Museumsufer is the name of a landscape of museums in Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany, lined up on both banks of the river Main or in close vicinity. The centre is the historic art museum Städel. The other museums were added, partly by transforming historic villas, partly by building new museums, in the 1980s by cultural politician Hilmar Hoffmann.


The idea for a group of different museums in Frankfurt was proposed in 1977 by Hilmar Hoffmann, who was then as Kulturdezernent responsible for culture in the city.[1] Before, architect Till Behrens had proposed a concept Frankfurter Grüngürtel to the forum for development (Frankfurter Forum für Stadtentwicklung). Between 1980 and 1990, existing museums were expanded and many new ones built, often including historic villas.[2] Architects included internationally known Richard Meier, Oswald Mathias Ungers, Josef Paul Kleihues, Günter Behnisch and Hans Hollein.[3]

Beginning in 2008, Frankfurt has restored and expanded some of its museums. The Städel was expanded by an annex, and the Fil Museum was renovated.

South bank

  • Icon Museum, housing one of the largest collections of Russian, Bulgarian, Greek and other icons in Germany
  • Museum Angewandte Kunst (Museum Applied Arts), housing furniture and design from the 10th to 21st century with a notable collection of East Asian applied arts
  • Museum der Weltkulturen (Ethnological Museum), displaying a small part of an ethnological collection in changing exhibitions.
  • Deutsches Filmmuseum (German Film Museum), explaining the development of movie-making from the beginnings in the 19th century up until today, includes an art house cinema
  • German Architecture Museum (Deutsches Architekturmuseum), apart from a small permanent collection, changing exhibitions showcase current architectural projects and trends from around the globe.
  • Museum für Kommunikation (Communication Museum). The large permanent collection displays various relics from the postal and telephone services, including one of the world's largest stamp collections and a collection of communication related art; temporary exhibitions focus more on the abstract phenomenon of communication.
  • Städel, one of Germany's prominent fine art museums[3] with a focus on old masters and classical modern art
  • Liebieghaus, a sculpture collection, focusing mainly on sculpture from ancient Greece until the renaissance days
  • Museum Giersch, showcasing a small permanent collection of local 19th-century artists and houses temporary exhibition on artists that have a (loose) connection to the Frankfurt region
  • Portikus, a small free exhibition space showing temporary exhibitions of contemporary art

North bank

  • Jewish Museum Frankfurt. The permanent collection gives an overview of the varied fate of Frankfurt's Jewish community through the centuries. Temporary exhibitions focus on contemporary Jewish life and art.
  • Historical Museum, displaying artefacts off the city's history from Roman times until today, some very prominent old master paintings and sculptures and various temporary exhibitions

Four museums are located in the Old Town but not right on the river bank:[4]

The exhibition hall Portikus was opened on an island at the Alte Brücke in 2006.

The street on the south is called Schaumainkai and is often partially closed to traffic for Frankfurt's largest flea market each Saturday. Two festivals focus on the Museumsufer, the "Nacht der Museen" when several museums open at night, and the "Museumsuferfest" in August.[4]


  1. Frankfurter Wochenschau of 1 February 1977
  2. Breidecker, Volker (26 January 2017). "Unvollendet". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  3. Dornberg, John (25 August 1985). "Museums". Washington Post. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  4. "Museumsufer". Frankfurt (in German). Retrieved 17 June 2018.

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