What year did the subway restaurants start

Gesundbrunnen station: from the wallflower to the north cross

Berlin-Gesundbrunnen station is the most important transfer station in northern Berlin. In the meantime he had almost degenerated into insignificance. When the Wall came down, it began to rise again to great importance for the city. Only you can't really see this in the station building.

Berlin-Gesundbrunnen station: The first platforms for ring and suburban railways

history Before there was a stop, the train was already steaming through Gesundbrunnen: The route between Berlin and Stettin ran through here. When the Prussian King Wilhelm I came up with the plan to build a ring railway, it was not until the victorious war against Austria in 1866 before the funds were approved and construction began the following year. In 1871 the first part of the route started with goods transport, and in 1871 also with passenger transport. On January 1, 1871, Gesundbrunnen station went into operation for the Ringbahn. The second platform followed in 1877 for the “Northern Railway”.

When in 1895 the tracks of the Nordbahn and the Stettiner Bahn were merged between today's Humboldthain and Bornholmer Strasse stations, three new platforms for ring, suburban and long-distance railways were built at Gesundbrunnen station within a short time from 1895. This enabled passengers to change from the suburb to the ring train. And the architect Armin Wegner designed a reception building in neo-Gothic style, which was built around the turn of the century and heavily destroyed in the Second World War.

The electrification of the railway began in the 1920s, and in 1924 electric suburban trains stopped for the first time from the Stettiner Bahnhof (today Nordbahnhof) to Bernau in Gesundbrunnen.

Fountain of health in change: subway, world war, bunker construction

The traffic junction in the north of the city experienced its next stage of development with the opening of the underground station in 1930. Gesundbrunnen had already played a central role in AEG's plans for an underground railway from 1907, but then Berlin withdrew the management of the project from the group again.

It was not until the mid-1920s that construction work on the then GN line (Gesundbrunnen-Neukölln) continued. Today it belongs to underground line 8. The design of the new underground station building on the corner of Brunnen and Behmstraße and the underground station was, as with many Berlin underground stations, the responsibility of the Swedish architect Alfred Grenander.

Shortly after Hitler's Germany attacked Poland and unleashed World War II, an express train driver ignored several stop signals on October 8, 1939 and crashed into a passenger train standing in the station. More than 20 people died in the accident - one of many disasters in the history of the city: collapses, fires, plane crashes.

And then the world war turned against the country from which it started. The National Socialists expanded the underground workshops into a four-story air raid shelter. In April 1945, when the Red Army was advancing more and more, the station was shut down, but after the end of the war it was resumed in several steps in the summer. But the descent of Gesundbrunnen station could no longer be stopped.

Divided Berlin, divided ring

After the division of Germany, the Deutsche Reichsbahn, to which the S-Bahn also belongs, was also subject to the GDR in West Berlin. A conflict-ridden construction, which ultimately led to the fact that from 1952 onwards there were no more passenger trains at Gesundbrunnen (and at Stettiner Bahnhof). Freight traffic was stopped in 1961. Until then, Gesundbrunnen had been a hub between East and West, with shops, exchange offices and border cinemas.

The construction of the wall on August 13, 1961 not only divided the city, but also the S-Bahn ring. In 1980 the West-Reichsbahner went on strike against East Berlin's austerity measures. One consequence was that the western part of the S-Bahn ring was shut down for 14 years, another was that the West Berlin BVG finally took over the operating rights of the S-Bahn from the Deutsche Reichsbahn.

Gesundbrunnen was enclosed on three sides by the wall. This only changed after November 9, 1989. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gesundbrunnen began to rise again to become one of the most important transfer stations in the city. The ailing S-Bahn stations were gradually renewed.

In the 1990s, Deutsche Bahn sorted its route network according to the so-called mushroom concept - the network looks like a mushroom on the map - and Gesundbrunnen station was expanded into a long-distance station in several stages.

In 2001, the then governing mayor Klaus Wowereit and his Senator for Urban Development Peter Strieder (both SPD) reopened the S-Bahn line from Gesundbrunnen in the direction of Schönhauser Allee together with Hartmut Mehdorn, who was head of the railway at the time, after a 40-year break the last section of the Ringbahn opened again.

In 2006, the Deutsche Bahn completed the 114 million euro renovation of the station, the project was called "Nordkreuz", and at times they even considered renaming the entire station.

