Fruchthalle – the "Fruit Hall"
The Fruchthalle is not only Kaiserslautern’s most beautiful concert and festival hall, but also one of the most important secular buildings in the Palatinate. It is thanks to the building’s grand design by the architect August von Voit (1801-1807), that this construction has been an attraction because of its architectural beauty since the beginning.. Von Voit had spent part of his architectural studies in Italy. His design for the Fruchthalle draws on examples of Florentine palace architecture from the early Renaissance period, especially the Medici and Strozzi palazzi. On June 13, 1843, King Ludwig I personally laid the foundation stone for the Fruchthalle.
The Fruchthalle named after the previous requirement for a suitable weatherproof location for the Kaiserslautern fruit market. In addition, a large hall for public purposes of various kinds was needed. From the outset, the building was therefore associated with the idea of multiple uses: from 1845 to 1910, the ground floor was used as a market hall. The hall above it has been used according to its original intent since its opening. Moreover, the building functioned as a meeting facility in the context of the Palatinate Revolution of 1848/49, and is thus deserving of its status as a political place of remembrance in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. In wartime, it was used as a hospital with camp beds, as a central collection point for recyclable materials and for political demonstrations of power by the Nazis. Depending on the needs of Kaiserslautern's citizens, the Fruchthalle has also served as a place for public meetings, has been equipped with gigantic backdrops for parties and festivals, and has been a scene of bustle and song during Carnival. In the people of Kaiserslautern's collective consciousness, the Fruchthalle is a palace of the people and a center for the social life of Kaiserslautern.
Nowadays, the festival hall instead hosts "Concerts of the City of Kaiserslautern" from September to June. During one major cultural event, the "Lange Nacht der Kultur" ("Long Night of the Arts"), the Fruchthalle becomes a focal point in the heart of the city, and as part of the Kaiserslautern Advent celebrations, it has been home to a traditional cultural, arts and crafts market in the run-up to the last 30 Christmases. The Fruchthalle premises can be booked year round for events of all kinds.Ever since its construction, the Fruchthalle has set the standard for architecture in Kaiserslautern. It is a listed building and is considered the most important secular building in the Palatinate. Not least, the concert and festival hall was recently refurbished – in a historical reconstruction with stuccolustro painting – by the City's citizens, on the initiative of Fördervereins Fruchthalle e.V. who funded the project, and the German Foundation for Monument Protection who supported it in 2007.