Hide where you are," says Celia, but she probably suspects that this is not easy. "It's an unusual setting to go into peace," admits the yoga teacher before explaining the next position to the participants. It is Saturday, shortly after 19 p.m., when a yoga workshop begins in the basement of the Museum of Communication, in the middle of the permanent exhibition. Celia, who usually teaches in a Frankfurt studio, talks about breathing techniques, and her participants listen attentively to this small unit with which the house on Schaumainkai starts the "Night of Museums".
Nicole Nadine Seliger
Editor at the Rhein-Main-Zeitung
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"We really wanted to participate," say two young men before taking off their shoes and joining the group. The brief pause is a fitting start to the hustle and bustle that the night has in store with activities and exhibitions in more than 40 cultural institutions in Frankfurt, Offenbach and Eschborn – and which in most houses will only end after seven hours on early Sunday morning.
Under the sign of the twenties
A few meters away, the German Film Institute and Film Museum also starts the "Night of the Museums" with momentum. In keeping with the exhibition "Weimar Female", the evening with live music and photo campaigns is dedicated to the twenties. The demand is already huge shortly after half past seven. Interested parties wait patiently until the Untermainbrücke to be admitted, inside the foyer, which has been converted into a dance floor, is already well filled. Dance teacher Stephan from the Monika Bauer dance school teaches visitors the basics of swing and lindy hop. "And rock step and arm up and now a turn," he shouts across the room. Jazz music by trumpeter Duke Heitger sounds from the speakers. There is a lot of laughter and jostling, the noise level is high. "You're great, give yourself a round of applause," Stephan urges.
Things are also bustling on the other side of the Main. The streets around the Römerberg are increasingly filling up with groups of people, many of whom are on the road with the organizer's small program booklets. The mild temperatures not only attract around 40,000 museum visitors to the city centre, but also many people who enjoy the sunshine on the green spaces on the banks of the Main or ride their bikes. Not everyone knows that after a three-year break, a "Night of Museums" is being celebrated again. "Oh, that's today?" says a cyclist to his companion as he rides from Römerberg towards the banks of the Main in the early evening – past the long queue in front of the Historical Museum. In addition to the exhibitions on democracy and inflation, the gramophone readings with Jo van Nelsen also attract visitors here.
Jazz band made up of ECB staff
A little patience is needed if you want to go to the Römer, which opens its doors this evening and shows an exhibition of revolutionary women in the Kaisersaal. A particularly large number of people also took the opportunity to see the Niki de Saint Phalle exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle, which ends on May 21. "We are already at 3950 visitors," says one of the security guards at the entrance shortly after 23 p.m. Accordingly, it is crowded inside, especially in the special exhibition there is little room to look at the works of art de Saint Phalle. Many settle for a selfie in front of the colorful sculptures and move on. The Caricatura Museum on Weckmarkt, which shows works by caricaturist Gerhard Haderer and drawings of the Paulskirche parliament from 1848/1849, is similarly cramped. On the top floor, visitors can make their own postcards in a workshop. At the Frankfurter Kunstverein, young artists present their works.
On the other hand, it is much quieter in the east of the city, at the European Central Bank. For the first time, the institution participates in the "Night of Museums". The fact that there are no queues at the entrance is solely due to the fact that only those who have previously registered online are admitted. For safety's sake. The demand was great, says an employee at the entrance: "All tours are fully booked, we had 1500 seats." Interested parties who have nevertheless come by spontaneously will be kindly turned away. Those who are registered get an insight that is rarely possible for the public. Art historians lead us through the corridors of the bank with artworks by Barbara Klemm and Nevin Aladağ on the walls, and the jazz band of ECB employees plays in the visitor centre.
Around midnight, more and more night owls and bachelorette parties mingle with the museum visitors on the Römerberg. The first houses have now completed their programme, but the lights are still on in the Kaisersaal. "Now the queue is much shorter," says a visitor happily, before she enters the Römer. Some have moved on to the institutions that have become a club in the early hours of the morning: to the Silent Disco in the Historical Museum or to the MOMEM at the Hauptwache, where even shortly before one o'clock many people are still waiting to be admitted to dance inside to live music through the night.