At a glance
Tourist attractions – various
|Category||Tourist attractions – various|
An urban mix of art space, nightmare and habitatThe Ebertplatz in Cologne is seen as something special. It’s a hub for various subway lines, a place with a history — and a spot with a very mixed reputation. Built in the Brutalist style, it’s regarded by many as a three-in-one mix: an art space, a nightmare and a symbol of extraordinary civic involvement. That’s because in recent years this spot — a lively and bustling square between the Rings, the Rhine, the Agnes quarter and the Eigelstein neighbourhood — has been the focus of a struggle between artists, civic initiatives, the city authorities and others over the vision of reviving Ebertplatz as a new urban meeting place. It’s worth a look!
Art projects, exhibitions, a skating rink and moreIf you visit the Ebertplatz, you can experience its hustle and bustle at close range. For example, you might take a look at an exhibition in the art and project rooms, which have by now become real hotspots of the alternative art scene. For example, there’s the “Labor” (laboratory) project gallery in the underground passages. In winter, the square is sometimes livened up by an ice rink and curling. You can find out more about current exhibitions and activities at Our Ebertplatz.
The cafe in the container on the EbertplatzYou can see another side of the Eberplatz if you combine your visit with a Kölsch beer after work, an aperitif or a nightcap after a restaurant meal, a film or an exhibition. In that case, the cafe in a container in the middle of the Ebertplatz is the place to go. There are deck chairs in the summer as well as other seating. And if you want to create a lasting memento of a romantic or festive evening, you can take a snapshot in the photo booth next to the restaurant for a genuinely retro experience.
The fountain on the Ebertplatz: open for walking, playing, experiencingIn the 1970s the Ebertplatz was renovated, lowered and provided with shops in the passages — the “catacombs” — and a fountain. After many years of inactivity, the fountain started to spout again in 2018, and today people can walk through, or play in, the gushing water. Atmospheric lighting illuminates the fountain in the evening and in the months of early darkness.
Incidentally, The huge sculpture housing the fountain was created by the artist Wolfgang Göddertz in the 1970s. It looks a bit like clusters of oversized nails under splashing water.
Watchable: a changing squareA fountain, coloured lights, a skating rink, a summer oasis, art — it sounds idyllic, but there’s also a downside. The Ebertplatz is reputed to be a hotspot of the drug scene, which still exists today. But the flipside of this aspect is its cheerful counterpart: the other Ebertplatz, which is being transformed through increasing public use in a remarkable process of urban development. Major long-term renovation and reconstruction measures are being planned.
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