Eisenhüttenstadt is a city of 23,000 people (2021) in Brandenburg. It was founded in the 1950s, and its Stalinist architecture is a major draw for travellers. Many buildings are protected due to their historic and architectural value.
Eisenhüttenstadt was founded as Stalinstadt in the 1950s in the eastern part of communist East Germany to house the employees of an iron works (Eisenhütte) nearby. It was named after Soviet premier Joseph Stalin. After he died and new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev dismantled Stalin's cult of personality, Stalinstadt was united with the pre-existing city of Fürstenberg to form a new municipality under the de-Stalinized name of "Eisenhüttenstadt".
The town has had the same problems after 1990 as most towns of its size in the former East Germany, including unemployment, young people moving out, and low birth rates. Its unique history and architecture make it a somewhat undiscovered destination for tourism. While the name may be challenging if you don't speak German, it means "Iron Hut City". Locals often shorten it to "Hütte" in daily conversation.
- 1 Flugplatz Eisenhüttenstadt. A general aviation airfield
The closest international airport is Berlin Brandenburg Airport BER IATA.
Eisenhüttenstadt is served by regional trains only. If you are already in Brandenburg, a Länder-Ticket may be a good idea. There are direct trains from Berlin, Frankfurt an der Oder and Cottbus.
- 2 Eisenhüttenstadt railway station (Bahnhof Eisenhüttenstadt), Eisenbahnstraße 21.
From the A12 about 28 km south of Frankfurt an der Oder.
- 1 Tourist information (Tourismusverein Oder-Region Eisenhüttenstadt e.V.), Lindenallee 25, ☏ +49 3364 41 36 90, firstname.lastname@example.org. M W F 09:00–15:00, Tu Th 09:00–17:00, Sa 10:00–14:00 (May to October only). The city's tourist information is staffed by friendly and cheerful locals, who'll be able to answer any question you might possibly have on "Iron Hut City". They also rent out bikes, can arrange accommodation and provide guided tours. Their English might be limited (depending on the staff on duty), but non-German speakers should be able to get by.
- Soviet memorial (Sowjetisches Ehrenmal), Platz des Gedenkens. For 4109 prisoners of war.
- Memorial stone in Jewish cemetery (Gedenkstein auf dem Jüdischen Friedhof), Kirchhofweg. For a murdered Jewish family from Fürstenberg.
- Memorial plaque (Gedenktafel am Geburtshaus), Königstraße 61. For a shot Jewish couple.
- 2 German-Polish-Soviet Friendship (Deutsch-Polnisch-Sowjetische Freundschaft), Lindenallee 2A. Perhaps the most famous piece of Socialist Realism in Eisenhüttenstadt, created in 1965 and located on the backside of the former department store "Magnet". It was created by Walter Womacka, who was also responsible for similar architectural artworks in Berlin's district of Mitte.
- 3 Museum of the GDR's day-to-day life (Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR), Erich-Weinert-Allee 3, ☏ +49 3364 41 73 55, email@example.com. Tu–Su 11:00–17:00. A small museum, housed in the city's former day nursery, with exhibits and background information (in German and English) on daily life in the GDR. There is a permanent exhibition as well as a temporary one. A good place to buy GDR knicknacks and postcards as souvenirs. Adult €4, reduced €2.
- Museum Eisenhüttenstadt, Löwenstraße 4, ☏ +49 3364 21 46, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu–F 10:00–17:00, Sa–Su 13:00–17:00. Regular €2, reduced €1, more for special exhibitions.
- Fire brigade museum (Feuerwehrmuseum), Heinrich-Pritzsche-Straße 26, ☏ +49 336 28243.
- Jesu Christi Der Heiligen der letzten Tage, Lindenplatz 1, ☏ +49 3364 76 91 92. Mormon Church.
- 4 Iron work's gas holder (Gasometer des EKO-Stahlwerks), Straße 32.
Like most German towns and cities, Eisenhüttenstadt has several supermarkets, with Kaufland being the biggest one.
- 1 Kaufland Eisenhüttenstadt, Fährstraße 35. M–Sa 07:00–22:00.
- 2 Restaurant Aktivist, Karl-Marx-Straße 45, ☏ +49 3364 28 00 788. Tu–Fr 11:30-14:00 & 17:00–22:00, Sa 11:00-14:00 & 17:00–22:00, Su 11:00–14:00. Eisenhüttenstadt's first restaurant, conceived by the city planners as Großgaststätte for the workers residing here. Nowadays, only the building's left wing is used as restaurant, however one can still marvel at the intricate interior design while sitting in comfortable satin arm chairs and enjoying a traditional German meal. In stark contrast, your food will be delivered by a robot (still a rare sight in Europe's restaurants, let alone in Germany) with a cat face – but don't worry, the plates will be put on your table by the friendly staff who'll also be the ones serving your drinks. From approx €12 (mains).
- 1 Hotel Fürstenberg, Gubener Straße 12, ☏ +49 3364 75440.
- Frankfurt an der Oder
- If you haven't been to Berlin already, it is about 1½ hr by train
- The town is right at the border with Poland however the pre-WWII built Oder bridge is still in ruins, so you'll have to go to Frankfurt an der Oder (north) or the village of Coschen (south) to cross over.
- The Lusatian Lake District is just to the south and west.