From Prussia to the fall of the Berlin Wall – by S-Bahn along the history of Berlin

Collection by
S-Bahn Berlin

"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. So, you are interested in the history of our federal capital, right? What do you say? Yes, exactly, the gentleman with the camera around his neck. Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburger Tor, Fernsehturm and East-Side-Gallery have you seen yet? Well great, even a blind guy can find it without help. But for today I prepared myself a little longer and will take the dear gentlemen with me on a journey through the history of Berlin. And because all abut Berlin started with Prussia becoming a major European power, we also want you to start with the fine Prussian electors. And from there I lead you in zigzag through the troubled past, along the imperial era and on to the Weimar Republic. Unfortunately ick can't tell the story of Berlin without Hitler's brown ragtag and the war he started, but I try to keep it short at this point. After that we'll all see double, because now it divides into West and East. But as you can imagine a good story needs a happy ending, and our ending is the fall of the Berlin wall. So I'd say, everybody hold on and our journey through time can begin."

Our Berlin tour guide will take you on eight tours on which you will experience the history of Berlin from Prussia to the fall of the Berlin Wall. You will discover the legacy of the Prussian kings in Charlottenburg Palace and Berlin's Tiergarten. At the Reichstag several epochs from the founding of the German Reich to the Weimar Republic, past the Nazi regime and on to Berlin as the new federal capital are bundled together. At Tempelhof Airport, you walk along the taxiways on which the raisin bombers landed. At the Soviet memorial you commemorate the brave Russian soldiers who lost their lives fighting Hitler's Germany. And on Karl-Marx-Allee you'll be impressed by the GDR workers' palaces. The tour concludes with a visit to the Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse, where the divided Berlin comes to life once again.

To get to our tours, you need nothing more than a S-Bahn ticket, because all hikes begin and end at S-Bahn stations. Now all you have to do is choose the epoch you are most interested in and your discovery tour can begin.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Easy
    01:12
    2.93 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    "Look, gentlemen, look. Here, in the famous Schloss Charlottenburg, the jute Elector Frederick I and King in Prussia, his old, so the Sophie Charlotte, abjeschoben. The beidn would not always be green when se vastehn wat ick my. Well, at least the jute electorate had the decency to rename the castle of Lietzenburg in Charlottenburg after the death of the charming wife. His son, on the other hand, King Frederick William, could not do anything with his wife's ancestral court life. The Charlottenburg Palace had ersma jejma and the king took care of the public finances and his army. Only the grandson, our old Fritz, was able to make friends with the Schlössken. He then had the hut officially opened and what has come out of it could still be admired today. "Your tour to the Charlottenburg Palace begins at Jungfernheide S-Bahn station, which is served by the ring-train lines S41 and S42. From the train station, drive over the river Spree and you will enter the spacious Schlosspark Charlottenburg. In the northern part you walk over beautiful meadows and under big trees. After passing the Belvedere Palace, the route will take you along the carp pond to the magnificent, geometrically designed castle garden. The view of Charlottenburg Castle is particularly beautiful from here.Now turn left around the castle. At the main entrance on the front you can still shoot a nice souvenir photo or visit the interiors of the castle. Diagonally across the street from the former orangery is a cozy café-restaurant. Afterwards it goes around the castle again and through the castle park back to the station Jungfernheide.

