Offenbach – a success in its own right

Truth be told, Offenbach isn't exactly on friendly terms with its bigger neighbour Frankfurt. There is a dedicated rivalry between them that manifests itself as disparaging jokes, scathing jibes and a conviction that the existence of the other can only be down to a cruel trick of fate. This applies particularly to the two football teams.

Industrial heritage and craftsmanship

Many people in Offenbach believe that Frankfurt, according to some ancient documents, used to be part of their town. There is no real proof for this theory, but it is certainly true that Offenbach and Frankfurt are very different. Unlike Frankfurt, Offenbach developed a distinctive artisanal culture that is now commemorated in dedicated museums. The Leather Museum, for example, harks back to Offenbach's long tradition of leather work. The Klingspor Museum features international book design, typography and type, including work by Peter Behrens and the Manuale Tipografico by the famous typographer Bodoni. The origins of the museum lie in the collection of Karl Klingspor and that of Siegfried Guggenheim, who emigrated from Offenbach to New York in 1938. The lithographic process was invented in Offenbach in 1800, and the town has been a centre of the printing industry ever since. With the HfG College of Design and around 900 design, printing, graphics and film companies Offenbach is one of Germany's most important creative centres.

Weathermen and famous visitors

At the German Meteorological Service, which has been based in Offenbach since 1952, accuracy is more highly prized than creativity. Even if its primary function is often only appreciated with hindsight, the service's 'Wetterpark', a combination of recreation area, themed exhibits and open-air museum, is well worth a visit.

Over the centuries, the thriving town has had some famous guests. Niccolò Paganini and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited several times, the former to purchase locally produced strings, the latter because his sheet music was published here. Goethe was also a frequent visitor, making the trip to see his fiancée. Offenbach's museums, including the Rosengarten Museum of Contemporary Art, the town's beautiful late 19th century architecture and Isenburg Palace – one of the most important Renaissance buildings north of the Alps, splendid churches and extensive parks still make it a very worthwhile destination today.

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