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The lost termini of Berlin, Part 3. The Anhalter: Grand Not So Central

Last updated on May 14, 2022

When you walk up the stairs to the platforms, you become a traveler, and you’re no longer in Berlin. Munich, Switzerland, Italy, the whole of the south draws you up the gray steps. […] The Anhalter is a romantic station, one for dreamers. The platform ticket costs 10 pfennigs. For that, you can walk the whole time along the platform and marvel at the large sleeping cars with their lowered shutters. The signs with the names of far-away stations are like identity cards for those who sleep behind them.
— Heinz Berggruen, “Bahnhofsgedanken” (1935)

If you see someone tearing up about one of the old stations of Berlin, chances are it’ll be this one. The Anhalter Bahnhof was famed for being Berlin’s portal to far-away destinations in Austria, Hungary, Italy, and beyond. It looked the part, too, conceived in grand style in the late 1870s, when Germany had recently unified, Prussia had given the French a damned good thrashing, and confidence rode high.

Compared to its brethren, and in spite of its reputation, the Anhalter’s history isn’t particularly exceptional. It wasn’t a fascinating conglomerate of ad-hoc decisions like the Potsdamer, fundamentally redeveloped in the same way the Stettiner was, the receptacle for huge streams of immigrants like the Schlesischer, or the center of a turbulent neighborhood like the Küstriner. After its opening, it functioned pretty well for seventy years, became obsolete because of political reasons, and was finally demolished. The story of that demolition, and subsequent efforts to resurrect it, figure among the most fascinating aspects of its history.

What makes the Anhalter interesting is mostly its reputation, and the promise of exotic, far-away holidays that it conjured up for Berliners – the vast majority of whom would never be able to afford that kind of luxury. It was less the gateway to the south than the gateway to a different kind of life, perhaps. A station for dreamers, in the words of Heinz Berggruen.

The Anhalter (top) and Potsdamer (bottom) stations, c. 1930.

In a way, it is a bit disingenuous to discuss the Potsdamer Bahnhof and the Anhalter Bahnhof separately; both were really part of the same, vast rail yard to the southwest of the old, walled city. But their reputations warrant it, I think, and Berliners of the time didn’t consider them to be a single station.

Emperor Wilhelm II receiving the Italian King Umberto I at the Anhalter Bahnhof, 1889. Exactly the sort of thing that makes your reputation as a station.

Its reputation has led many to assume that it was Berlin’s biggest and busiest station – yet it wasn’t either: the Schlesischer Bahnhof was larger, while virtually all the stations on the Stadtbahn saw more passengers. But most of them were commuters; things look slightly different if we consider long-distance travelers. Taking their numbers for 1894, the Anhalter ends up in second place after the Stettiner Bahnhof.1

Gateway to the South

What it had going for it, however, were two important things. First, its ostentatiousness and size – always important in Berlin, a city that covets anything in-your-face. On opening in 1880, the railways proudly claimed that it possessed the third-biggest hall in the world, after London’s St. Pancras and Kansas City Union Station.

Destinations served by the Anhalter Bahnhof, 1896. Click to enlarge.

The Anhalter’s second strong suit was the kind of destinations it served. In a time where the train was the only available means of efficient long-distance travel, the Anhalter Bahnhof offered the promise of whiling away at the Cote d’Azur, seeing the art of Florence and visiting a sun-drenched coastal resort in Croatia. For most Berliners this kind of travel was entirely unattainable, of course, but the promise was a strong one and guaranteed the station an almost mythical status. It is a reputation that endures until today, having been fed for a century and a half of literature, music, and even cinema.

That reputation has been enhanced by its tragic end, the result of what now seems like modernist pipe dreams combined with provincial corruption. But that end, and the very vocal protests that went along with it, also led to a re-evaluation of Berlin’s architectural heritage, and even to calls to rebuild the station. In typical Berlin fashion, that has morphed into a situation of stasis, with the state of the site and the fate of the station still undecided – although it’s beginning to look like that might not last for much longer.

A modest start

But let’s go back a step. Before the grand Anhalter there was an earlier, much smaller one. When the Potsdamer Bahnhof was opened as Prussia’s first railway station in September of 1838, work on the line between the capital and the state of Anhalt (specifically, the city of Dessau) was already well underway.

Anhalter Bahnhof, 1838 Plans. Click to enlarge.

For its terminus, the Berlin-Anhalt Railway Company selected a spot close to the Potsdamer, about half a kilometer to the southeast on the Hirschelstraße.2 At the time, this street consisted of two, parallel streets with the old tariff wall between them.

The plot itself might have come cheap, but it did mean that the railway line itself diagonally traversed the western part of what was called “das Große Feld” (the large field), a large exercise area to the south of the city. Prussia was not a country in which the interests of the army could simply be ignored, and the price was a heavy one: the construction of a bridge for the army across the Landwehrkanal, and the purchase of a new exercise area near the Kreuzberg.

View through the Anhalter Gate towards the first Anhalter Station. Oil painting by Carl Daniel Freydank, 1841.

