The most colorful building in the center of Magdeburg is the Grüne Zitadelle or Green Citadel, which is the last building to have been designed by the Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000).
Construction was delayed for several years because of financial problems and also because of protests by some of the citizens, but they finally started building in 2004, and after two years they were more or less finished.
Since the outer walls are quite obviously pink and not green, you might be wondering why it is called the Green Citadel. This is because all sorts of greenery is supposed to grow on the roof.
The building includes 55 apartments, as well as offices, shops, an exhibition area, a hotel and a kindergarten. It is possible to get married up on the tower, where the city has installed a registry office.
According to the building’s website (which doesn’t seem to have been updated since 2016, but is still online and has a valid security certificate), Hundertwasser intended the Green Citadel to be an “oasis for humanity and nature in a sea of rational houses”.
The site explains that Hundertwasser “had still been working on the plans for Magdeburg’s Green Citadel until shortly before he passed away on the 19th of February 2000. Since all plans were complete, the scale models and countless sketches were available, this architectural project could go ahead even without the artist. Hence, Magdeburg’s Green Citadel is the last building designed and realized by the Austrian artist.”
My photos in this post are from 2005. I revised the text in 2022.