A Trip to East Berlin

Berlin Cityscape - photos by Bill Dhalle

In a new article up on GoNOMAD, writer Bill Dhalle writes about his trip to East Berlin, and the impressions from the former Soviet Union that are still on the part of the city. Here’s a selection.

Old names die hard, and that is certainly the case in the eastern areas of Berlin where many streets, parks and squares have retained their communist inspired names. Karl-Marx-Allee is a sprawling four lane boulevard that has been called East Germany’s answer to des Champs Elysées in Paris.

KMA stretches from Alexanderplatz in the Mitte district, to Frankfurter Tor in the Friedrichshain district. The boulevard was born from post-war reconstruction of the Soviet occupied zones of Berlin. Called Stalinallee from the end of the war until 1962, it was built to represent the socialist ideals of the New Germany.

Just about all the buildings were designed in the “wedding cake” style of “Socialst-Realist” architecture. In fact, some of the buildings are said to have been copied from structures in Moscow.

Today, KMA is full of stores, cafés and apartments. Many of the buildings are now under protection order as landmarks. Along some areas of the street there are historical markers that describe the buildings and their significance.

Walking along KMA is a great way to get a peek at a truly historical section of Berlin, but it is a long walk from Alexanderplatz to Frankfurter Tor.

Read the rest of Dhalle’s story at GoNOMAD.com