Karl Marx Allee which is nearly 2kms in length, is located between Strausberger Platz and Frankfurter Tor. The area was totally destroyed during WW2 and work started in 1949 on what was then called Stalinallee to construct what was going to be a showpiece road and area for the new GDR. The avenue was widen to 90m to accommodate parades and over the next 10 years 8 storey blocks of flats, shops and restaurants were constructed in the socialist classicism style. During June 1953 there was a workers uprising against the communist government which was quashed by military force costing 125 lives. Over the years the buildings gradually became run down but during the 1990’s work was started to restore the buildings and the area is now a historic monument. As I wandered along early on a Sunday afternoon I noticed that a couple of the larger restaurants were popular with diners consuming their Sunday Brunch. The area is worth a visit just to view the soviet style of architecture.
This is the last of Europe's grand avenues! It takes some emperor power or authoritarian regime to build straight lines of these proportions, and with democracies and liberal capitalism spreading all over Europe it is hard to imagine this happening very soon.
Stalinallee (as it was originally called) was the showcase of German Democratic Republic architecture and urban planning. The construction began in early 1950s in a kitchy style supervised by Hermann Henselmann. The residential buildings were comfortable and luxuriously furnished, and some of Honnecher's guests were probably convinced that this is how the people of GDR lived everywhere.
The immense width of the avenue houses six traffic lanes, underground metro line, a broad green stretch and wide pavements. The architectural highlights are towers at Frankfurter tor and the building of the Kosmos cinema - one of the rare buildings that didn't go far in Stalinist kitsch.
The avenue was recently protected as a cultural monument and Meissner ceramic tiles carefully restored.
Have a look at a huge road full of Soviet style buildings built in the 1950s. I love this street, it looks gorgeous!! It's probably my favourite street in Berlin!
I even had the chance to look at the inside of these buildings. The flats are great, I'd love to live there some day. But it's really hard to get a free flat here I guess!