Photo Gallery East Germany's Transformation

During a trip to East Germany in 1990, photographer Stefan Koppelkamm discovered buildings that had survived both the war and the construction mania of the East German authorities. Ten years later, he returned to photograph the buildings again. The comparison threw up some unexpected contrasts.
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Crumbling facades: A courtyard on Markt Strasse in Erfurt, 1991. Photographer Stefan Koppelkamm travelled through East Germany just after the Berlin Wall fell.

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He returned to the same places 10 years later. The same courtyard in Erfurt in May 2003. Now with a cafe, the building is hardly recognizable.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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One-time stables in Zittau in 1990. The wall shows the building's history. The light patches in the stone work mark the original 16th-century roof profile. Above that the darker stone shows the mansar roof added during the Baroque period.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Zittau in 2001. All traces of the past have been plastered and painted over. After the renovation project the building was converted into shopping mall.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Creepy castle. In 1991 the castle in Ballenstedt, Kreis Quedlinberg is falling apart at the seams.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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2003. Transformed: after a huge renovation project in 1996/1997, the old castle has been made into a luxury hotel. The owners have added a pavilion at the entrance.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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In 1991 most of the flats in Görlitzer Strasse in Dresden are deserted.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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In 2001 the buildings on Görlitzer Strasse are occupied again. Residents have parked their cars along the road.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Behind the wall, 1992. The courtyard of this building on Marienstrasse in Berlin leads onto a train track viaduct.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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2004: The building on Marienstrasse in Berlin has been fully renovated and the run-down wasteland is now a garden.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Halle, 1991. An antiques store on Geiststrasse. If it wasn't for the cars and the video game advert on the left, it would be difficult to guess which decade this photo was taken.

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Halle 2003. The beautiful facade of the old antique store has been kept and restored, but the sculptures between the first-floor windows have been removed.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Art Nouveau on Wilhelm-Pieck-Strasse, Neustrelitz in July 1990. The GDR Trade Organization once used the building for selling sandwiches.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Art Nouveau on Glambecker Strasse in 2004. The building has been painstakingly restored. The street name has been changed.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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1991, Bautzen. The buildings on Steinstrasse have lost their former elegance.

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Bautzen, 2001. The buildings on Steinstrasse have been renovated and the cobble stones on the road replaced with asphalt.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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1990: This fence in Heringstrasse, Bautzen is threatening to collapse at any moment. The crumbling facade still shows the signs from old businesses. On the left a one-time laundrette, on the right a convenience store and tobacconist.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Everything is new and shiny in Heringstrasse in 2001. The renovated facade shows off the building's original elegance. The cars and the shop signs are new -- as is the evidence of the reintroduction of private property. In the foreground a sign reads "Private Property -- Unauthorized Vehicles will be Towed Away Free of Charge."

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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The corner of Tucholsky Strasse/August Strasse in Berlin Mitte, 1991. The store has gone out of business.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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May 2002. The corner building is now home to a bar. The old chunky street lamp has been replaced by a slimmer, more elegant model. The area around Tucholsky Strasse is now popular for its bars and art galleries.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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1992. Mulack Strasse, Berlin. The graffitti on the front of the building dates from after the fall of the wall. It reads "What was spared by war doesn't survive under socialism!"

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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2003. Mulackstrasse, Berlin. The old building has been restored and city architechts have filled a gap in the urban landscape with a mundane looking office block to the left.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Kleine Hamburger Strasse, Berlin, 1990. Unusual sculptures adorn the facade of this old run-down building in Berlin, once home to a discount store.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Kleine Hamburger Strasse, 2002. The sculptures and the scrap objects have disappeared. The facade has been renovated and a new shop has opened on the ground floor.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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A 1992 photo of the Hackescher Höfe network of courtyards on Rosenthaler Strasse in Berlin's Mitte district. Trabant cars are parked up on the left.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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The makeshift parking lot has been transformed into a garden cafe. The Hackeschen Höfe, which have been listed as protected buildings since 1972, have undergone thorough renovation.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Leipzig in 1990. 45 years after the end of the war the once-elegant Art Nouveau building on Fleischergasse is now in ruins. A "people-owned" betting shop operates from the ground floor.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Leipzig 2002: Barfussgässchen has become a pedestrian zone. The building has been transformed and is hardly recognizable.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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In 1992 the delapidation is hard to ignore in these buildings on the corner of Neue Schönhauser Strasse/Rosenthaler Strasse in Berlin.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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2002: The renovation work has been completed. The pharmacy on the corner is still there.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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The Reichstagsufer, Berlin Mitte 1991. A view of a remaining part of the Berlin Wall. In the distance the high-rise building home to the Charité University Hospital.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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Reichstagsufer 2002: Now the view from the river bank to the Berlin Charité is blocked by the newly-built Marie-Elisabeth-Lüder Haus, home to the German parliament library and archive.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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1990: At the time this photo was taken the building in Görlitz was still occupied. The inscription reads "House of the Bakers."

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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This building in Görlitz has been overlooked. In 2001 more letters are missing from the inscription above the door and several windows have been smashed.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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1991: A petrol station in Leninallee, Halle.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm
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2003: Now owned by Shell. Leninallee is now called Merseburger Strasse, but not much else has changed.

Foto: Stefan Koppelkamm