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In 1949 Frankfurt am Main narrowly failed to be elected capital of West Germany, but it did become the home of the continent's largest stock exchange and the European Central Bank, making it the de facto financial capital of Germany and continental Europe.
Even though Frankfurt is a large financial and trade center, the city is still relatively small. Most of Frankfurt's historic sights are in or near the Altstadt - the city's Old Town - and can best be visited on foot.
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The Frankfurt Zoo was founded in the mid 19th century. Today it is one of the most important zoos in Germany, with over 4000 animals, including many of the most popular species.
Now a suburb of Frankfurt, Höchst is a charming little town with a long history, evidenced by its 9th century church and 14th century castle. The old town has plenty of picturesque half-timbered houses.
The Museumsufer or Museum Embankment consists of a cluster of museums on the south bank of the river Main. Most museums are housed in large villas, built in the 19th century by wealthy families.
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