At the southern entrance to Bonames, a historic section of Frankfurt, a magnificent building to the right catches the eye: the "Metzler House", situated on a small hill in the former center of Bonames, surrounded by tall old trees and currently in the direct vicinity of an industrial mill.
The property dates back to Roman times. Excavations in 2007 unearthed the remains of what must have once been a quite large roadside lodging. The name Bonames was presumably derived from this lodging – after all, "bona mansio" is Latin for "good hostel".
Bonames was first mentioned in a document in 1030. At that time, it was already part of the imperial estate. A Franconian Saalhof was built there and served as a place where the kings' traveling party could rest and feast. The Saalhof also lived up to its name as a "good hostel" during the Thirty Years' War. According to legend, it temporarily housed the Swedish king Gustav Adolf.
The building received its harmoniously elegant appearance in the 19th century when it came into the possession of Frankfurt’s merchant family "Tee-Schmidt". Tea trader Johann Friedrich Schmidt had the neoclassical building erected by renowned architect Rudolph Burnitz – and it still stands in this form today. Only the vaulted cellar of the Franconian Saalhof and the medieval watchtower were preserved from earlier times.
Through marriage, the estate finally came into the possession of the Metzler family at the beginning of the 20th century. Initially, it was used primarily as a summer residence and retreat from the often sweltering hot city of Frankfurt. When the bombs were dropped on Frankfurt in World War II, Bonames temporarily became the regular residence of the Metzler family and also provided space for other families.
The Metzler family has long come to realize that business lunches and dinners are more fruitful here than anywhere else. Since 1994, the bank has been using the extensively renovated property with its stylish yet comfortable atmosphere as a guest house and venue for conferences and seminars. Thus, history has come full circle, returning to ancient Roman times when the bona mansio, the good hostel, was located on the road to Friedberg!