Zeiss Major Planetarium Berlin – an East German Flagship Facility that Still Ranks among Europe’s Finest

The Zeiss Major Planetarium Turned 30 Last Year

Last October saw the 30-year anniversary of an event that was of major importance in the history of socialist East Germany. On 9 October 1987, the grand opening of the Zeiss Major Planetarium adjacent to the new Ernst-Thälmannpark housing project in the Prenzlauer Berg district was celebrated with plenty of pomp and ceremony. The country’s leader Erich Honecker himself inaugurated the iconic new building among general enthusiasm in the political elite. One speaker praised ‘Berlin’s new landmark’ as a ‘striking testimony to the GDR’s socio-economic power’, as the Berliner Zeitung reported on 5 October 2017.

Aerial view of Zeiss Major Planetarium ©SPB / Foto: Hans-Friedger Lachmann

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Mural Art – Martin Maleschka’s Plattenbau Photos

East German pre-fab architecture is not high on most people’s list of aesthetic delights. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there are those who find these buildings constructed out of concrete slabs endlessly fascinating – among them the architect and photographer Martin Maleschka, whose pictures show that, far from being drab and monochrome, Plattenbau design in fact came in many shapes and colours.

Martin Maleschka
©Martin Maleschka
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Beyond Prefab: the GDR’s Best (?) Architects

What do you know about architecture in the GDR? It started with the Stalinist palaces on Karl-Marx-Allee and ended with endless boring prefab buildings (‘Plattenbauten’)? Think again. Even though building was – like everything else in the GDR – a government-run affair, there were still some architects that grew to be stars. They designed properties that still define Berlin, each an inseparable part of the time they were built in and each telling us about more than just architecture. So allow me to introduce you to three of the most remarkable architects of the GDR.
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More Than Just Real Estate: Buy A Piece of History

Does the idea of owning a home in Berlin appeal to you? Would you like to profit from the German capital’s well-deserved reputation as an attractive location to live and work and from the rising demand for residential properties across the city? We can help you to make your dream come true by buying a residential property at Strausberger Platz – where culture and  history meet to create a perfect balance of cosmopolitan ambience and unique local flair.


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