In honor of ITB, Berlin’s International Tourism Fair, I decided to feature posts about Berlin and Germany as a whole on the blog this week. This Bridge has been one of my favorite places in Berlin ever since I first saw it.
Oberbaumbrücke is located between the U-Bahn stations Schlesisches Tor and Warschauer Straße. When one of the post-box-colored U1-trains passes over it on a sunny day and the red brick stone and yellow wagons stand before a bright blue sky, those colors are of such intensity that the image is among the most vivid and dominant associations I have with Berlin. I have mentioned before that I love red brick stone more than anything, and Oberbaumbrücke is no exception.
When Berlin was a divided city, the river Spree marked the border at this point – the bridge connected Western Berlin Kreuzberg and Eastern Berlin Friedrichshain until 1961 when the Berlin Wall was built. Now the bridge was no longer connecting the two sides of the river, it was no longer connecting the two cities and countries. In the 1970s the so called „Kleiner Grenzverkehr“ (literally: Small Border Traffic) commenced, and pedestrians could cross again. After 1989 the bridge was renovated thoroughly and today once more connects two sides of the river that no longer belong to different states.
On the Friedrichshain side of it you will find the East Side Gallery, the longest part of the Wall that is still standing in one piece exactly where it used to stand. It is canvas for street artists today and shows some terrific artwork, largely on topics of mutual understanding between people and cultures and of overcoming the dark parts of history. Actually the East Side Gallery is in danger of being partially torn down right now, so you should go there quick before Berlin, horribly, may lose one of its most important historical landmarks. You can read more on it in this post I wrote.
If you have read My Mission statement, you know why I love bridges. To me they are the most universal symbol of connection, of bringing people together and overcoming anything that may seperate us. I want to present to you pictures of bridges that I really love in places that I really love on my blog every Sunday. If you have a picture of a bridge that you would like to share with my readers as a guest post, feel free to contact me!