German historical street addresses

A model of the Jewish Ghetto in the Jewish Museum in Frankurt

I came today across an interesting post in one of the newsgroups I am subscribed to (gersig digest from May 08, 2011) regarding street addresses in Germany.
Not all street addresses from the past stayed the same.

I am sure that there are other places in Germany and abroad with about the same issue.

(If you are looking for the online copies of the Berlin addressbooks, here is the link: http://adressbuch.zlb.de.)

Subject: German historical street addresses – FACT FILE
From: Andreas Schwab (andreas.schwab. .mcgill.ca)
Date: Sun, 8 May 2011 09:41:24 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

Many of us wish to visit the places where our ancestors lived and to take photographs of their houses. One has to consider, however, that very often, the street addresses have changed over the years. In Germany and Austria, there are two systems of numbering:
1. The traditional German numbering, also known as horse-shoe numbering, starts at 1 on the right side of the street, with consecutive numbers on one side until the end of the street, continuing on the opposite side of the street in the opposite direction such that the highest number is opposite to the number 1.

2. The European numbering starts with 1 at the left side and continues with odd numbers, and with 2 on the right side, then continuing with even numbers (this is the opposite of the American system where the odd numbers are on the right).

Many, butnot all, streets in German cities changed from the traditional German to the European numbering at some time during the 20th century. Some streets, like the Prinzregentenstrasse in Munich, were previously divided into an inner and an outer section, each with its own numbering (similar to the N-S or E-W sections of North American streets). Occasionally, other small adjustments in the numbering were made.

For the city of Berlin, the location of street addresses are indicated in the reverse address section of the historical Berliner Addressbuch.
For other cities, however, it is very difficult to find a historical address; the best bet is to write to the city administration and ask.

Andreas Schwab, Beaconsfield, Canada (andreas.schwab. .mcgill.ca)

On May 15, 2011 someone (Markus Roehling) commented on this via the gersig newsgroup the following:


“1. The traditional German numbering, also known as horse-shoe numbering,
starts at 1 on the right side of the street, with consecutive numbers on
one side until the end of the street, continuing on the opposite side of
the street in the opposite direction such that the highest number is
opposite to the number 1.”

This depends on the city. Some cities start on the left side of the
street with no. 1

source: gersig digest: May 15, 2011