"Magdeburg" Top 5 Page for this destination Magdeburg by Kathrin_E
Magdeburg Travel Guide: 112 reviews and 374 photos
World War II bombs destroyed the old city centre. The DDR regime restored the Dom and a few other historical buildings but they did their best to turn Magdeburg into a socialist city. The typical residential blocks of prefabricated concrete pieces, known as Plattenbauten, were erected even in the heart of the town around the Dom. Along the northern part of Breiter Weg, the main street, a socialist shopping mall was built. The former monastery of Liebfrauen was turned into an art museum, the church into a concert hall.
I visited Magdeburg for the first time in February 1990, a few weeks after the opening of the iron fence. Apart from some visits to East Berlin, which had always been better off, this was my first and rather shocking impression of a DDR town. The air was heavy with brown coal fumes from the heating. Old buildings were decayed and the huge Plattenbauten did not look too good either. A few photos – I should have taken more – are to be seen in my 1990 travelogue.
Twenty years later a lot has improved. However, there was not much historical flair to save in the wounded and torn centre. Instead, new buildings have been erected, huge shopping malls and office buildings. The capital of Saxony-Anhalt is a workers’ town and has the atmosphere of a workers’ town. The medieval cathedral, founded by Emperor Otto I. around 1000, is its main attraction and largest historical monument.
Further away from the city centre, however, large pre-war quarters have survived. First of all there is the very pretty late 19th century area around Hegelstraße in the south. For the fans of early 20th century architecture, there is a large amount of 1920s residential quarters around Stadtfeld and Bruno-Taut-Ring (no coincidence, the ring road was named after the most important architect who designed many of these buildings).
My latest visit took place on January 2, 2009. It was a cold winter’s day. Merciful snow covered all the leftovers of New Year’s Eve parties and fireworks. During the day it was snowing heavily, as you see in many of the photos. In the late afternoon the sky cleared and it was a blue, freezing winter’s evening. In the snow, even a city like Magdeburg looks pretty...
I had been to Magdeburg quite often some years ago when I did some research projects for the regional church, so you will also spot some summer photos in my pages.
This poor city's heart has been wounded and torn first by World War II, then by 40 years of socialism. The latter did its best to wipe out the remnants of Magdeburg's history.
Though not completely. One has to look for the traces of history. Recent efforts to improve the quality of life in this city are visible. Magdeburg is not a place one would cross oceans for, but if you come to see its greatest monument, the cathedral, add some time to your visit and look further round. Not only to learn about DDR times.
Trams are the main means of public transport in Magdeburg city and to the suburbs. The network has been modernized after... more travel advice
The pedestrian street has been planned in DDR times. It connects Otto-von-Guericke-Straße and Breiter Weg. The YHA... more travel advice
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