Frankfurt am Main (German: [ˈfʁaŋkfʊɐtʰ], English: [ˈfɹæŋkfɜːt]) is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2008 population of 670,000. The urban area had an estimated population of 2.26 million in 2001. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5.3 million and is Germany's second largest metropolitan area.
In English, this city's name translates into "Frankfurt on the Main" (pronounced like "mine"). A part of early Franconia, the inhabitants were the early Franks. The city is located on an ancient ford on the river Main, which is a shallow crossing. The German word is "Furt". Thus the city's name receives its legacy as being the "ford of the Franks".
Situated on the Main River, Frankfurt is the financial and transportation centre of Germany and the largest financial centre in continental Europe. It is seat of the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Trade Fair, as well as several large commercial banks. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world's busiest international airports, Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest terminal stations in Europe, and the Frankfurter Kreuz (Autobahn interchange) is the most heavily used interchange incontinental Europe. Frankfurt is the only German city listed as one of ten Alpha world cities. Frankfurt lies in the former American Occupation Zone of Germany, and it was formerly the headquarters city of the U.S. Army in Germany.
Among English speakers the city is commonly known simply as "Frankfurt", though Germans occasionally call it by its full name when it is necessary to distinguish it from the other (significantly smaller) "Frankfurt" in the state of Brandenburg, Frankfurt (Oder).
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