Stone angels, cast-iron crosses, huge crypts, Hebrew inscriptions, monumental statues and famous names — Berlin's cemeteries are as varied as the city itself. In addition to both magnificent and modest grave decorations, the cemeteries also offer you a quiet and peaceful experience in nature amongst the hustle and bustle of the capital city. In this Collection, we take you on eight hikes to ancient, unique and secluded cemeteries.
In the late 18th century, the General Prussian Land Law stipulated that all burial sites must be set up outside of cities. At that time, there were several smaller and larger cities spread out over what now constitutes as Berlin: the double city of Berlin-Cölln with its fortress walls, the wealthy Charlottenburg, the sophisticated Schöneberg and the tranquil Wilmersdorf. In between, several cemeteries were built on former fields. This is why many of the cemeteries in this Collection date back to this period: the Georgen-Parochial cemetery with its magnificent avenues in Friedrichshain, the Dorotheenstädtische Friedhof with its famous deceased in Mitte or the Alte Zwölf-Apostel-Friedhof in Schöneberg with its beautiful statues.
At that time, the Tempelhofer Feld was still used by the Berlin garrison for drills and at its edge, the Garrison Cemetry was used as the cemetery for the Prussian officers. Prussian King Wilhelm I maintained close relations with the Ottoman Empire and donated part of his garrison cemetery as a burial ground for members of the Ottoman embassy which makes the Turkish cemetery at Tempelhofer Feld the oldest Muslim cemetery in Germany.
Not only Christians and Muslims found their final resting place on Berlin soil – there are also many Jewish cemeteries in the city. The largest of them is the Jewish cemetery in Weißensee – with an area of 40 hectares this is the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe .
You see, on your walks around the Berlin cemeteries you will certainly not get bored: you will not only enjoy the colorful leaves of autumn, but also learn something about the history of the capital, its religions and their burial rituals and admire the grave design over time.
On this tour on the edge of the historic center of Berlin you visit some of the oldest cemeteries in Berlin. The Dorotheenstädtische cemetery, the St. Elisabeth cemetery and the cemetery Sophien II emerged in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Like other cemeteries, they were created according to the "Prussian General Land Law" outside the city walls. The rapid growth of Berlin from the middle of the 19th century on the other hand caused the demolition of the city wall and the city simply grew around the cemeteries. Today you can stroll along venerable Prussian tombs and enjoy the tranquility in the middle of the hectic city.Let's go to the Nordbahnhof, which you can easily reach with the S-Bahn lines S1, S2, S25 and S26. From here you first walk through the small park to the first cemetery, the Dorotheenstädtisch-Friedrichswerder Cemetery. Here, the parishioners from the two historic districts Dorotheenstadt and Friedrichswerder were buried. A special feature: the many cast iron crosses from the early 19th century - iron was then in Prussia a sought after material for artwork and tomb design.Then it goes on quiet roads back to Invalidenstraße. Here you will find two venerable cemeteries right next to the Pappelplatz: the cemetery Sophien II and the St. Elisabeth Cemetery. Just as on the Dorotheenstädtischen you can here artful grave design from the 19th century and also discover the last resting place of some famous Berliners and Prussians. After your cemetery round it is only a few steps back to the North Station.
On this tour you walk along the course of the old Berlin excise wall, which existed until 1869. Today, there are no traces of it left - but you can still guess the course of the Wall based on the position of the old cemeteries, which had to be built in front of the city gates. In addition to the Georgen-Parochial Cemetery and the St. Georgen Cemetery you also visit the Volkspark Friedrichshain - all in all you can look forward to a long walk in the green in the middle of the city.The tour starts at Berliner Ostbahnhof, which is served by the S-Bahn lines S3, S5, S7, S75 and S9. From here, follow Koppenstraße north, cross the impressive Karl-Marx-Allee and finally reach the Friedenstraße. Once here, enter the Georgen Parochial Cemetery. With almost 180,000 square meters, it is the largest of the cemeteries, which were inaugurated in 1800 at the Berlin city wall. With its age-old trees and forest-like areas, the cemetery is more reminiscent of a park - and you can admire half-ruined burial grounds and cast-iron-tombed tombs from the imperial era.From the exit on Lansberger Allee you leave the cemetery and walk across to the Volkspark Friedrichshain - which was also located outside the city wall at its opening in 1846. Our tour will take you here on the Kleinen and the large pond over to the Café Schönbrunn and of course to the fairy tale fountain. From the fountain with its stone fairy-tale characters, it goes over the Greifswalder Straße and the St. Georgen cemetery. A short round takes you along impressive tombs and under tall trees. From here it is worthwhile to make a detour to the Leisepark: Until 2007, it was still part of the cemetery and was then transformed into a quiet and peaceful park with a new concept while preserving the old plants and trees as well as individual graves from the imperial era.From the Leisepark you finally stroll down the Prenzlauer Allee to the S-Bahn station Alexanderplatz.
