Since the Middle Ages Frankfurt has been one of the major urban centers of Germany. First documented in 794, it has been a free city since the High Middle Ages and later the coronation city of the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1816 Frankfurt became an independent town and in 1848 it was the birthplace of the German democracy, when the meeting of the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) took place in St. Paul's Church. Today the city on the Main is an international financial center and seat of the European Central Bank, the Bundesbank, the stock market and many other large banks. Frankfurt is the only German city with a skyline that forms a strange contrast to the medieval buildings surrounding the “Römer” – Frankfurt's town hall.