The architectural identity and urban fabric of the old city of Frankfurt has grown organically over centuries. Shops, bars, and craftsmen's workshops have always attracted a lot of visitors to the area between the Cathedral, or "Dom" in German, and the Römer, the main square in the center of Frankfurt. Historically, the area included buildings of many different styles, such as Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical architecture, which most locals only knew about from black and white photographs, the town’s famous miniature model in the historic museum, or stories passed down through generations.
However, the quarter’s picturesque buildings and alleyways, were almost entirely destroyed during the Second World War, but the collaborative work of the community and local authorities have made it seem as though time before the war stood still. The entire quarter was reconstructed exactly as its original plans, bringing Frankfurt’s medieval history back to life and creating what is now known as the Neue Alstadt, a project considered by some to be controversial.