Station building While the expansion of the long-distance train station was completed in 2006, it looked bleaker above the platforms. On the draughty forecourt, which began in 2006 after the Hertha BSC legend Hanne Sobek - Hertha's former stadium was directly behind the train station, today there is a block of flats - there was no reception hall.

Initially, a generous construction by Ingrid Hentschel and Axel Oestreich was planned: five towers, a wide glass roof that should span half of the five platforms. After worries about the statics and profitability of such a large building - in 1997 the huge Gesundbrunnen Center was opened right next to the train station, a year later another center with Kaufland as the main tenant on the other side of Hanne-Sobek-Platz - the railway closed the building on two floors together and finally whole.

Ultimately, Deutsche Bahn built a warmly sober reception building on Hanne-Sobek-Platz next to the stairs to the five platforms below for just under ten million euros.

After all, Gesundbrunnen station lost a rather dubious unique selling point: for years it had been the only German ICE station without a reception building. The history of Gesundbrunnen station in 12 photos: Hertha, Bunker, Nordkreuz.

A bridge makes a film career

Fun fact To the east of the platforms, the Swinemünde Bridge spans the tracks. The 228-meter-long steel truss construction, opened in 1905, is popularly known as the “Millions Bridge”, which may be due to its construction costs, which were one million marks at the time - or the vast amount of rivets that were used.

In addition, the bridge is one of Berlin's secret film stars. Because of her historical appearance, some films were made on her in which she played other bridges. For example, she can be seen as Glienicker Brücke in Guy Hamilton's 1966 espionage thriller “Finale in Berlin”. Or as the nearby Bösebrücke in the fall of the Berlin Wall films “The Miracle of Berlin” (2008) and “Bornholmer Straße” (2014). By the way, you can find the 100 must-see Berlin films here.

Shopping at the train station

In the station building itself there are a few shops for travelers' needs: bakers, magazines, organic market, which is one of the supermarkets in Berlin that are open on Sundays. No comparison to the shopping centers with rail connections that the other large train stations have developed into. The fact that this fact is not a major problem is due to the Gesundbrunnen Center, modeled on a cruise ship, with more than 100 shops on more than 25,000 square meters of retail space. And on the other side of the tracks, Kaufland has a large branch.

Berlin-Gesundbrunnen train station: important information for your visit

Directions At the Gesundbrunnen S-Bahn and U-Bahn station there is a connection to the following local transport lines S-Bahn and U-Bahn S1, 2, 26, 41 & 42. Subway U8. Bus: Line 247 on the station forecourt. automobile There are around 30 parking spaces on Hanne-Sobek-Platz (2 hours free of charge) and around 1,000 parking spaces in the Gesundbrunnen Center (three hours free of charge). Connection to BER airport The Airport Express FEX runs to BER twice an hour, travel time: around 25 minutes.

Nearby In the former Gesundbrunnen air raid shelter, the Berliner Unterwelten e.V. association has set up the Berlin Underworld Museum. The association has been researching and documenting the historical context of the Berlin underground since it was founded in 1997. The museum can only be visited as part of a tour. The focus of the exhibits in the oppressive atmosphere are topics such as bombing and air raid protection. It's one of several ways to explore Berlin's underground.

The Volkspark Humboldthain begins on the other side of Brunnenstrasse: 29 hectares of peace and relaxation, including a rose garden, a water garden and the Humboldthain summer pool.

With a tour of the Berlin Underworlds you can also explore the striking flak tower Humboldthain in the Volkspark inside: one of the bunkers, which were erected in pairs at three locations in Berlin from 1940 to 1942 for air defense, offered thousands of people air raids and after the war by the Allies were blown up. Only the north side of the flak tower at Humboldthain was spared from the big bang because of its proximity to the Ringbahn.

Those who climb the 85 meter high tower are rewarded with a fascinating view over Berlin. Incidentally, it is also one of our favorite places in Berlin for a beautiful sunset.

Just a few steps away from the train station, at Behmstraße 13, the Klingende Museum invites children to try out all kinds of orchestral musical instruments, according to the motto: "Music to touch, try out and experience!"


More Berlin train stations:

We tell you more about Gesundbrunnen train station here in 12 pictures: Bunker, Hertha, Nordkreuz. Berlin's gateway to the east was sometimes called this way and that: the Ostbahnhof. Perhaps the most famous Berlin train station is, at least for long-distance traffic, but now also the least significant: But the Zoo train station is full of stories. In contrast, another player is now playing in the premier league for long-distance trains: the main train station.

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