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Old July 27th, 2017, 12:31 PM   #2041
qjone2
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Even if they hadn't been so utterly destroyed in the war,, I feel that a lot of large German cities would have been redeveloped poorly in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, much like in Britain.

That's not to say that some cities wouldn't have retained their Altstadt more or less unchanged, but as a whole they almost certainly wouldn't have been as idyllic as some people think.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 12:40 PM   #2042
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Without WW2 though, modernism would never have gotten the chance to spread like it did though.
It'd have been much more of an incremental process and we'd probably have seen a continuation of classical styles too, without much interruption. Even more so than we've seen in the United States for example.

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I doubt there would be 18 World heritage cities in Germany, as many of the historic city centers whre heavily modified during industrialisation period, but a lot of individual buildings or building ensembles would be.
I think there would be quite a few more. Just to name a few old towns, that were largely untouched by historicism and modernisation of the 19th/20th centuries, or at least kept their very core landmarks and ensembles:

Frankfurt
Dresden
Nuremberg
Würzburg
Hildesheim
Braunschweig
Kassel
Augsburg

Well and we'd also have to add cities that now aren't German but would probably have remained:

Breslau
Danzig
Königsberg
Thorn
Straßburg

And places like Bremen, Mainz, Hannover or even München might have been a considerable pick. But probably the larger ones would have continued to modernize.


But this is all highly speculative. We should focus on things we can actually do to improve current cityscapes.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 03:24 PM   #2043
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Quote:
Well and we'd also have to add cities that now aren't German but would probably have remained:

Breslau
Danzig
Königsberg
Thorn
Straßburg

You don't have to worry about Toruń (Thorn), because it was untouched during the war and its old city is on the list of UNESCO already
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Old July 27th, 2017, 03:50 PM   #2044
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Strasbourg is also on the UNESCO list, and Breslau/Wroclaw is still very beautiful!
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Old July 27th, 2017, 04:44 PM   #2045
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I'm aware of that. What I was saying is, that these "could have been" German UNESCO cities.
While I really appreciate them as Polish/French old towns, anyway. They are lovely cities.
And Strasbourg probably wouldn't have survived like it has if it were still German during WW2...

Also I'm not sure Breslau/Wroclaw and Danzig/Gdansk would have been reconstructed like they were after WW2, if they weren't Polish by then. Probably not. At best, they'd have been heavily diminished versions of their selves.
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Last edited by erbse; July 27th, 2017 at 04:57 PM.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 05:43 PM   #2046
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^Yes, I agree with both of your points; in particular, I am pretty sure Strasbourg would have probably been destroyed had it remained German. On the other hand, Breslau's main Market Square (which is simply stunning and is the heart of the old town) survived the war largely intact and thus would have existed even under continued German control. Anyway, this is of course, as you said, speculative.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 10:31 PM   #2047
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emperormadness View Post
Breslau's main Market Square (which is simply stunning and is the heart of the old town) survived the war largely intact
No, Market Square was heavily shelled by powerful soviet artillery.

Proof:

https://apetcher.files.wordpress.com...aiser-1945.jpg

http://wroclaw.fotopolska.eu/28421,foto.html
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Old July 28th, 2017, 12:47 AM   #2048
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I mean sure it was damaged, but compared to this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombin...tbild_1944.jpg

I would say it got out in reasonable good shape; in any case it needed restoration not reconstruction, which means that the chances of it being preserved after the war even as part of East Germany would have been higher than that of other cities which had been completely destroyed.

There is also this good map of the destruction in the square:

http://www.wratislavia.net/pictures/map_destruct2.jpg

As you can see the square got off pretty well, with some exceptions; the eastern part of the old town was almost completely destroyed, and as far as I know it was not rebuilt since Warsaw and Gdansk were seen as the top priorities at the time.
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Old July 28th, 2017, 01:26 AM   #2049
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I feel that Polish cities (including those that were formerly German) are the most likely to see further reconstructions in coming years.

The Polish economy is getting increasingly strong and they've always been more inclined towards reconstruction than the Germans.

Wrocław (Breslau) in particular has a pronounced oldtown with quite a few ugly, crumbling post-war buildings, especially to the east. I've no doubt hese areas this will probably be redeveloped at some point, and their very obvious position in the oldtown will, I'm sure, raise the question of reconstructions.
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Old July 28th, 2017, 03:45 PM   #2050
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The Breslau Neumarkt before the war:



And today:



Only a couple of hundred meters away from from the famously reconstructed market place:

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Old July 28th, 2017, 04:45 PM   #2051
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It's sad to think that Wroclaw would have probably looked entirely like its "new" Neumarkt had it been bombed like Dresden during the war...
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Old July 28th, 2017, 05:15 PM   #2052
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It's sad to think that Wroclaw would have probably looked entirely like its "new" Neumarkt had it been bombed like Dresden during the war...
Yes, aerial bombardment was (and is) so much more destructive than many are able to fathom.

The only reason so much of Wrocław survived the war was precisely because it was out of Allied Bomber range. While many bemoan the destruction during the Siege of Breslau, damage north of the Hauptbahnhof was mostly fragmentary, while across the Oder there are 30+ blocks of mostly prewar buildings (all of which need cleaning up/restoration, but whatever).
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Old July 28th, 2017, 06:24 PM   #2053
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Stettin

















Frontal view on Hakenterasse/Wały Chrobrego (the photo just above) looks really great but unfortunately I didn't find any good photo of it from before WWII. Stettin was hit quite hard by allied bombardings, resulting in destroying 70% of city's tissue.
Here are some photos of more important buildings that survived the war:
http://i.imgur.com/R821jNyg.jpg (Hakenterasse), http://i.imgur.com/Q1IhqYY.jpg (Cathedral - one side of wall had to be rebuilt, unfortunately wasn't rebuild in gothic style), example of renovated tenement house: http://imgur.com/QqIIWyM ,
http://i.imgur.com/4esVy9wg.jpg
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Old July 29th, 2017, 06:46 AM   #2054
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I think that Szczecin/Stettin will develop into a beautiful city once again, probably with some interesting contrasts between old and new. Blocks and blocks of beautiful old houses survived the war, but are difficult to appreciate because they're often in such poor shape.

