Guided walk
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Guided walk

Volkswohnungsbau Bahnhofsstraße The tour begins with the „Volkswohnungsbau Bahnhofstraße“  1  , a housing complex with front gardens and rear courtyards. Dating from 1951/1956, this complex is an important document of the particular architectural development and urban planning prevalent in the first years of the German Democratic Republic. The new construction by architect Hermann Henselmann is to have a pioneering role for the planned redevelopment of Frankfurt and employs principles of modern architecture.

Lichtspieltheater der Jugend Now turn right onto Heilbronner Straße. After a few metres you will reach the „Lichtspieltheater der Jugend“ [i. e. Cinema of the Youth]  2  . This building, which opened in 1955, is characterised by its lavish forecourt design and spatial disposition. Because of its freestanding, prominent location and the large flight of stairs, the theatre is considered one of the most significant buildings of the 1950s in Frankfurt and is an essential element in the reconstruction of the war-torn city.

Magistrale Go through the Lennépark and over the Promenadengasse to the Magistrale [i. e. main street]  3  . This heritage-protected residential street, established 1958–1963, formed the epicentre of the city centre reconstruction programme and is characterised by the loosely structured positioning of the buildings and the variation between residential dwellings with retail zones and buildings that are strictly sales pavilions. The radical switch to the historic floor plan and plot structure is completed with the redevelopment of Karl-Marx-Straße, thus introducing a socialist urban planning programme that contrasts with the city‘s „bourgeois“ history. The residential dwellings represent an important step in the direction of the residential construction carried out a decade later with industrial prefabricated concrete slab modules.

Travelling over Kleine Oderstraße and Große Scharrnstraße you will reach the “Rathaus“ [town hall]. The historic town hall was built in 1253 in the north German brick Gothic style and was expanded in 1607 in the Renaissance style; it is one of the oldest and largest town halls in Germany. In the part of the town hall that dates from the Middle Ages is the Museum für junge Kunst [i. e. Museum Young Art]  4  with one of the most significant collections of art from East Germany.

Now stroll in the direction of the Oder until you reach the Kleist-Museum  5  . The museum that was established in 1969 in the erstwhile garrison school is dedicated to the life and work of the poet Heinrich von Kleist, who was born in Frankfurt in 1777. With its low base and the marble patterns that stretch over two storeys, the building completed by Friedrich Martin Knoblaugh in 1778 is designed in a style that is assigned to the most recent of the Late Baroque periods.

Amtsgericht The last stop is the former Amtsgericht [i. e. District Court]  6  which dates from 1931 and is located on the corner of Bachgasse/Große Scharrnstraße. It is now used by the District Attorney‘s office. This dominating building is one of the most important constructions representative of classic modernism in Brandenburg. With its farreaching curving corners, secluded entrance and uncompromising grid-design facade, the building possesses a unique vitality.

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