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Schöneberg was still an independent city until 1920 - accordingly, Schöneberg also had its own cemeteries, far away from downtown Berlin. The two old cemeteries, to which we guide you on this tour, are located on the "Red Island". The name "Red Island" was given to the old building district, which is encompassed by train tracks in all directions, at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time mainly leftist workers and small people lived here. Especially exciting: The tenements on the Red Island do not even match the magnificent graves of the wealthy Schönebergers, which you can look at in the cemeteries.Your round starts at the S-Bahn station Yorckstraße, which you can reach with the S-Bahn lines S2, S25 and S26. First, it goes parallel to the S-Bahn tracks through the pretty Flaschenhalspark, a part of the park at the Gleisdreieck. On the monument bridge - from which you have a good view of the Berlin skyline - you cross the railway tracks and follow them on the other side further south.Soon you will reach a narrow strip of greenery, the Hertha Block Promenade, which leads you from the tracks between old industrial buildings and tenements to the Old Twelve Apostles Cemetery. Wealthy Schoenebergers have done here in the cemetery, which was inaugurated in 1864, magnificent tombs with beautiful statues and tombstones.After a short walk in the cemetery, you follow our route through the Gründerzeit streets to the Old St. Matthew's Cemetery. Here you walk under old trees, along old graves and to the magnificent cemetery chapel. There is also a small café right at the exit, where you can take a break with home-baked cake. From there it is only a few minutes back to the S-Bahn station Yorckstraße.
Amongst all these tours of the collection, this stands out especially because we take you to the Soviet Memorial in Treptower Park. Framed by the park with its old big trees, you will find here a spacious fenced area. Two huge stone flags flank the entrance and as you go through, a wide meadow opens in front of you. At the other end perched on a pedestal of the "Liberator", a monumental statue of a Red Army soldier. On one arm he carries a small child, in the other hand he holds a sword with which he has smashed a swastika. This memorial commemorates the death of countless Russian soldiers who have lost their lives in the fight against Nazi Germany. And even more: on the white sarcophagus on the edge of the meadow are over 7,000 names. These are the names of those who fell at the Battle of Berlin and were buried here.The starting point for your walk to the monumental memorial is the S-Bahn station Treptower Park, which is served by the S-Bahn lines S41, S42, S8, S85 and S9. From here it is only on the Puschkinalle and then on the edge of the large lawn along the entrance to the memorial. Give yourself a little time here to let the unique, awesome atmosphere affect you.Afterwards it goes again over the Puschkinallee and through the rose garden in the Treptower park to the Spreeufer. With a beautiful view of the Stralau peninsula you can stroll back to the S-Bahn station Treptower Park.
In Berlin, there are not only Christian cemeteries - an exception is, for example, the Turkish cemetery on the edge of Tempelhofer Feld. The cemetery is already surprisingly old - it was opened in 1866. Prussia and the Ottoman Empire maintained a close friendship at that time, and the Prussian King Wilhelm I donated part of his garrison cemetery to the Ottoman Embassy. Until 1989, people were buried here, since then, nothing has changed - according to Muslim belief graves may not be reused. Also worth seeing is the small mosque with its two minarets. In addition to the Turkish cemetery, we also take you on this tour to four other historic cemeteries in Neukölln.Starting point is the S-Bahn station Hermannstraße, which you can reach with the lines S41, S42, S45, S46 and S47. From here, it's a bit along the bustling Hermannstraße and then on the "Three Cemeteries". The Old St. Michael Cemetery, the New Luisenstadt Cemetery and the St. Thomas Cemetery have merged into a large common cemetery - but officially they still belong to three different communities, although there is even only one entrance. Especially beautiful are the old avenues, the statues along the paths and tombs, and the old burial grounds on the cemetery walls.From here you stroll through the Anita Berber Park and then a piece over the wide Tempelhofer field. Shortly after you reach the Columbiadamm and thus also the cemetery on Columbiadamm. It was once called the garrison cemetery - at that time the Tempelhof field was still the parade ground of the Berlin garrison - and therefore you can inspect several regimental and officer graves from Prussian times. A small part of the cemetery is separated: the Turkish cemetery. In direct comparison with the other cemeteries, you will notice quite a few differences in the design of the graveyard and graves.Afterwards you will walk over the Columbiadamm and the Tempelhofer Feld back to the S-Bahn station Hermannstraße.