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  • Easy
    01:17
    3.13 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    „So, hier sin wa schon am nächsten Ziel angekommen: der Tiergarten. Früher durfte hier bloß die janz feine Jesellschaft in den Park. Die preußischen Kurfürsten und Könige jingen hier zusammen mit ihren piekfeinen Jästen auf Jagd – und die restlichen Berliner kuckten inne Röhre. Heute findste hier immer noch einige Spuren aus der Zeit: Marmorskulpturen von der Königin Luise oder och bloß die Namen von den Wegen. Und am andern Ende vom Tiergarten steht dann schon der Reichstag. Den hat der Kaiser hierhin gekloppt, als ihn Otto von Bismarck überzeugt hatte, man müsse dem deutschen Volk ein bissken Demokratie anbieten. Naja, während der Kaiserzeit wurden die Volksvertreter mit dem Reichstag eigentlich bloß ruhig jestellt. Aber nach dem ersten Weltkrieg ließ et sich Philipp Scheidemann nüscht nehm'n, vom Westbalkon det Jebäudes die Republik auszurufen. In der Weimarer Republik wurde hier dann dat erstemal auch richtig palavert – bis Hitler mit seinen Schergen aufmarschiert is. Wer am Ende den Reichstag in Brand jesetzt hat, werden wa heute wohl nich mehr ausklamüsan, aber enes is sicher: Dat braune Männeken wusste, wie er den Brand für seine eijenen Pläne nutzen konnte. Der Rest is wohl Jeschichte.”Startpunkt deiner Tour ist der Bahnhof Bellevue, der von den S-Bahn-Linien S3, S5, S7 und S9 angefahren wird. Von hier aus geht es an der Akademie der Künste vorbei und hinein in den englischen Garten. Hier kannst du im gemütlichen Teehaus eine Rast einlegen. Kurz darauf stehst du am großen Stern vor einem Berliner Wahrzeichen: der Siegessäule mit der Goldelse. Die Säule wurde zu Ehren der deutschen Siege im Deutsch-Dänischen Krieg, im Deutschen Krieg gegen Österreich und im Deutsch-Französischen Krieg errichtet. Eigentlich stand die Säule ursprünglich gegenüber vom Reichstag, doch der größenwahnsinnige Albert Speer ließ die Säule im Rahmen des Umbaus von Berlin zur Welthauptstadt Germania umsetzen.Vom Großen Stern schlenderst du gemütlich durch den malerisch angelegten Tiergarten und über die kleine Luiseninsel. Nach deiner Runde durch den Park überquerst du die Straße des 17. Juni und stehst wenig später vor dem Reichstagsgebäude. Wenn du die eindrucksvolle Glaskuppel besuchen möchtest, musst du dich allerdings vorab auf der Internetseite des Bundestags anmelden (bundestag.de/besuche/kuppel-dachterrasseunddachgartenrestaurant).Vom Reichstag folgst du unserer Route am Spreeufer entlang zum S-Bahnhof Friedrichstraße. Von hier aus geht es mit den Linien S1, S2, S25, S26, S3, S5, S7 und S9 zurück nach Hause.

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  • Easy
    01:44
    4.25 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    "Here in the north of Berlin hides a pretty Schlössken with a particularly varied history. The old Fritz had bequeathed the place to his dear Queen Elisabeth Christine in 1740 and from that time spent all her summers out here botany. As you say, the king has passed nüscht once - the lady was probably just right. After their death, the fine kings knew how to make a nice start with the castle and let it jingle. Only in the Weimar Republic did a few builders lace around the ailing substance. Ironically, under Hitler's henchmen, the castle was then again finely cleaned out. And for what: so that've been able to store the "degenerate art" here. For the sale abroad, the works were just barely enough, and besides, the scoundrels could then pocket their bags. Later, the GDR superiors tore the lock under their nails. First there was the president of the state and later high-ranking foreigners. Today you can walk around in the castle and in the park and revel in the memory of old times. "Starting point of the tour is the S-Bahn station Wollankstraße, which is approached by the lines S1, S25 and S26. First you stroll through the small Bürgerpark Pankow and then through a quiet residential area to the castle park Niederschönhausen. It's worth taking a stroll through the park before visiting the castle and its exhibition. Before you go back to the train station, you can stop for a coffee and cake in Café Sommerlust. From here you walk along the Tschaikowskistraße to the Volkspark Schönholzer Heide and on to the S-Bahn station Schönholz. From here the S-Bahn S1, S25 and S26 take you back to the city.

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  • Easy
    01:22
    3.34 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    "If I'm to introduce you to Berlin's history, then of course I can skip the darkest chapters: the NS regime and the Second World War. Today I have decided for this variant: In the midst of the Treptower Park hides a huge monument, namely the Soviet War Memorial. Only a few years after the war, the GDR government put a dignified monument to the fallen Red Army soldiers. Stone flags, a statue of a suffering mother and two kneeling soldiers and a monumental soldier with a sword and a child on his arm are enthroned above. Slightly thick, sajen se? Not so fat when they know there are over 7,000 Russian soldiers buried here. So walk in a little respect over the place and drown the dead. "Your tour starts at the S-Bahn station Treptower Park, which you can reach with the S-Bahn lines S8, S85, S9 and the Ringbahn lines S41 and S42. You leave the station in the direction of the park and shortly thereafter cross the Puschkinallee. On the edge of a wide meadow, you stroll to the stone entrance portal of the Soviet Memorial. Give yourself plenty of time to absorb the special atmosphere of the place.Afterwards, the path leads along the carp pond to the Spreeufer in Treptower Park. Several restaurants invite you to take a break here. Along the shore you finally walk back to the S-Bahn station Treptower Park.

