Zeilgalerie is a shopping centre located at the Zeil
The Zeil is a street in the city centre of Frankfurt, Germany. The name, which dates back to the 14th century, is derived from the German word Zeile 'row' and originally referred to a row of houses on the eastern end of the north side; the name was not extended to the entire street until...

 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It was opened in September 1992 and is 41 metres tall with 10 floors, one of which is underground. There are approximately 70 stores situated in the 41 metre long building.


In 1936, a clothing store called Peek & Cloppenberg bought two buildings on the Zeil
The Zeil is a street in the city centre of Frankfurt, Germany. The name, which dates back to the 14th century, is derived from the German word Zeile 'row' and originally referred to a row of houses on the eastern end of the north side; the name was not extended to the entire street until...

. However, one of the buildings was damaged in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and was converted into a post office
Post office
A post office is a facility forming part of a postal system for the posting, receipt, sorting, handling, transmission or delivery of mail.Post offices offer mail-related services such as post office boxes, postage and packaging supplies...

 and a small shopping area in 1955. However, this received little income and in 1990, Peek & Cloppenberg sold it. The site was bought and the Zeilgalerie constructed on the small site by Jürgen Schneider.

Changes to the building

When it first opened in 1992, the Zeilgalerie only had 1 escalator which went in an upwards direction. The architects of the Zeilgalerie said this was so that more light could enter the building through the front. However, a few years later, a downwards travelling escalator was installed and the light the architects wanted was lost.

A remote studio on level 7 was maintained by Radio RPR until 1995. The studio was removed and replaced by shops.

IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 theatre was added on to the enormous roof of the Zeilgalerie in the late 1990s. However, the cinema soon turned bankrupt and the space was converted into a cinema for premieres of films. However, this succumb to the same fate and the area remains as an empty cinema hall.


The building followed an unusual design by Kramm & Streigal on the interior by which the floors are sloped so that a visitor is able to walk to the top of the building without stairs or escalators. This makes access to stores easier for disabled people. Along the centre of the building are escalators and a glass lift.

The building has an ultramodern design on the entrance which is nearly entirely glass. Above the entrance to the shops is a vertical glass wall which usually displays advertisements. The entrance to the restaurant
A restaurant is an establishment which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money. Meals are generally served and eaten on premises, but many restaurants also offer take-out and food delivery services...

s and the cinema
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 is a curved glass wall which extrudes into the street. Construction of a building was difficult in that location as it was between department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...


On the top of the shopping centre is an open-air observation deck
Observation deck
__FORCETOC__ An observation deck, observation platform or viewing platform is an elevated sightseeing platform usually situated upon a tall architectural structure such as a skyscraper or observation tower...

 which offers views of the skyline of Frankfurt and the surrounding area, despite being only 41 metres. The reason why these views are offered is due to the high ground it is situated on. The observation deck is a circular area with a telescope. This area can get crowded however there is a less crowded viewing area below it which also shares the area with a cafe.

At present

The building is owned by Rodamco Europe, a real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

 company from The Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. They bought the building in 2001 for 48 Million Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

s. There are about a dozen escalators now unlike the one which was available when the building first opened.

In January 2007, the owners agreed to divest the shopping centre.http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2007/01/30/2291450.htm

External links

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