Karl-Marx-Allee was the most famous street in East Berlin. Originally known as Große Frankfurter Straße, it was renamed Stalinallee on Dec. 21, 1949, Stalin's 70th birthday. The street was built as part of the Soviet's reconstruction plan and included residential blocks with buildings designed in the classic Soviet style. The buildings had apartments for workers as well as shops, restaurants, a huge movie theater and a hotel.
On June 17, 1953, Stalinallee was the center of a worker uprising against the communist government. Soviet tanks and troops put a stop to the uprising quickly, and unfortunately at least 125 people lost their lives. Later the road was used for East Germany's annual May Day parade, which included thousands of soldiers along with tanks and other military vehicles to display the power of the communist government.
After Stalin's death, the street was renamed Karl-Marx-Allee on November 13, 1961. Karl-Marx-Allee is 89 meters (97 yards) wide and nearly 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) long. At each end are dual towers at Frankfurter Tor and Strausberger Platz. The street was, and still is, a popular place to go shopping and relax at a cafe. After reunification, the residential buildings on Karl-Marx-Allee were sold to investors and underwent extensive renovations. Today, the apartments are a popular place to live.
To get to Karl-Marx-Allee, start at Alexanderplatz. The U5 runs along Karl-Marx-Allee, so you can get out at any station between Alexanderplatz and Frankfurter Tor.