It is hard to believe: in Berlin, for example, in the control center of what was then Nazi Germany, Europe's largest Jewish cemetery was able to outlast the Nazi regime and the war. The huge cemetery with an area of more than 40 hectares was created in 1880 in Weißensee. The buildings in the cemetery, such as the funeral hall, are characterized by a special aesthetic - Jewish style mixed with typical Prussian brick walls. The cemetery fell into oblivion after the war and during the German division and became increasingly neglected until the 1980s with renovation and refurbishment work began. Today many areas are still characterized by a romantic decay, while other parts have been carefully repaired.From the S-Bahn station Landsberger Allee, which is served by the S-Bahn lines S8 and S85 as well as by the Ringbahn lines S41 and S42, you first walk through the quiet Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg. From Volkspark it is only a few minutes to the venerable entrance to the cemetery. Take a little time to admire the many differently designed burial places and the park-like facility of the cemetery.From the cemetery, our route will take you to the S-Bahn station Greifswalder Straße. From here you can take the lines S41, S42, S8 and S85 back home.
In 1880, the extent of the city of Berlin had reached unprecedented proportions and because of the many new residents needed more burial places. One of them was the Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde. The city of Berlin acquired a 25-acre piece of land from the owner of Ritterguts Friedrichsfelde on the eastern edge of the city. After the opening in 1881, this was the first time that it was possible to have funeral funerals - the city was paying for the cost. In particular, the cemetery with its park-like facility came in the year 1900: At that time attracted 150,000 people to the cemetery to attend the funeral of Wilhelm Liebknecht. He was followed by many other high-ranking members of the SPD over the years and soon the cemetery was known only as a socialist cemetery. During the GDR, the individual SPD and KPD members were even reburied to create a joint socialist memorial in the cemetery.With the S-Bahn lines S5, S7 and S75 it goes first to the S-Bahn station Friedrichsfelde East. Here you follow a short piece of the Rhinstraße, before it goes through a garden plot to the central cemetery Friedrichsfelde. You enter the "Socialist Cemetery" via a side entrance and then stroll past the striking celebration hall in the direction of the Socialist Memorial.The circular memorial with the large forecourt - in the GDR was held here one or the other day of remembrance - is located near the main entrance. From here you walk on the broad avenues in the north, you can discover the grave of Käthe Kollwitz and also come to the graves of the victims of fascism. Over 900 political concentration camp inmates found their final resting place here.Arriving at the northern edge of the cemetery, it is worth taking a short detour to the landscape park Herzberge, where you can walk past sheep, cattle and orchards. Afterwards our route will take you through the cemetery back to the S-Bahn station.
It was not until 1911 that the cremation ceremony was officially allowed in Prussia - both the Catholic and the Protestant regional churches had long opposed it. The first crematorium in Berlin opened in Wedding, but it soon reached its limits. Due to the good experiences and the high demand one decided in Wilmersdorf to build their own crematorium, which should also correspond in design, the wealthy district. It was to be built on the edge of Wilmersdorf Cemetery - but ten years were to pass from planning in 1912 to its opening. Today the crematorium is no longer used, but you can still visit the Grade II listed building, the unique Columbaria and the venerable courtyard.Starting point of the tour is the S-Bahn station Heidelberger Platz, which you can reach with the S-Bahn lines S41, S42 and S46. First, it's a short walk along the road and then into the Volkspark Wilmersdorf. On a leisurely walk, you stroll around the Fennsee before finally entering the cemetery Wilmersdorf.As in many Berlin cemeteries from the 19th century, you can admire ancient burial places - and in some cases, the families have their wealth exposed quite openly. The crematorium awaits you in the northwestern corner. Sit down here on a bench and enjoy the special atmosphere. Then our route leads you back through the cemetery and along the Fennsee back to the S-Bahn station.