Frankfurt (Oder) (ˈfʁaŋkfʊɐt) is a town in Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...
, Germany, located on the Oder
The Oder is a river in Central Europe. It rises in the Czech Republic and flows through western Poland, later forming of the border between Poland and Germany, part of the Oder-Neisse line...
River, on the German-Polish
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...
border directly opposite the town of Słubice which was a part of Frankfurt until 1945. At the end of the 1980s it reached a population peak with more than 87,000 inhabitants. The number dropped below 70,000 in 2002 and is expected to reach 58,000 in 2010.
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.
HistoryThe town of Frankfurt received its charter in 1253 at the Brandendamm
Brandendamm was a major crossing of the Oder in old Brandenburg. Upon it grew the modern towns of Frankfurt , in Germany, and Slubice, in Poland....
, although the settlement is probably considerably older. The early settlers lived on the western banks of the Oder; later the town was extended to the eastern bank (today's Słubice). In late medieval times the town dominated the river trade between Breslau (Wrocław) and Stettin (Szczecin)
Szczecin , is the capital city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. It is the country's seventh-largest city and the largest seaport in Poland on the Baltic Sea. As of June 2009 the population was 406,427....
. In 1430 Frankfurt joined the Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...
, but was a member for only a short time.
In April 1631, during the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....
, Frankfurt was the site of the Battle of Frankfurt an der Oder
Battle of Frankfurt an der Oder
The Battle of Frankfurt an der Oder on 13/15 April 1631 was a battle of the Thirty Years' War, fought between the Swedish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire for the strategically important, fortified Oder crossing Frankfurt an der Oder, Brandenburg, Germany...
between the Swedish Empire
The Swedish Empire refers to the Kingdom of Sweden between 1561 and 1721 . During this time, Sweden was one of the great European powers. In Swedish, the period is called Stormaktstiden, literally meaning "the Great Power Era"...
and the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...
. After a two-day siege, Swedish forces, supported by Scottish
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...
auxiliaries, stormed the town. The result was a Swedish victory.
With the dissolution of the Margraviate of Brandenburg
Margraviate of Brandenburg
The Margraviate of Brandenburg was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806. Also known as the March of Brandenburg , it played a pivotal role in the history of Germany and Central Europe....
during the Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...
, Frankfurt became part of the Province of Brandenburg
Province of Brandenburg
The Province of Brandenburg was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1815 to 1946.-History:The first people who are known to have inhabited Brandenburg were the Suevi. They were succeeded by the Slavonians, whom Henry II conquered and converted to Christianity in...
in 1815. In the 19th century, Frankfurt played an important role in trade. Centrally positioned in the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...
between Berlin and Poznań
Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, with a population of 556,022 in June 2009. It is among the oldest cities in Poland, and was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state, whose first rulers were buried at Poznań's cathedral. It is sometimes claimed to be...
, 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
Leipzig Trade Fair
The Leipzig Trade Fair was a major fair for trade across Central Europe for nearly a millennium. After the Second World War, its location happened to lie within the borders of East Germany, whereupon it became one of the most important trade fairs of Comecon and was traditionally a meeting place...
There was intense fighting for the town in 1945 during World War II when the town was declared a fortress (Festung) in an attempt to block the Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...
's route to Berlin. The postwar German-Polish border ran along the Oder, separating the Dammvorstadt on the eastern bank from the rest of Frankfurt; it became the Polish town of Słubice. While part of communist East Germany, Frankfurt was administered within Bezirk Frankfurt (Oder). It became part of the reconstituted state
New federal states
The new federal states of Germany are the five re-established states in the former German Democratic Republic that acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany with its 10 states upon German reunification on 3 October 1990....
of Brandenburg with German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...
Today, Frankfurt and Słubice have friendly relations and run several common projects and facilities. Poland joined the European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...
on 1 May 2004, and implemented the Schengen Agreement
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, between five of the ten member states of the European Economic Community. It was supplemented by the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement 5 years later...
on December 21, 2007 leading to the removal of permanent border controls.
In the post-communist era Frankfurt has suffered from high unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...
and low economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...
. Its population has fallen significantly from around 87,000 at the time of German reunification in 1990.
FC Viktoria Frankfurt
FC Viktoria Frankfurt
Frankfurter FC Viktoria is a German association football club based in Frankfurt , Brandenburg. The club was originally founded in East Germany as the army club SV Vorwärts der HVA Leipzig in 1951 in the city of Leipzig.- History :One of the characteristics of East German football after World War...
is the town's local football team.
