While staying for a week in Berlin, Germany last month the U-Bahn – Berlin’s underground – was basically our daily means of transport. One day while waiting for the underground to stop at the U-Bahn stop Schlesisches Tor (below picture to the left) it struck me how old this particular part of the U-Bahn actually was.
This particular station dates already back to 1902, early 20th century Berlin, and was at the time one of the stops on the new underground system, which was the first one in the whole of Germany and developed to reduce traffic problems.
At the time directing the metro through Kreuzberg was more or less a deliberate choice by the government. People generally feared the new transportation system would cause pollution and noise and thus, it was decided to build the underground through the poorer sides of town, at the time Kreuzberg. A stark contradiction for the reason that people use the metro nowadays, considered to be a more environmentally friendly choice compared to other means of transport.
Initially the U-Bahn was built as an elevated system running through town like the one in Schlesisches Tor, but through the years the transportation system developed in a such way that it was also be built underground as we know the metro-systems in other cities worldwide.
The style of many of these later underground stations is still very serene with the plain tiling in different colours and I must say it totally fits in with the whole complex history of Berlin, the mix of modern and old that’s hard to find anywhere else.
By now the U-Bahn has 10 lines with 170 stations and it is still expanding. It is the favourite means of transports by Berlin’s inhabitants and to be honest we found it very convenient too.
ps. The only downside of most charming stations is that they have no elevators, so if you come with big suitcases you might opt for another way of transportation from the airport into the city.
*I made all photos in this post with my iPhone.
For more photos of Berlin have a look at: