The Großmarkthalle is a huge market hall situated in Ostend, the eastern part of Frankfurt. Currently, it is being renovated/built into the new European Central Bank building. If you want some gloomy scary pictures - go there, but don't go alone.
I drove past the market hall a couple of times and always wanted to come back to take some black and white pictures. Finally, on a sunny Saturday I decided to do it. I took my Lubitel 166B, my Konica SLR and my old Smena 8M and went to the Ostend district. I’ve never really been in this part of the city before, so everything came as a surprise to me.
First a bit of important (historical) facts:
- It was opened in 1928 with a building 220meters long and an area of 13,000 square meters.
- Up until WWII it was used as a marketplace for big food suppliers, as well as offices for these companies.
- During WWII, the hall’s cellar space was used to keep Jewish men, women, and children captive, and the hall’s own train station was used to deport them. For this happening, there is a memorial board in the Rückerstraße 6.
The market hall is in full-scale renovation right now and I couldn’t get on the site as I originally planned. So instead, I went alongside the hall towards the river.
Everything looked pretty gloomy. The path I took was in a bad condition and ended in a bridge.
Under the bridge (Deutschherrnbrücke), there waited a couple of trucks and a few construction workers. The next scene I saw was a huge dug up field. Everything here screams “industrial area”. A huge dump on the field, a whole shack with a Christmas tree at the entrance and a couch inside. The very friendly owner of that shack offered me cocaine to buy. How nice.
I started moving really fast, a bit scared for my cameras to be honest. I got to a second bridge and was greeted by another 3 guys, seemingly homeless, who wanted to sell me marijuana. Maybe 50 meters after them I saw another guy just sleeping on the pavement. A very interesting experience, which leads me to believe that this part of the city is even worse than Konstablerwache oder Kaiserstraße at night, which is basically where the druggies hang out.
However, there are a few good things that came out of this kinda disturbing trip:
- This area is great for B&W photography, you get a lot of nice contrasts here.
- You get a great view of the city skyline, except right now because of all the construction cranes.
- You get a great view of the Frankfurt East-Harbour.
- If you take the Deutschherrnbrücke, you get to the other side of the river which has a huge grass area right at the bridge, so you can hang out there, have a picnic or just chill.
- I’ve also seen a lot of people on bikes just driving around in the mud for fun, so if that’s your thing, why not do it?
- If you’re into band photo shoots, this is a great location. I can already see something like Rammstein or Fear Factory have a photo shoot in this area.
All in all, it was a very interesting experience. A bit scary, yes, so I suggest to bring a friend with you if you decide to visit. To get here, just take the Metro to the “Ostend” station and you’ll see the hall when exiting the metro. There is also a tram stop right across the hall called “Sonnemannstraße”, to be reached with Tram 11.