Railroad Stations, Berlin Bahnhöfe
Before the Second World War, Berlin was a center of European rail traffic. With 500 trains entering and leaving every day it was at the head of all German cities. Five large terminals were concerned mainly with long-distance trains and five more with local traffic. In the war the stations suffered badly from bombing raids. After the war ended the former Zoological Gardens Station (Stadtbahnhof Zoologischer Garten) became West Berlin's main station for long-distance trains. In the Eastern sector only the Schlesische Station (Schlesische Bahnhof - now Main or East Station - Ostbahnhof station) and Friedrichstrasse on the border remained in use. Now that Berlin is once more united rail traffic will be reorganized. The main station (Ostbahnhof) is likely to become Berlin's most important station.
Constructed between 1835 and 1838, the Potsdam Station was a main terminus for a railroad serving the Berlin-Potsdam line. It also became a central location for passengers to find food and lodging.
Between 1900 and the beginning of the Second World War, the Anhalter Bahnhof station handled 58 trains per day. The front facade and one of the entrances are all that remain today along with a green belt area.
Hamburg Station (Lehrter Station)
About 1,500 m/1,650yd northeast of the Congress Hall near Invalidenstrasse stands the Neo-Classical building of the former Hamburger Bahnhof, the oldest passenger station still in existence in Berlin. Its architects were Friedrich Neuhaus and Ferdinand Wilhelm Holz, who in 1845-47 built a departure hall with two-storied wings. The entrance hall later served as a model for many other German railroad stations. The concourse by Borsig was constructed solely in iron.It is more than 100 years since trains ran from the Hamburger Bahnhof. After 1879 the neighboring Lehrter Bahnhof met the increased demands for trains and the Hamburger Bahnhof was closed down. In 1906 the Prussian minister of state had a Transport and Construction Museum installed. The exhibits were still there after the Second World War but administered by the Railroad Authority and not open to the public until 1984 (part is now in the Museum für Verkehr und Technik). The Museum für Verkehr und Technik arranges technical exhibitions here. When renovation work is completed the building will be a museum of contemporary art. The Hamburg-Lehrter goods and container depots are at Heidestrasse.The Hamburg Station / Museum of Contemporary Art contains the major works of Joseph Beuys.
Friedrichstrasse Railway Station
Friedrichstrasse Station in Berlin was opened on May 1, 1882. It had taken nine years to build and measured 163 m/540ft by 40 m/132ft. It quickly became the capital's most important station. Between 1924-26 it was completely redesigned with two parallel halls, one for long-distance and one for suburban lines. It suffered serious damage during the Second World War but was rebuilt by 1959-60. After the Berlin Wall was built in 1961 Friedrichstrasse became the only link for main-line, suburban and underground trains between the two sectors of the city. As the East Berlin Station, and also the border control point, it became the sluice gate between two worlds. From July 1, 1990, all main-line and local trains have once again been able to run without any restrictions. S-Bahn trains, which terminated here before the Wall fell, now once more run from east to west and north to south. The central location of Friedrichstrasse would appear to indicate that it could again become an inner-city rail center.New restaurants and the probable transfer here of the Nollendorfplatz flea-market have brought the station back to life.
Zoological Gardens Station
Near Hardenbergplatz at the southwest end of the Tiergarten in Berlin lies the Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten (known as "Bahnhof Zoo" for short). It was renovated at the end of the 1980s and now is the major main line station in the western sector of the city, as well as being an underground and suburban line station.It has a Berlin Tourist Office information desk which provides information daily between 8am-11pm. (tel. 3 90 63/4).The station acquired a sad notoriety in the early 1980s as a result of the report headed "We children of the Bahnhof Zoo," in which the fourteen-year old author Christiane F. described in depressing terms her youth spent as part of the Berlin drug scene.
The Hauptbahnhof in the south of the Friedrichshain district, known as the Schlesischer Bahnhof until 1950, is the most important main-line station in East Berlin, as well as being a suburban-line station. It was first opened in 1842 as the "Frankfurter Bahnhof" to operate the lines to Frankfurt an der Oder and later to Breslau. Between 1867-68 its buildings were renewed. Having been destroyed in the war, they were rebuilt in a simpler form and then converted again in the late 1980s to the prestigious Main Station (Hauptbahnhof) of East Berlin.
Between Wiener Strasse and Görlitzer Strasse in Berlin there is now a park and indoor swimming pool on what had been a desolate piece of land with remains of rails and lumps of concrete here and there. This was the site of Görlitzer Bahnhof, from where trains ran east and southeast to Görlitz, Silesia, into the Spree Forest and the Riesengebirge mountains. The remains of the bomb-shattered station were removed in the late 1980s.
Map of Berlin Attractions