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The OpernTurm, so called because it is across the street from the Old Opera, was opened in 2010. With an architectural height of 169.98 meters (according to Emporis), it is currently the eleventh tallest building in Frankfurt am Main, because it is two centimeters shorter than number ten. (This is probably well within the margin of error for such measurements, but never mind.)

UBS in red letters on the OpernTurm

The letters UBS on the building stand for Union Bank of Switzerland, which was what this organization used to be called before it was merged with the Swiss Bank Corporation in 1998. They still use the initials but not the name. UBS is the main tenant in the OpernTurm, but there are also a few others.

If you have read about the UBS organization in the news, it was probably because they were accused of helping their wealthy clients evade taxes in the United States; or because they took huge losses in a recent financial crisis and had to be bailed out by the Swiss government; or because they were accused of speculating against the Swiss franc; or because of alleged fraudulent trading by one of their employees. (Have I forgotten anything?)

OpernTurm from Goetheplatz

On the other hand, the German branch of UBS has been known to do some useful sponsoring. In 2011, for instance, they sponsored a new production of the opera Otello by Giuseppe Verdi at the Frankfurt Opera.

Opera in Frankfurt is not just for rich people, but for everybody. The very rich don’t even go there any more, because it isn’t posh enough for them.

OpernTurm with the Old Opera

Where the rich people do go is to the Old Opera (Alte Oper in German), which is no longer an opera house but just a concert hall, with high prices and an ambience that appeals to the affluent. So for them, the OpernTurm is conveniently located, just across the street.

My photos in this post are from 2010 and 2011. I revised the text in 2020.

Next: Frankfurt Skyline Countdown # 10.
See also: The Old Opera in Frankfurt.

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