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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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When the construction of the IG Farben Building was completed in 1931, it was the largest office building in Europe. Today it is the central building of the Goethe University's Westend Campus.
The Senckenberg Museum of Natural History is one of the largest natural history museums in Europe with more than 5.000 exhibits ranging from dinosaurs and fossils to today's life forms.
The first ever freely elected German parliament had its seat here, in the Paulskirche. The parliament was shortlived however and the church was again used for religious services until it was destroyed in WWII.
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