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  • Intermediate
    02:06
    5.10 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    "The history of raisin bombers is probably one of the most touching from the postwar period. Just recently, the GIs bombarded the German cities with bombs and now it's time for cross-national cohesion. Because the Western powers had put together their zones in Berlin just as well and without questions, the Russians have shut down - and Berlin as well. The western districts got nüschts more: no food, no coal, no medication. The only change: over the sky. In no time at all an airlift was set up and from West Germany flew every minute American and British transport planes de urgently needed Fressalien to Berlin. And because jab for the kids and sweetet, you quickly got a new nickname for the plane: raisin bomber. Over a year, the supplies were flown in and the starving West Berlin alive. Perhaps the best way to reconcile Germans and Americans after the war. "The starting point for your round over the Tempelhofer Feld is the Tempelhof S-Bahn station, which you can reach by taking the S41, S42, S45 and S46 lines. From here you cross the Tempelhofer Damm and then you already stand on the wide area of the old airfield. If you are standing here for the first time on the old runway, it will make you speechless at the sight. But do not dream, because racing cyclists, inline skaters, skateboarders and unicyclists rush past you on the tarmac. On the meadows between the runways, people lie in the sun, picnicking, playing and making music - a great atmosphere.You leave the airfield at the Columbiadamm and reach the place of the airlift and the old airport terminal a little later. From here it goes through the cozy aviation district with its garden city center back to the S-Bahn Tempelhof.

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  • Intermediate
    02:28
    6.05 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    "If you go with me to the south of Berlin, then in the spring you can marvel at a very special avenue. Right on the border with Brandenburg, the Berlin Wall ran until 1989. On the old border post the wall can run completely once. Or just a piece, as we have today jeplant ham. Namely, we decided on the foljenden section: From Lichterfelde, Japanese cherry trees adorn both sides of the Wall. How come they come here, you ask? The Japanese TV station Asahi made a call for donations in far-away Japan for German reunification, and cherry trees were bought with the young Jeld and transplanted along the Berlin Wall. The longest avenue can be found here today between Lichterfelde and Teltow - but also in other places in Berlin the beautiful little trees stand. "With the S-Bahn lines S25 and S26 you drive out of town to the station Lichterfelde Süd. Here is a short distance through a residential area and you reach the Berlin Wall Trail and at the same time the TV Asahi Cherry Blossom Avenue. Especially beautiful in spring, when the trees are bathed in soft pink. You follow the wall path to the south and cross the S-Bahn tracks.At the end of the Kirchbaumallee, the Mauerweg turns left and leads you on a wide view over fields and meadows on the edge of Berlin Marienfelde. The aim of the hike is the S-Bahn station Lichtenrade. Here you climb into the S2 and drive back to the city.

