Festhalle Frankfurt

Festhalle Frankfurt
Full name Festhalle Messe Frankfurt
Location Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Owner Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
Capacity 13,500 (concerts)
9,850 (with seats)
Broke ground June 11, 1907
Opened May 19, 1909
Renovated 1980s
Architect Friedrich von Thiersch

Festhalle Frankfurt is a multi-purpose arena located in Frankfurt, Germany. The interior of the dome at its highest reaches a height of 40 meters and provides an area of 5,646 square seating up to 4,880 Together with the two tiers seating up to 9,843 people the banquet hall space, and 13,500 unseated.[1]


Opening in 1909

At the end of the 19th century, the Frankfurt fair was held in various facilities. Frequently it was housed in the Hippodrome in the Sachsenhausen, while at other times it was held in single-use pavilions. After a time many felt the city needed a dedicated exhibition hall. A competition was advertised, and the plans of the Marburg architect Friedrich von Thiersch made the short list of finalists. After several amendments, von Theirsch's concept was widely accepted. Construction began on 11 June 1907. On 19 May 1909, it was officially opened by Kaiser Wilhelm II. At the time of its opening, the Festhalle was the largest dome in Europe.

The German Gymnastics Festival and the International Air Show, were the first events in the new building. In 1914,at the outbreak of the First World War, the banquet hall was turned into a camp for soldiers. After the war the hall reverted to its original purpose.

9 November 1938

On the night of 8 to 9 November 1938, during the November pogroms hundreds of Frankfurt's Jewish citizens were driven across the city centre to the Festhalle and some were seriously mistreated. The noted Frankfurt Opera singer Hans Erl was forced to sing "In Diesen Heilgen Hallen".[2] ("In this Holy Hall") From here, the first mass transports went into the Nazi concentration camps. The Festhalle is thus of considerable importance for the Holocaust. Since 1991, a plaque points in the rotunda of the Festhalle in it. The Frankfurt physician and survivor of Dr. Max Kirschner describes the deportation in his memoirs.

During the Second World War, the hall was used for the storage of uniforms of the armed forces. On 18 December 1940, textiles started a fire and as a result the Festhalle had suffered severe fire damage. Whether it is how the Nazis claimed to act of arson, is still unclear. A second bombing raid damaged the Frankfurt Festhalle a second time.

After the Second World War it was thought that the Hall should be demolished for the most part, but the citizens of Frankfurt and Mayor Walter Kolb prevented this. So makeshift repairs were enacted.

The Postwar Period

During the 1980s, extensive modernizations, such as the installation of air conditioning were implemented.

The Festhalle today

Today, the hall is again a popular venue for concerts by prominent artists. Even fairs have returned. During the International Automobile Exhibition Daimler AG traditionally occupied the Festhalle. In the first half of the 1990s the ATP World Championship was held in the banquet hall.

It is currently being extensively renovated. In the bars on the window sills, windows and ventilation shafts will be re-fitted with the originally existing gold leaf. Even cupolas of the towers that were not reconstructed after the war will be rebuilt. In addition, the coating of white will be changed to a bright ocher.

On 28 June 2009 the Festhalle celebrated the occasion of their 100th anniversary, On open day, visitors were able to go on guided tours of the dressing room and on the stage, and Starting up with a pair of scissors Steiger as the dome ceiling allowed.

It is used primarily for indoor sports and music concerts. Frankfurt's Festhalle has a capacity of 15,179 people, and is one of the largest Festhalle in Germany. On October 9th, 2004, the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) hosted a live event in the Festhalle as a part of the "Live & Loaded" Tour. WWE was scheduled to come back to this German show venue on December 6, 2007 with a house show from their SmackDown! brand. Canadian rock trio Rush recorded their R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour DVD here on September 24, 2004. In November 2008, British hard rock band Deep Purple played a one-off show in the Festhalle, Frankfurt during the band's 40 Year Anniversary Tour. The MTV Europe Music Awards was held in the Festhalle, Frankfurt, in 2001 and 2012. Depeche Mode, filmed part of their show at the sports arena on July 27, 1993, for the live home video, Devotional. By Lusajo mwamukonda


The Festhalle is one of the most important buildings of the late historicism. The architect Friedrich von Thiersch is consistent in his plans to create the splendor of the neo-baroque style, is a worthy representative of the fair city building. The floor plan consisted of the large hall and an exhibition area as the east wing for concerts and similar events. The hall should be 100 metres long and 60 metres wide. In the middle of the rectangle is then covered the somewhat broader rotunda, which was to be crowned by a cupola. This dome forms a contrast with the majestic architecture of the lower part. They should remain different from that time still customary in similar buildings, completely undisguised. It consists only of steel and glass and is similar to that of the materials of construction of the platform halls of Frankfurt's main station, which is about a mile further south is. The Stahlverstrebungen, were used in the glass surfaces are connected by a pressure ring, the load evenly distributed.

The proposed east wing was realised from a lack of money. The design of the architect saw this before two concert halls, several lounges and a banquet hall. Furthermore, an approximately 60 m high Campanile was planned.

The Festival Hall was the model for many subsequent halls of this type is particularly the dome was often imitated. The most famous example is the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw by Max Berg. Lusajo Mwamukonda

Festhalle in Germany

A Festhalle is a German arena or community center. Festhallen can be found in many towns and cities in Germany, and range in size and use from small neighborhood activity centers, to large capacity stadiums able to seat thousands of spectators.


  1. Frankfurt, Messe. "Festhalle Frankfurt". festhalle.messefrankfurt.com. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
  2. "Information" (PDF). AJR. Association of Jewish Refugees in Great Britain. January 1962. p. 12.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Festhalle (Frankfurt am Main).
Preceded by
Madison Square Garden
ATP Tour World Championships

1990 – 1995
Succeeded by
Hanover Fairground

Coordinates: 50°06′42″N 8°39′03″E / 50.11167°N 8.65083°E / 50.11167; 8.65083

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