Unfortunately, the old town was almost entirely destroyed and is restricted on nearly all sides by widened roads.
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Old July 30th, 2017, 01:20 AM   #2055
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That's true, a lot of 19th century tenement houses survived in Stetin and wait for their renovation, though a lot of bad stuff was already built as fillings to historical quarters. Part of the old town was also rebuilt, but in a pseudo-historic kitschy manner (apart from few kamienicas that were rebuilt according to historical photos and you can tell the difference there). The worst that happened to old town are commieblocks, they usually have 2/3 storeys so they aren't any close to being outscaled for a such a place but they just look bad. Add to that some shitty colors and there you have just tasteless and depressive shit.

Facade renovations of 19th cenutury tenement houses aren't that expensive (around 50k euro per line-tenement house).. I feel like people in Stettin don't give any shit about old stuff. City center looks as bad as it looked during socialistic times, if not worse, since at least advertisements and banner looked way more civil back then and city was less corrupted by car transit. It is literally sometimes hard to walk by on some streets beacuse cars park there too deep and too close to buildings, sadly it happens on main streets.
As city center stagnates, suburbia got developed and a lot of invesments take place there as well as municipial spendings for new roads, schools, sidewalks etc. Office buildings and new tenements are usually built there also.
I feel like most of the things built till about 2007 look like noveau-riche in a bad manner. Recently it has improved (open spaces, office buildings, small architecture, also public buildings commissioned by city) but there is still enermous amount of work to do.
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Old July 30th, 2017, 01:47 AM   #2056
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Stettins Gründerzeit looks pretty much like that in Berlin. Though the city wasn't that big before WW1. Like Pommerania in total, it grew a lot in the interwar period whereas other cities, which boomed before WW1, struggled, especially those tied to textile industry.

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The only reason so much of Wrocław survived the war was precisely because it was out of Allied Bomber range.
Did survive that much? The whole south and west is largely a huge commie block area. The city had over 600.000 inhabitants before 1939. Compared to this numbers, the surviving parts are rather small IMO.
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Old July 30th, 2017, 02:45 AM   #2057
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Originally Posted by Sentyme View Post
City center looks as bad as it looked during socialistic times, if not worse, since at least advertisements and banner looked way more civil back then and city was less corrupted by car transit. It is literally sometimes hard to walk by on some streets beacuse cars park there too deep and too close to buildings, sadly it happens on main streets.
As city center stagnates, suburbia got developed and a lot of invesments take place there as well as municipial spendings for new roads, schools, sidewalks etc. Office buildings and new tenements are usually built there also.
I feel like most of the things built till about 2007 look like noveau-riche in a bad manner. Recently it has improved (open spaces, office buildings, small architecture, also public buildings commissioned by city) but there is still enermous amount of work to do.
Szczecin still has an infrastructure problem, definitely, and the city really needs cleaning up.

Its biggest problem is probably the traffic, caused by the massive widening of certain roads during the socialist period. A lot of traffic seems to merely pass through Szczecin. This, combined with the aforementioned infrastructure problems, makes for a city centre that favours cars over people. There are no natural places of congregation and the old town is still a borderline ruin full of open spaces and crumbling (low-rise) communists blocks, bisected by yet another road.

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Did survive that much? The whole south and west is largely a huge commie block area. The city had over 600.000 inhabitants before 1939. Compared to this numbers, the surviving parts are rather small IMO.
I suppose you're right, but descriptions of the city's destruction are definitely exaggerated ('the city was flattened', 'everything was reduced to a smouldering pile of rubble' etc.). Also note that the Wehrmacht destroyed a lot of the city themselves:

Quote:
. . . after the Soviet capture of the Gandauer airfield, the Wehrmacht destroyed many houses and three churches to build a provisional airstrip 200 to 400 meters wide and two kilometers long.
I assume this is the reason so little survives south of the main station, and probably destroyed a fair chunk of the old Gründerzeit quarter there, some of which might otherwise have survived.
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Old July 30th, 2017, 04:46 PM   #2058
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Some pictures of Stettin/Szczecin's old town, almost entirely destroyed:













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Old July 31st, 2017, 01:50 PM   #2059
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Originally Posted by qjone2 View Post
I feel that Polish cities (including those that were formerly German) are the most likely to see further reconstructions in coming years.

The Polish economy is getting increasingly strong and they've always been more inclined towards reconstruction than the Germans.

Wrocław (Breslau) in particular has a pronounced oldtown with quite a few ugly, crumbling post-war buildings, especially to the east. I've no doubt hese areas this will probably be redeveloped at some point, and their very obvious position in the oldtown will, I'm sure, raise the question of reconstructions.
Don't count on that. It's all about modernism and its variations. The best we can get is some pseudo-historicism and even that only sometimes.
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Old August 1st, 2017, 03:58 PM   #2060
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The only reason so much of Wrocław survived the war was precisely because it was out of Allied Bomber range.
So was Konigsberg, probably the only non-existent german city. After soviet sidge there was nothing left but ruins and few suburban buildings. Belive me, 2000 big guns can inflict as much damage as allied bombings.
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