A hommage to the old Rudolfplatz in Cologne

Rudolfplatz is one of the most central and most frequented public places in Cologne. As far as “places” go, though, Cologne is a severely under-developed city. They really all happen to look like made in a third-world country. Tramlines and busy streets leave only a minimum of available space and that space then is cluttered by neglected and weird architecture.

Back in 1956, though, the Rudolfplatz actually looked kind of neat. Cologne-based architect Theodor Kelter designed an actual masterpiece, the Lichtspieltheater am Rudolfplatz, a buiding that looked very modern in a 50s way back then and that is, basically unchanged, but completely demolished, 61 years old now. See a picture here when it was new. Actually, it looked pretty neat back then!

Sadly, all this former splendor was just left to fall into decline for decades. It looked somewhat derelict already in the late 1990s and it never changed to the good again. Now, an investment group has bought the whole area – apparently a lengthy process cause there were many owners involved – and will replace the current chaos of buildings with a sleek, but also insanely boring new complex. Well, that’s the way how we deal with it in Cologne: Never find a better solution, just keep your cities’ architecture mediocre at best.

Anyway, I snapped these pics the other day of the old Cologne Rudolfplatz, with the Lichtspieltheater am Rudolfplatz. I used the Zeiss Contarex 35/2 on my A7 II. Black&white conversions were made with Silver Efex Pro. Enjoy!


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