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777 years of trade fairs in Frankfurt

Trade fairs in Frankfurt am Main are rooted in 777 years of tradition. Since the Middle Ages, Frankfurt has been a centre for international trade with guests from all over the world. Centrally located and easy to reach, the exhibition grounds are now home to world-famous trade fair brands that are found at some 50 exhibition venues worldwide. As the world’s highest-grossing trade fair company with its own exhibition grounds, Messe Frankfurt offers its customers first-class platforms for trading, sales, communications, events and marketing and will continue to do so in the future.

Trade fairs in Frankfurt – a brief overview


First recorded reference to a trade fair in Frankfurt

Increases in productivity in agriculture led to surpluses being produced and subsequently sold on markets throughout Germany. The Autumn Fair came into being as a harvest fair in the 11th century.


Imperial fair privilege for the Frankfurt Autumn Fair granted by Emperor Frederick II.

This privilege declared merchants travelling to and from Frankfurt trade fairs to be under the personal protection of the Emperor. This helped to establish Frankfurt as the leading trade fair city.


Imperial fair privilege for the Frankfurt Spring Fair granted by Emperor Ludwig IV.

Frankfurt is seen as the “marketplace of Germany”. The trade fairs lead to goods being traded all over the country. Trading relations are established in virtually all European countries.

Levies, duties and taxes are lower during the trade fair.


Founding of Frankfurt Exchange

48 merchants travelling to the trade fair approach the Frankfurt town council requesting stability in money transactions and the introduction of fixed exchange rates. Their request is granted and the Frankfurt Exchange is born. Frankfurt takes the first step towards becoming a major financial centre.

1907 Founding of Ausstellungs- und Festhallen-Gesellschaft mbH and beginning of construction of the Festhalle, the centrepiece of an exhibition grounds that could be used all year round.
1982 Messe Frankfurt GmbH
Today A global player in the trade fair sector