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Biographical/Historical Information

The Old Bridge was believed to have been built in the 11th century. It served as the only crossing between central and southern Germany, connecting Altstadt with Sachsenhausen, until the 19th century. The bridge suffered from various disasters over the centuries, including floods, fires, and wars. Most notable were St. Mary Magdalene's flood in 1342, a fire in 1414, and a flood in 1306 which killed 500 men in the destruction.

In the 13th century, the bridge was given stone piers, by the 14th, the timber roadway was also replaced with stone. By 1338, the bridge had two towers on both ends, with a chapel on the Sachsenhausen side, but these were destroyed already (along with the rest of the bridge) in the flood of 1342. The towers were rebuilt and were embellished in 1399 by Madern Gertner, the master architect of the tower of the Frankfurt Cathedral. They were a landmark feature of the bridge until they were demolished in 1765 (the Sachsenhausen Tower) and 1801 (the Frankfurt Tower). The old Brueckenmuehle (bridge mill) on the Main Island dates from the early 15th Century (first mentioned 1411), and remained in operation until 1912 when work to repair and rebuild the bridge began. The bridge was renamed the New Old Bridge, and in 1945 was destroyed by bombs in World War II. The bridge was rebuilt once again, replaced with steel, and reverted back to the name Old Bridge.

Georg Daniel Heumann was a German engraver and draftsman, active mainly in Nuremberg and Gottingen.

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Heumann, Georg Daniel: View of stone bridge between Frankfurt am Main and suburb, which is called Sachsenhausen, Leo Baeck Institute, 2001.58.