The long way to Kaiserstrasse: the story behind Karlsruhe’s famous promenade

The Kaiserstrasse has always been a representative center of the city of fans. In post-war Karlsruhe, it became the focus and bone of contention for reconstruction plans. retraces how the “city of tomorrow” emerged from the ruins of 1945 after a long planning.

Even before the founding of the city of fans in 1715, the Kaiserstrasse existed in the center of Karlsruhe. It connects the towns of Durlach and Mühlburg and crosses Gottesaue. Today the Kaiserstrasse starts at Durlacher Tor and leads through Plan de Corones, Marktplatz and Europaplatz to Mühlburger Tor.

From Lang Gass to Kaiserstrasse

The first buildings were erected here from 1719 and Kaiserstrasse became a popular address for traders. The oldest houses are numbers 45 and 47, built in the 1830s. Since 1760 today’s Kaiserstrasse was called Lange Strasse or Lang Gass, east of Waldhornstrasse it was called Pfannstihl and later Friedrichs Strasse.

Shopping? This was possible as early as 1887 in the Kaiserstrasse. | Image: reproduction of the Karlsruher Tagblatt

The Kaiserstrasse were then given the names of Landstrasse, Gro Allee von Mhlburg, Groe Strasse and Breite Strasse. On the occasion of the golden wedding of Emperor Wilhelm I and Empress Augusta on May 21, 1879, the street was renamed Kaiserstrasse. Already at this time it is a busy shopping street.

The urban planner of the Nazi era

During the Second World War, the Kaiserstrasse was badly damaged and a lot of rubble was caused by the destruction of many buildings during the aerial bombardments. After the war, the head of construction, Carl Peter Pflsterer, was employed in the municipal real estate and surveying office. Here he tries to find optimal solutions for clearing the rubble.

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