Founded in 1881 in Stuttgart, Breuninger is one of the oldest and most successful department stores in Europe, and today has 10 stores across Germany. Housed in an impressive building on Marktstrasse in Stuttgart’s central shopping district, the flagship Breuninger store remains one of the best places for luxury shopping in the city and is as relevant today as it was 130 years ago.
Breuninger, Marktstrasse 1-3, 70173 Stuttgart, +49 (0)711 2110
In 1861, young buttonmaker and dress trimmer Ludwig Beck opened a workshop on his father’s estate, with an initial team of fewer than 10 workers. The business expanded steadily and soon attracted the notice of prestigious customers including King Ludwig II, who established Beck as Königlich Bayerischer Hofposamentier: purveyor of passementerie (trimmings) to the Royal Bavarian court. The department store’s originality has kept it relevant to the consumer, with developments such as a special entrance for S-Bahn and U-Bahn passengers and an entire floor dedicated to classical music proving its innovative approach.
Ludwig Beck, Marienplatz 11, 80331 Munich, +49 (0)89 236910
Located where four streets meet, Kaiserplatz is a picturesque and historic square in the heart of Frankfurt. At its centre is a fountain, carved from a single piece of rock, which was given to the city in 1876 by local banker Raphael Erlanger. A number of interesting structures surround Kaiserplatz, including the Commerzbank Tower, which is the tallest building in Germany and, until 2005, was the highest in Europe. Other notable buildings include the Hotel Steigenberger and the Junior-Haus.
Kaiserstrasse 16, 60311 Frankfurt
Built in 1902 for a major industrial and commercial exhibition in Düsseldorf, Museum Kunstpalast (art palace museum) has gone through many changes since its creation, and has grown to be one of the most important creative sites in the city. The striking architecture was inspired by the Petit Palais in Paris and, since opening, the museum has gradually acquired one of the best art collections in Germany comprising more than 100,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs.
Museum Kunstpalast, Ehrenhof 4-5, 40479 Düsseldorf, +49 (0)211 899 0200
In 1898 the first Rimowa luggage was created in the Paul Morszeck luggage factory in Cologne. Since the 1930s, Rimowa has made its cases from materials used in aviation, gradually developing a line of suitcases made from the same lightweight metals used in aeroplanes. Then as today, the cases were instantly popular with flight crews and travellers, not only for their advanced technology but also for their streamlined and stylish ridged design.
Rimowa, Am Hof 3, 50667 Cologne, +49 (0)221 1681 2079
This stunning building, located in the heart of Cologne on the historic and beautiful Hohe Strasse, housed the city’s first department store. Built by German merchant and entrepreneur Leonhard Tietz in 1892, Tietz department store was filled with high-end products including Parisian perfumes and Italian leather goods for affluent residents of the city to enjoy.
Galeria Kaufhof, Hohe Strasse 41-53, 50667 Cologne,
+49 (0)221 2230
The original Karstadt department store on Berlin’s Hermannplatz, built in 1929 to the designs of architect Philipp Schaefer, stood an impressive 71 metres high, with nine levels and 72,000 square metres of shopping space. One of the largest structures in the capital, it was a real feature of Berlin’s skyline, especially when lit up at night. The store was very advanced, with escalators connecting all the floors and a bank of lifts, and had its own underground station, which still exists.
Karstadt, Hermannplatz, 10967 Berlin, +49 (0)30 69550, karstadt.de