Depending on your point of view regarding capitalism, the European Union and demonstrations in general, you may or may not want to steer clear of Ostend and the new ECB (European Central Bank) tower for the next few days. Here is a nice article about it, unfortunately in German, but with lots of nice pictures.
The ECB have just completed their brand new headquarters out in Ostend next to the river Main and a few minutes walk away from the Ostend UBahn station.
Although the tower is actually in use already and plenty of people are already resident in the offices, the official opening/Inauguration only takes place on Wednesday 18th March.
Not wholly unexpected, the Blockupy movement are planning for a counter-demonstration to protest against pretty much everything the ECB stands for (and a few things that they have nothing to do with as well :-)). Apparently around 10,000 demonstrators are expected to descend on Ostend for the occasion.
Blockupy have been distributing flyers and stickers around Frankfurt and the surrounding area for a while, so I’d be surprised if you haven’t noticed yet :-). Quite a good marketing campaign to be honest!
The police of course are preparing for armagedon so for the next few days, they are blockading Ostend with a no-drive no-parking zone extending for a few blocks around the ECB tower. If you park your car there normally, expect it to disappear. Cars began disappearing over the weekend…
And in the run up to the demo, you will need to show a passport/ID card to get into the area along with a proof of address if you live there or a work ID if you have to work there. Have fun and behave :-).
And if you just want to admire the new tower, choose a different week to visit!