Alte Oper in Frankfurt is a modern concert hall and congress center. Inaugurated in 1880, it was Frankfurt’s first opera house. Although initially skeptical about the huge cost, the Frankfurt people came to love their opera designed by Berlin architect Richard Lucae. It had an auditorium that could seat more than 2000 people. It held famous premieres including Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in 1937 and welcomed world-renowned composers and soloists. In World War II the opera was completely destroyed by a bombing (1944).
Reconstruction of the old Opera House
Frankfurt’s mayor at the time suggested to blow up “Germany’s most beautiful ruin”, but citizens started to campaign for the opera’s reconstruction as early as 1953. 15 million German marks were collected by private donors. In August 1981 the Alte Oper reopened with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2- ‘Resurrection’. The Opernplatz (Opera Plaza) is one of the most beautiful public squares in Frankfurt. Between November 24, and January 4, it turns into a winter wonderland with a public skating rink.
Opernplatz on Ice
Kids and adults skate around the 700 m² oval shaped ice area under the festive lights at the opera house. The fountain in the center of plaza is lit up and decorated with glittering spheres. The beautiful winter scene is framed by the Frankfurt skyline. Food stands around the rink offer German staples like Bratwurst (fried sausage) and Glühwein (glow wine). Glühwein, the German version of mulled wine, is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, sugar and the zing of an orange. It is available at Christmas markets all over Northern Europe at this time of year.
Bar and Lounge in Opernturm Chalet
Skaters who want to warm up can go for drinks and snacks to the Opernturm Chalet, a cafe, lounge and bar. Visitors can enjoy an open fireplace and excellent views of the skating rink, opera house and Frankfurt’s newest high rise Opernturm. After skating and dinner it is only a short stroll to Frankfurt’s Christmas market along the Main River, and the Old Town center at Römerberg plaza.
Special Events and Opening Hours
Among special events are an evening of skating with the Frankfurt Lions, a professional men’s ice hockey team (12/17),skating for gays and friends (12/17) and special hours for school and kindergarten groups. See schedule at Opernplatz on Ice (the English part of the website is not up yet!)
The ice rink is open from 11/24, 2018 -1/4, 2019, daily 11:00 am – 10:00pm.
Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 11:00am -4:00 pm.
Skates available for rent for Euro 3.00.
Adults: Euro 4.50, Youth 3.50, Children under 6 free.