© Stadt Eisenhüttenstadt

"Planstadt" Eisenhüttenstadt

GDR history

Eisenhüttenstadt occupies a special position among all cities in eastern Germany, because Eisenhüttenstadt was conceived on the drawing board as the "first socialist city on German soil" and built on a "greenfield site", between the over 750-year-old city of Fürstenberg/Oder and the villages of Schönfließ and Diehlo.

The reason for the construction of the socialist model town was the establishment of the first ironworks in the former GDR in 1951. The very name of the town shows the close ties between the town and the plant, which still determine the pulse of the region today. The plant, known as Eisenhüttenkombinat Ost (EKO), is today one of the most modern flat steel producers in Europe and a successful member of the global ArcelorMittal group.

But Eisenhüttenstadt is not only home to the mighty silhouette of cooling towers, blast furnaces and steelworks implied by the city's name, but also to a green island, plenty of water and art. Listed as a historic monument and unique in Germany, the urban planning area sketches the construction and end of the GDR through its architecture - from magnificent residential buildings in the national building tradition to simple workers' quarters, most of which have been extensively renovated. The approximately 100 sculptures in the open space by renowned artists, the numerous mosaics and the design diversity of the facades also make a walk through the city a special and unforgettable experience.

The history of the city, which was called Stalinstadt until 1961, can be seen in the Municipal Museum with its gallery, which has a culturally and historically significant art collection. The goal of the Documentation Center for Everyday Culture in the GDR, which is housed in a former daycare center, is to explore everyday life in the GDR and present it in changing exhibitions - a building with a classicist appearance. Unique in Brandenburg is the collection of historic fire engines and small-scale technology in the Fire and Technology Museum. 

The city's largest recreational area is the "island", which lies near the city center, nestled in the middle of two arms of the Oder-Spree Canal. Here, far from the hustle and bustle of civilization, is a well-kept park with sports and playgrounds, animal enclosures, miniature golf, a skateboarding track and an indoor swimming pool, which has been converted into an adventure pool.

In the wooded and water-rich landscapes of Brandenburg, numerous bike paths have been created and expanded in recent years, some of which were created exclusively for cyclists without any car traffic and are perfectly passable. Nature and culture without borders along the Neisse and Oder rivers with a view of neighboring Poland can be experienced on the certified Oder-Neisse Cycle Path. Eisenhüttenstadt is a recommended stop on the 282 km tour. The route leads through the historic district of Fürstenberg, where idyllic corners of the old fishermen's quarter on the Oder-Spree Canal entice visitors to linger. The Gothic parish church (14th century), the ensemble around the town hall and the narrow streets with lovingly restored houses are also worth seeing.

In the district of Fürstenberg, the Oder-Spree Canal branches off to the Berlin waters. This is an important waterway junction, especially for recreational captains. From here, there are the best conditions for water sports enthusiasts to explore the natural river landscape of the Oder from Berlin to the Baltic Sea. A special experience is the passage of the Eisenhüttenstadt twin shaft lock. This unique technical monument overcomes a height difference of 14 m and can be visited by prior arrangement.

There is so much more to discover in the city, of contrasts - between modernity and tradition. This was also felt by the US actor Tom Hanks, who never tires of talking enthusiastically about our special city. He gave Eisenhüttenstadt the name "Iron-Hut-City" and we didn't miss the chance to tell everyone about it...

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