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Karlsruhe: Welcome

The city centre

Defining Karlsruhe's Future

The Kombi­lö­sung is on its way!

Underneath Kaiser­straße and from Marktplatz to Augar­ten­straße towards the south, Karlsruhe is currently building a city tram tunnel. In parallel, a tram line is being construc­ted along Kriegs­straße between bike paths and tree-lined alleys, with planned completion in 2019. Automobile traffic will flow underneath through a vehicle tunnel from Karlstor to Mendels­sohn­platz.

Taken together, these two construc­tion projects are referred to as the Kombi­lö­sung.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the combined project was held in early 2010. This kind of major project changes the character of the city and brings with it some distur­ban­ces. A combi­na­tion of state-of-the-art tunnel drilling technology and open-cut tunnelling ensures that these distur­ban­ces are kept to a minimum, especially along the central Kaiser­straße.

The Kombilösung Karlsruhe (page in German)


The city centre is the heart of the city. This is where people work, shop, study, live and spend their free time. The city centre consists of an eastern and a western district. The border between them is the Karl-Friedrich-Straße.


The western section of Karls­ru­he's city centre between Marktplatz and Mühlburger Tor is the city's prime shopping and service centre. Around 25,000 people work in this area, which has around 9000 inhabi­tants. Tradi­tio­nally Kaiser­straße is "the" shopping mile of the city and the region, comple­men­ted by the "Post­ga­le­rie" (a shopping centre) on Europa­platz and the shopping centre at Ettlinger Tor.

The western part of the city centre contains various public insti­tu­ti­ons, such as the Bundes­ver­fas­sungs­ge­richt (Federal Consti­tu­tio­nal Court) and the Bundes­ge­richts­hof (Federal Court of Justice) - the highest German courts -, the Badisches Landes­mu­seum (Baden State Museum), the Badische Landes­bi­blio­thek (Baden State Library) as well as the city adminis­tra­tion and city hall on Marktplatz.


The eastern part of the city centre runs from Marktplatz to Durlacher Tor, in north-south direction from Adenau­er­ring to Ettlinger Tor, to Kriegs­straße and Kapel­len­straße.

The oldest part of the district - the "old town" - used to be the former village Klein-Karlsruhe (little Karlsruhe), which was originally a settlement founded by the builders employed in building the castle complex. In 1812 the village was incor­po­ra­ted into the then ducal residence. A few buildings dating back to the founding years of the city still remain from little Karlsruhe. Due to a compre­hen­sive recon­struc­tion project in the 70s very little remains of the "Dörfle's" - the little village's - original buildings.

The eastern segment of Kaiser­straße is considered an extension of the actual shopping and service centre proper in the western part of the city centre. However, this district, with the Castle and its surroun­ding park as well as the Hardtwald (a forest within the city) in its northern part, offers just as extensive an area for relaxation. Another charac­te­ri­stic is the large south campus of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, which evolved out of Germany's oldest technical university. Further education insti­tu­ti­ons and adminis­tra­tive buildings charac­te­rise the eastern section of the city centre.