The Frankfurter Judengasse was the Jewish ghetto of Frankfurt and one of the earliest ghettos in Germany. It existed from 1462 until 1796 and was home to Germany's largest Jewish community in early modern times.At the end of the 19th century, most of the buildings in the Judengasse were demolished. The area suffered major destruction during World War II and reconstruction left no visible signs of the ghetto in today's townscape of Frankfurt.Post-war usage of the area included a car park, a petrol station and a wholesale flower market. The decision to build an administrative complex triggered a public discussion as to what should be done with the archaeological remains uncovered during the excavation in 1977. The foundations of 19 buildings were found and five of these can be seen at the "Museum Judengasse" which was incorporated into the new building.LocationThe ghetto was located outside the city walls east of the medieval city wall and formed a slight curve from today's Konstablerwache to Börneplatz, near the river Main. The street was about 330 meters long, three to four meters wide, and had three town gates. The gates were locked at night as well as on Sundays and Christian holidays. Due to the narrow street and the limited access, the Judengasse was destroyed three times by fire in the 18th century alone, in 1711, 1721 and 1796.Initially, some 15 families with about 110 members lived in Frankfurt's Judengasse when they were forcibly removed from the city and relocated to the ghetto by decree of Frederick III in 1462. By the 16th century, the number of inhabitants rose to over 3,000, living in 195 houses. The ghetto had one of the highest population densities in Europe. Contemporary documents described it as narrow, oppressive and dirty.
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