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  • Easy
    01:57
    4.78 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    „Hier uf der Karl-Marx-Allee kannste die Jeschichte der DDR wie de Altersringe bei nem Baum ablesen. Det bejinnt ja schon gleech beim Namen: Nach der Gründung der DDR wurde die Frankfurter Allee kurzerhand in Stalinallee umbenannt. Als man det Wirken vom sowjetischen Diktator aber zunehmend – sagen wa ma – kritischer betrachtete, besannen sich die DDR-Funktionäre auf den Ursprung des Kommunismus. Was lag da näher, als die Prachtstraße in Karl-Marx-Allee umzubennenen?Nun ja, det ist aber nicht alles, was de hier entdecken kannst. Sehr deutlich lassen sich och die drei Bauabschnitte erkennen. Die Frankfurter Allee lag nach dem Krieg fast vollständig in Schutt und Asche und sollte als neue Hauptstraße ufjebaut werden. Da haben sich zig Architekten die Finger nach jeleckt, det kannste mir globen. Den Zuschlag bekam dann der Bauhausarchitekt Hans Scharoun, der ganz Berlin niederreißen und nach seinem Kollektivplan neu zu jestalten jedachte. Bis 1950 wurden uf dem Abschnitt zwischen der Straße der Pariser Kommune und der Warschauer Straße zwei seiner Traumhäuser errichtet – die sojenannten Laubenganghäuser. Man mag die Klötze schön finden oder auch nicht, aber immerhin hatte Scharoun das Ziel, dass alle Berliner schnell und günstig juten Wohnraum bekommen sollten – Sozialismus, ick hör dir trapsen. Die beiden Häusken warn kaum fertig, da wurde Scharoun abgesetzt: Zu funktionalistisch, zu dekadent, zu burgeois. Außerdem – und det war wohl der ausschlagjebende Punkt – nicht repräsentativ. Schließlich sollte ja die janze Welt erfahren, det der DDR-Sozialismus allen andern Jesellschaften überlegen is. Und dafür waren die prachtvollen Entwürfe von Hermann Henselmann einfach besser jeeignet. Noch heute verfehlen die Monumentalbauten zwischen Strausberger Platz und Frankfurter Tor nicht ihre Wirkung.Doch jetzt der Treppenwitz der Geschichte: Die Bauten warn so teuer, dass bald Ende war mit jünstigem Wohnraum für alle. Fortan lebten nur noch die jetreuesten DDR-Bürger in den Neubauten. Und als es an den dritten Bauabschnitt zwischen Strausberger Platz und Alexanderplatz jing, war kaum noch Kohle übrig. Einzige Rettung waren klotzige, aber herrlich billige Plattenbauten. Und Hans Scharoun, der jetzt im Westen die Berliner Philharmonie baute, lachte sich heimlich ins Fäustchen.”Startpunkt deiner kleinen Stadtwanderung ist der Bahnhof Alexanderplatz. Hier halten die S-Bahn-Linien S3, S5, S7 und S9. Von hier aus geht es am Haus des Lehrers, ebenfalls ein DDR-Bau, vorbei und schon stehst du auf der Karl-Marx-Allee. Zunächst wird die Straße überquert und du schlenderst an den hoch aufragenden Plattenbauten des dritten Bauabschnitts entlang. Als Zwischenstopp eignet sich hier das Kino International, denn in der Bar in der ersten Etage kannst du auch ohne Ticket einen Kaffee trinken.Nach den schmucklosen Plattenbauten wird es am Strausberger Platz gleich schon viel prachtvoller. Die eindrucksvollen Häuser tragen auch den Spitznamen Zuckerbäckerbauten und zwar aufgrund der reich verzierten Kacheln, die an Kekse und Plätzchen erinnern. An den prachtvollen Häusern entlang schlenderst du weiter bis zum Rosengarten. Am Frankfurter Tor mit seinen markanten Türmen wechselst du die Straßenseite und machst dich auf den Rückweg. Auf halber Strecke passierst du hier auch die Laubenganghäuser von Hans Scharoun, die sich jedoch verschämt hinter hochgewachsenen Pappeln verstecken. Am Ende der Tour erreichst du wieder den S-Bahnhof Alexanderplatz.

  • Easy
    00:57
    2.27 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    "There is not much left of Ulbricht's 'anti-Fascist protective wall'. Luckily, say it? Since ham se right, but the whole thing is now badly forgotten. And perhaps such an injustice should simply be exaggerated to your own people. This is ensured today by the Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse. Here you can still marvel at one and a half kilometers of the gray concrete wall that once surrounded the western part of the city as the Berlin Wall. The surveillance systems clearly show how badly the wall was guarded. And photos are reminiscent of the young East German citizens who died in their escape attempt. An important place, so that nüscht irjendwann means: 'Oh, in the GDR was et och janz ok.' "At the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station, where lines S1, S2, S25 and S26 stop, your tour to the Berlin Wall Memorial begins. And this starts already after a few meters. Along the roughly 1.4-kilometer-long wall remnants, you can experience the life in the divided city up close on info boards and many pictures.At the Brunnenstraße you will reach the end of the memorial. Here you turn left and soon after you reach Volkspark Humboldthain. The park was opened in the 1860s and has since enjoyed great popularity with residents from the surrounding neighborhoods. During the Second World War, the Nazis erected two anti-aircraft bunkers on the grounds of the park, of which the northern one is still largely preserved. From the roof platform of the bunker, which is open to the public, you have a nice view. Afterwards you will reach Gesundbrunnen station, where you can take the S1, S2, S25, S26, S41 and S42 lines.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    31.8 mi
  • Duration
    13:04 h
  • Elevation
    550 ft

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From Prussia to the fall of the Berlin Wall – by S-Bahn along the history of Berlin
Collection by
S-Bahn Berlin