−0.89%
2013 58,018−0.89%
2014 57,649−0.64%
2015 58,092+0.77%
2016 58,193+0.17%
2017 58,237+0.08%
2018 57,873−0.63%

European university

The Margraviate of Brandenburg's first university was Frankfurt's Alma Mater Viadrina, founded in 1506 by Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg. An early chancellor, Bishop Georg von Blumenthal (1490–1550), was a notable opponent of the Protestant Reformation, as he remained a Catholic. Frankfurt also trained the noted archbishop Albert of Brandenburg around 1510, who also became a vocal opponent of the Reformation. The university attracted many German and Polish students. It was closed in 1811, and its assets divided between two new universities founded under King Frederick William III: Frederick William University of Berlin, presently Humboldt University; and Silesian Frederick William University in Breslau, presently the University of Wrocław.

The university was refounded in 1991 with a European emphasis as the Viadrina European University, in close cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań; they jointly run the Collegium Polonicum in Słubice.


The Frankfurt (Oder) Bahnhof is a station served by the Berlin-Warszawa Express and has regular regional connections to Magdeburg and Cottbus. Within the city, there is a network of five tram lines.

International relations

Frankfurt (Oder), being located on the border to Poland, plays a special role in connection with German–Polish relations and European integration. The European University Viadrina has one of its buildings in Poland, in the neighbouring town of Słubice. The university also has a number of projects and initiatives dedicated to bringing Poland and Germany together, and offers its students pro bono Polish courses. Another project that contributes to German–Polish integration in Frankfurt (Oder) is the Fforst House, a German-Polish student project, which has been granted support by the town's administration[10] and by the Viadrina,[11] having been described by the former president of the university, Gesine Schwan, as the place where "Europe begins".[12]

Twin towns and sister cities

Frankfurt (Oder) is twinned with:

Notable people




Writers, painters and musicians

Films set in Frankfurt

In recent years, Frankfurt has been the setting for several notable German films:

  • Halbe Treppe (Grill Point, 2002)
  • Lichter (Distant Lights, 2003)
  • Die Kinder sind tot (The Children Are Dead, a documentary about a 1999 murder-by-neglect in Frankfurt, 2004)
  • No Exit (2004, documentary about Neo-Nazis)
  • Kombat Sechzehn (Combat Sixteen, 2005)

See also


  1. "Bevölkerung im Land Brandenburg nach amtsfreien Gemeinden, Ämtern und Gemeinden 31. Dezember 2018". Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg (in German). July 2019.
  2. "Bevölkerungsprognose (Ergänzungsbericht)" (PDF) (in German). Kommunalen Statistikstelle der Stadt Frankfurt (Oder). February 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-28. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
  3. Märkische Oderzeitung/Frankfurter Stadtbote, 7. Juli 2006, p. 15.
  4. Bröckling (1998), p.57
  5. Mackillop (2003), p.64
  6. Anisimov, Evgeniǐ Viktorovich (1|995) Empress Elizabeth: Her Reign and Her Russia, 1741-1761. Academic International Press, p. 132. ISBN 0875691404
  7. Mapa Polski 1:500 000 Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny Sztabu Generalnego W.P., Warszawa 1947
  8. Koleje Pomorza 1:1100 000, marzec 1946
  9. Detailed data sources are to be found in the Wikimedia Commons.Population Projection Brandenburg at Wikimedia Commons


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