Culture Trails

Specialists in cultural group travel

GNTB-Hans Peter Merten

Urban planning - Germany



In Berlin and in two towns within easy reach, your group will encounter a number of approaches to urban planning, mainly in the post-War communist state of East Germany (the German Democratic Republic).


Large parts of Berlin were destroyed by allied bombing and in the arrival of the Red Army in 1945.  Interesting contrasts may be drawn between the developments after 1945 in the western and eastern parts of the city - not least the soviet style apartment blocks leading away from Alexanderplatz.  You will also visit a less-well-known residential development from around 1930, which somehow managed to survive the war.


Neubrandenburg, about 90 minutes north of Berlin, was and remains a mediaeval town surrounded by a 2.3 kilometre long, 7 metre high wall, with four gates.  After 1945, new suburbs were built conforming to the GDR idea of mixed residential, commercial and industrial zoning.


The third town you will visit is Eisenhüttenstadt, on the River Oder facing Poland.  Following the destruction of the war, the East Germans built a massive steel works here and the town around it was built according to socialist principles, like Nowa Huta in Poland and Magnitogorsk in the USSR.  In the early days, Stalinist and neo-classical architecture predominated, but this gave way to Plattenbau (prefabricated) construction.