In March 2008 the Jewish community of Frankfurt celebrated its first Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...
dedication since the Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...
. 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.
European universityThe 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
Georg von Blumenthal
Georg von Blumenthal was a German Prince-Bishop of Ratzeburg and Prince-Bishop of Lebus. He also served as a Privy Councillor of the Margraviate of Brandenburg and Chancellor of the University of Frankfurt , commonly called the Viadrina.Bishop von Blumenthal negotiated the second marriage of ...
(1490–1550), was a notable opponent of the Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...
, 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 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
Humboldt University of Berlin
The Humboldt University of Berlin is Berlin's oldest university, founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities...
; 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.
International relationsFrankfurt (Oder), being located on the border to Poland, plays a special role in connection with German-Polish relations and European integration
European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...
. 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 which 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 and by the Viadrina, having been described by the former president of the university, Gesine Schwan
Gesine Schwan is a German political science professor and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. The party has nominated her twice as a candidate for the federal presidential elections. On 23 May 2004, she was defeated by the Christian Democrat and former president Horst Köhler...
, as the place where "Europe begins".
Twin towns and sister citiesFrankfurt (Oder) is twinned
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...
Gorzów Wielkopolski is a city in western Poland, on the Warta river. It is the biggest city in the Lubusz Voivodeship with 125,149 inhabitants...
, Poland, since 1975 Słubice, Poland, since 1975 Nîmes
Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a popular tourist destination.-History:...
, France, since 1976 Vantaa
Vantaa is a city and municipality in Finland. Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen make up the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.Vantaa, with its population of , is the fourth most populated city of Finland. The biggest airport in Finland, the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, is located there...
, Finland, since 1987 Heilbronn
Heilbronn is a city in northern Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is completely surrounded by Heilbronn County and with approximately 123.000 residents, it is the sixth-largest city in the state....
, Germany, since 1988 Vitebsk
Vitebsk, also known as Viciebsk or Vitsyebsk , is a city in Belarus, near the border with Russia. The capital of the Vitebsk Oblast, in 2004 it had 342,381 inhabitants, making it the country's fourth largest city...
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...
, since 1991 Kadima, Israel, since 1997 Yuma
Yuma is a city in and the county seat of Yuma County, Arizona, United States. It is located in the southwestern corner of the state, and the population of the city was 77,515 at the 2000 census, with a 2008 Census Bureau estimated population of 90,041....
, United States, since 1997 Scandicci
thumb|250px|Pieve of Sant'Alessandro a Giogoli.Scandicci is a comune of c. 50,000 inhabitants in the Province of Florence in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 6 km southwest of Florence....
Films set in FrankfurtIn recent years, Frankfurt has been the setting for several notable German films:
- Halbe Treppe (Grill PointGrill PointGrill Point is a 2001 German drama film directed by Andreas Dresen. Its original German title is Halbe Treppe, which means "Halfway up the Stairs" in English, and was the real-life name of the snack bar shown in the film....
- Lichter (Distant LightsDistant LightsDistant Lights is a 2003 Germany film directed by Hans-Christian Schmid. The film takes place on the Polish-German border at Słubice and Frankfurt . It features an ensemble cast, and the various threads illustrate the daily life between the two countries...
- Die Kinder sind tot (The Children Are Dead, a documentaryDocumentary filmDocumentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...
about a 1999 murder-by-neglect in Frankfurt, 2004)
- No Exit (2004, documentary about Neo-Nazis)
- Kombat Sechzehn (Combat Sixteen, 2005)
- HeleneseeHeleneseeHelenesee is a lake in Brandenburg, Germany. Its surface area is ca. 250 ha. With a depth of 56.63 m, the Helenseee is the second deepest lake in Brandenburg, only surpassed by the lake Großer Stechlinsee. It is situated approximately 8 kilometers in the south of Frankfurt . It was formed after the...
- Stadtarchiv Frankfurt (Oder)Stadtarchiv Frankfurt (Oder)The Stadtarchiv Frankfurt , , contains the documents with information about history of the city Frankfurt and its citizens from the 13th century to the present day. To the archives belongs: seeds, sources for history research, acts, maps, plans, manuscripts, newspapers, magazines, books, stamps...
- Trams in Frankfurt (Oder)
- The City of Frankfurt (Oder) has a website (available in English translation as well as in GermanGerman languageGerman is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....
and in PolishPolish languagePolish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...
) with some limited commerce and cultural information.
- Slubice.pl - official site of Frankfurt's border town Słubice
- Frankfurt.pl & Slubice.de - a student project