The Karl-Marx-Allee is a monumental socialist boulevard built by the German Democratic Republic between 1951 and 1964 in Berlin. First... more » named Stalinallee, the boulevard was a flagship building project for East Germany's reconstruction after World War II.
It was designed by the architects Hermann Henselmann, Hartmann, Hopp, Leucht, Paulick and Souradny to contain spacious and luxurious apartments for workers as well as shops, restaurants, cafés, a tourist hotel and an enormous cinema (the International). Today the boulevard is named for Karl Marx.
The avenue (89 meters wide and nearly two kilometers long) is lined with monumental eight-story buildings designed in the so-called wedding-cake style, the socialist classicism of the Soviet Union. At each end are dual towers at Frankfurter Tor and Strausberger Platz designed by Hermann Henselmann. Most of the buildings are covered by architectural ceramics.
On June 17, 1953, the Stalinallee became the focus of a worker uprising that endangered the young country's existence. Builders and construction workers demonstrated against the communist government, leading to a national uprising. The rebellion was quashed with Soviet tanks and troops, resulting in the loss of at least 125 lives.
Later the street was used for East Germany's parades, like the annual May Day parade, National Day (Oct. 7) and the day when Berlin Wall went up (Aug. 13) featuring thousands of soldiers along with tanks and other military vehicles to showcase the power and the glory of the communist government. (Source: Wikipedia)
If you walk along the Karl-Marx-Allee by starting at the Alexaderplatz, you will see the newer part of the boulevard that was built from 1959-64. The residences are built in a cheap and efficient way from pre-made materials. The pavilions for shopping, food and culture around the corner of the Schillingstreet are designed in typical 1950s-'60s style.
From around the Straussberger Platz the street exemplifies the classical part known as Stalinist architecture. It was mainly built in just two years between 1951-53. At that time it was the flagship dwelling project of East Germany. The architecture demonstrates the GDR's reverence for "the workers." less «