Hollywood star Tom Hanks on the David Letterman show recently spoke about the charms of a small German town called Eisenhüttenstadt. Located near the Polish border, its architecture and history make it worth a visit.
When it was established in 1950, Eisenhüttenstadt was touted as the first socialist city on German soil. The steelworks are the heart of the town. Known as EKO in the former communist East Germany, today they are owned by ArcelorMittal, a global steel company. The factory is open for guided tours.
Lindenallee, formerly Leninallee, is the road leading into the city. It features 1950s apartment blocks, built in the Stalinist neoclassical style. The architecture forms the most spacious monument in Germany—a monument to the model socialist city. The city museum gives an insight into how it all came about. Elsewhere, the Documentation Center of Everyday Life in the GDR aims to give visitors an understanding of life in communist East Germany.