Frankfurt am Main

The D&O Diary was on travel in Europe this past week, with an extended sojourn in Germany. It was delightful to be back in Germany after the long pandemic-caused travel interlude. The pleasure of the journey was substantially enhanced by the absolutely terrific weather we enjoyed during our visit.


The primary purpose of the first leg of the trip was to participate in a conference in Frankfurt sponsored by the DRRT law firm. I have participated in prior versions of this event in past years, but this was the first live event in Frankfurt since 2019. This year’s version of the conference was, as always, well-organized and well-attended. It was great seeing many old friends and making some new friends as well. I think everyone was happy just to be getting together again. I would like to thank Alexander Reus and his DRRT colleagues for inviting me to be a part of this event. It was a great honor and pleasure to participate again.


I participated on the opening panel, discussing Hot Topics in D&O. My fellow panelists (from left to right): Domenico (Nico) Minerva and Eric Belfi of the Labaton Sucharow law firm, and Alexander Reus of DRRT.


The weather in Frankfurt was just about perfect while we were there – blue skies and daily high temps in the mid-70s. Throughout the city, the flowering plants were in bloom. It was a particular treat to visit the city’s very fine botanical gardens, called the Palmengarten. I have been to the gardens before, but only in early spring; I did not expect the sheer floral profusion of the many blossoming trees.


Rhododendrons in bloom in the Palmengarten. It makes a big difference to visit a city in mid-May instead of in mid-March. The profusion of blooms and blossoms in the park was delightful.



Butterfly, papillon, und auf Deutsche, schmetterling.


Based on my prior visits to Frankfurt, I have come to enjoy and to appreciate the city. However, in my prior visits, I have always found that the city is a little bit, well, dull. On this trip, we did have the good fortune to explore the Sachsenhausen neighborhood on the South side of the city. Though it is just a few U-Bahn stops from the center city, Sachsenhausen feels worlds away. It is pleasantly quiet and calm, and full of small, family-run restaurants featuring German specialties and the locally famous apfelwein. My advice for anyone planning a trip to Frankfurt, particularly in the warmer months, is to plan to spend some time in Sachsenhausen.


In the atmospheric neighborhood of Sachsenhausen, across the river from central Frankfurt. The weather was very summerlike and walking around the quiet streets or sitting at a sidewalk table was just great.



A traditional Frankfurt meal: boiled beef (it is under the carrots and parsnips), served with the traditional Frankfurter “Grüne Soße


We also had a little time to tour Frankfurt itself and to visit some sites I had not seen on my prior visits.


The Alte Oper (Old Opera House), which is located adjacent to the hotel where we stayed).



Readers of this site know that I am a big fan of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (as reflected in a recent Sunday Arts post on this site). Goethe was born in Frankfurt and lived there until he was 26. His house (badly damaged in WWII) is preserved as a museum. I had never managed to visit the house on prior visits, but managed to squeeze a visit in on this trip. The house itself is a little bit bare, but the adjoining museum is actually quite interesting (although it was difficult to give it the time it deserved on a beautiful spring morning).


A statue of Karl der Große, also known as Charlemagne. He was a Frank, and both the Germans and the French claim him. You can kind of see how a city named after the Franks might well feel a connection to him.


From Frankfurt, we travelled by train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a well-preserved walled city in historical Franconia. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Rothenburg was a prosperous town, but its population was nearly wiped out in the Thirty Years War, and it never really recovered. The city became something of a backwater, which probably helped the city avoid damage during WWII. It is now a beautiful, almost absurdly picturesque jewel of a place.



Here’s a video of the view from the Castle Gardens in Rothenberg, looking back toward the walled city. Turn up the volume and listen to the birdsong. It was such a beautiful day on the day of our visit there.




Rothenburg is on the top of a high hill, surrounded by countryside. We walked down the hill through the woods, down to the Tauber River. A pleasant, shady walkway ran alongside the river.





Our walk along the Tauber eventually led us to the village of Detwang. The small village church houses a famous altarpiece by the master German wood sculptor, Tilman Riemenschneider.


Rothenburg is a really amazing, almost magical place. We were very sorry to leave.


We would gladly have stayed longer in Rothenburg, but we had other places to go. Our Germany travels continued on from there, as I hope to report in a post in a few days’ time.