In connection with our quiz on Saxony-Anhalt and other articles to come, this mystery place article takes us to the southern part of the German state, and in particular, Bad Durremberg. Located 15 kilometers southwest of Leipzig and 20 kilometers south of its neighbor Halle (Saale), this community of 10,000 inhabitants is the gateway to the metropolis of Leipzig-Halle, providing direct access to the two communities via rail and tram. In addition, it is located near the Leuna Petroleum District, where several chemical companies form an area the size of Weimar in neighboring Thuringia and Worthington, in my home state of Minnesota.
And apart from having the longest and oldest railway bridge over the Saale River, the reason behind writing about a quiet community is this building. During my bike tour to Halle in 2011, I came across this unusual structure by accident. It features two different buildings. On the left is a seven-story building, made of brick and concrete and featuring windows small enough that no head can ever stick outside. On the right is another building with three stories but featuring an unusual roof resembling an exhaust fan hovering over a stove while cooking in the kitchen. If restaurant chains, such as A&W and Pizza Hut used this unusual constellation as a poster boy for their architectural design of the restaurant, then their founders really travelled around a lot in their youth and had a Picasso-like taste for their architectural preference. At the top and on each side of the roof is a clock that has still been function since its installation a long time ago. Both buildings are connected with a conveyor belt running horizontal along the top.
But what exactly is this building? Three theories come to mind: 1. It is a salt processing facility as the Saale River region is enriched with salt deposits, and many towns along the river have profitted from this commodity, including Bad Kösen, Halle (Saale) and Bad Sulza. It was probably used to cut up salt chunks into powder and converted into many products. However we have nr. 2, which is a grain elevator processing crops. While the Saale and Unstrut regions are famous for their wine and sect, the region is also predominantly agricultural, as barley, wheat and corn are grown there. Then, there’s nr. 3, which is a textile factory. As East Germany prided itself on its clothes and wanted to be independent from the West, many textile factories were built and remained in operation until German reunification. Every third community had their own textile factory, including Gera, Glauchau, Zeulenroda and perhaps this community. We also have the fourth variable, which is “We don’t know what the heck this Pizza Hut-style architecture is, can you help us?”
If you are one of those readers, maybe you can help. We would like to know what this building is, when it was built and who was behind this unusual architectural design. The single variant we have as of now is that the building must be at least 80 years old but has survived the test of time and war. But what else do we know about it? Let your ideas flow and post your thoughts in the comment section, either here on on the Files’ facebook pages. 🙂