If you leave Magdeburg city centre and cross to the other side of the Elbe bank, you can visit the viewing platform on the Albinmüller Tower in Rothehorn Park and enjoy a completely different view of the city from there.
On our way to the tower, we passed a beautiful German brick expressionist building, scaffolded by a construction fence.
Magdeburg City Hall
The Magdeburger City Hall was built in 1926/27 and belongs to the Neues Bauen architectural style. The eye-catching building was created for the German Theatre Exhibition in 1927.
The new city hall was to establish Magdeburg as the most important exhibition and congress city in Central Germany. Amazingly, the construction time was very short, just under 6 months. The planning must have been extremely good, construction work was organised in parallel, pre-assembled components were used and night-time heating led to rapid drying. The result was a building 100 metres long, 50 metres wide and 22 metres high. One of the most modern organs in Europe stood in the large hall, which was equipped with the most modern acoustic equipment, and so it is not surprising that well-known conductors enjoyed giving concerts in the city hall.
The Second World War damaged the building and from 1966 it could be brought back to life as a concert and congress hall. The biggest part in this was played by the citizens of Magdeburg, who not only organised donations for the reconstruction but also provided a lot of labour.
The city hall now had a large hall that could be used for the various cultural events until 2020 with 3100 standing places. A somewhat smaller second hall with about 200 seats was used for receptions and smaller events.
At the moment, a renovation of the hall is taking place until 2024. Hopefully we will be able to take a look inside afterwards. I find the building visually very interesting, it reminds me a bit of the Haus des Rundfunks in Berlin.
Albinmüller-Tower in Magdeburg
The 60-metre-high Albinmüller Tower rises directly next to the Stadthalle. Like the Stadthalle, it was built in 1926/27 in the New Objectivity/Expressionism style. Until 2012, the tower was still called the Rothehornpark observation tower.
The observation tower was named Albinmüller Tower after its architect Albin Müller, who created it for the 1927 theatre exhibition.
The reinforced concrete structure has a square ground plan. The top is a 15-metre-high glass and steel construction that was used as a restaurant for a while. Unfortunately, it proved uneconomical in the long run, as too few guests can be seated there. In the evening, the glass spire is illuminated.
The tower itself is rather plain. A few relief figures can be seen and small rectangular windows structure the building. There is a viewing platform around the tower.
During our visit to Magdeburg, the Albinmüller Tower was open to visitors. So we could take the opportunity to visit the viewing platform.
You enter the tower through a turnstile with a small pay station. Here you can only pay with coins. During our visit, however, there were staff on site who could also change money. You can take a lift to the viewing platform. Or, if you prefer to walk, you can climb the 252 steps to the viewing platform at a height of 45 metres.
I recommend climbing the stairs. On the numerous intermediate levels there are exhibition panels about the area around the tower and the development of Magdeburg in the period from 1919 to 1933. I found these very interesting, as they gave me a completely new view of the city.
From the viewing platform you have a great view over the Elbe to the old town with the cathedral and St. John’s Church. A little further away, you will discover the millennium tower in the Elbauenpark and can look out over the Rothehornpark. Supposedly, with good visibility you can even see the Harzer Brocken.
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 12-18h
2,- per person
Attention! You can only pay with coins (0,50€, 1€, 2€).
Pferdetor (Horse gate) in Magdeburg
Also designed by Albin Müller was the Horse Gate, which stands right next to the City Hall and the Albinmüller Tower. Today it stands at the edge of a car park and actually only looks pretty. The gate no longer has a function.
This was once different. The Horse Gate was built, just like the neighbouring buildings, in the course of the German Theatre Exhibition in 1927. The gate formed the northern end of the Court of Honour and was the entrance to the amusement park.
Albin Müller chose the Saxon horse as the end of the columns for historical reasons. Light round arches run between the individual columns, forming a passageway.
Actually, it is a great pity that this beautiful gate is rather unnoticed and functionless today.