St. Paul’s Church has important religious and political significance in German history. Construction began in 1789 when St. Paul’s was a Lutheran church. The city as was customary at the time ran the church but permitted its usage by the congregation for their religious services however in 1848 St. Paul’s famously became the home of Germany’s first elected legislative body, the Frankfurt Parliament.
The imposing sandstone structure of the old church was built in the typical Protestant design which allowed for church goers to easily listen to sermons no matter where they were sitting. Because of this the parliament chose the church as its parliament. Work began in 1849 to establish a united Germany and a federal constitution, efforts that ultimately failed. Germany’s first elected legislative body continued to meet here until 1852 when Lutheran services resumed. St. Paul’s remains a symbol for freedom and of German unity.
St. Paul’s was destroyed during the World War II bombings of Frankfurt. As it was an important symbol of freedom the building was one of the first structures to be rebuilt after the war as a tribute to its historical significance. While the interior has been altered, the façade with its many decorative features remains historically accurate. In 1963 U.S. President John F. Kennedy made his ‘New World Order’ speech at St. Paul’s. This was the same trip to Germany when Kennedy made his famous ‘ich bin ein Berliner’ speech in Berlin. Today St. Paul’s is used as an exhibit hall and venue for public events.
St. Paul’s is located just minutes from Main River and is just blocks away from Römerberg Plaza. The nearest subway station is Dom/Römer and Willy-Brandt-Platz. The Hauptwache Station is also just to the north and is a short walk to the church.