On the other side of the station, the situation wasn’t ideal either: the Berlin tax wall was still in place, and without a gate opposite the new station. The railway had to construct its own one (the Anhalter Gate, above) to allow for easy travel to the station, with a new connecting street to the Wilhelmstrasse. Again, this proved expensive, as the owners of the plots of land in between had to be bought off. As a result, the original plans for the station had to be toned down considerably. To give the station a properly monumental “shop window”, a square (the Askanischer Platz) was placed between the somewhat grimy Hirschelstraße and the building. However, much of the effect was lost a few years later, when a street-level railway that carried coal between the stations, the Verbindungsbahn, had to make its way across the street and over the square.

The first Anhalter Bahnhof from the front (left) and rear (right). Click to enlarge.

By 1840 most of the practical issues had been resolved, and the new railway line could be opened on September 1st. The new building had been built in roughly the same squarish style as the first Potsdamer Bahnhof. Much had been learned in the two years since the opening of the first railway, and functionally it was a marked improvement on its predecessor. However, it also shared many of its problems; most worryingly, soon it also turned out to be far too small.

The Anhalter’s first forty years. Click to enlarge.

The problem was compounded by the addition of a second railway connection granted to the Berlin to Anhalt Railway Company, this time to Dresden. For travelers it proved an enormous improvement: originally the journey to Saxony’s capital had gone via Leipzig, taking over twelve hours. In 1848 Prussia and Saxony decided to construct a less circuitous route from Jüterbog south via Röderau. When this opened in October of that year, it halved the travel time to just over six hours. The connection proved popular but put even more strain on an already over-burdened station.

However, it was the construction of an even more direct route to Dresden (via Elsterwerda) in the early 1870s that made the necessity for entirely new facilities pressing. The new Berlin to Dresden company that was set to exploit the line insisted on its own station. An attractive location in front of the Belle-Alliance-Platz at the end of the Friedrichstraße (today’s Mehringplatz) was considered but proved to be too costly. That meant that a new location had to be found somewhere in the railyard behind the Anhalter: not just for a passenger station, but also for baggage facilities, workshops, and a goods station. When the whole area was going to be redeveloped anyhow, this presented a unique opportunity to also redevelop the Anhalter station itself.

A rural idyll in the city

The temporary Dresdener Bahnhof (left) and Anhalter Bahnhof (right) superimposed on a 1900 map of Berlin. Click to enlarge.

To make place for a grand redevelopment of the old station site, two temporary stations were constructed, with a makeshift Anhalter Bahnhof south of the Landwehrkanal.3 Immediately to the west, a similar temporary structure for the Dresdener Bahnhof was built.

Those temporary stations are an interesting story in themselves. We know of at least four stations where such structures were built. They were typically set up in a half-timbered style. This offered a number of advantages. Practical ones, since the combination of wooden beams and plastered panels could be built quickly and cheaply, and because the use of modular elements also made disassembly, storage, and re-use somewhere else relatively easy.

But there were also stylistic and artistic advantages. For starters, the visual repetition of similar elements made the structures look longer and therefore more impressive than they really were. Moreover, half-timbered buildings were regarded to be uniquely German and symbolized a sort of rural utopia that contrasted positively with the grime of the city.

Temporary Stettin station, c. 1900.

A forgotten station

Façade of the Dresdener Bahnhof.

The Dresdener station has since mostly disappeared into oblivion, which is somewhat understandable as it didn’t function for more than seven years, from 1875 to 1882. Unfortunately, being on the “wrong” side of the Landwehrkanal, it was rather difficult to get to, and the neighborhood wasn’t a particularly attractive one, being dominated by railway infrastructure and industry. For the railway companies as well, it was located inconveniently, more or less dead in the middle of a huge railway yard. The proximity of so much infrastructure precluded substantial extension without getting in the way of the two other stations and other structures such as train sheds and goods terminals.

The completion of railway nationalization in 1882 led to the decision to transfer all passenger trains on the Dresden line to the new Anhalter Bahnhof, and the Dresdener therefore never received a more permanent building. After its closure, the temporary structure was gradually taken down. There is reason to believe that at least part of it was re-used at another site, probably the Auswandererbahnhof (Emigration Station) at Ruhleben.

Designs for a cathedral by Philippe de l’Orme (1648, left) and Karl Friedrich Schinkel (right, 1798). From Krings 1985, p. 165.

Grand Central conceived

Various stages of designs for the Anhalter Bahnhof. From: Maier 1984, p. 123. Click to enlarge.

In 1871, the architect Franz Schwechten began work on a new terminus for the Anhalt railway. While his first design (right) already shows something we may identify with what was later built, there is also a very clear, earlier inspiration throughout the project: Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s design for a cathedral from 1798, which he had based on Philippe de l’Orme’s earlier drawing from 1648. In other words: Schwechten very clearly was concerned with creating a true “railway cathedral”. Over time, Schwechten’s Anhalter would lose some of its Schinkelian appearance; it would lose the corner buildings, for instance. But Schinkel’s influence would remain unmistakeable in the final product.

The third design stage of 1872 presents something of an anomaly; it contained two towers and three circular windows, rather than the repetitive gallery typical of the other plans. Probably drawn up by Schwechten’s collaborators Orth and Knoblauch, it would actually serve to inspire the new Stettiner Bahnhof, and be completed four years before the Anhalter. We will get back to this station in a next chapter.

By late 1872, the final overall form of the station had been established, although a lot of work was still needed on the details. The terminal was more generously proportioned than any other station in Berlin (even if a new Schlesischer Bahnhof would rival it within two years) with a width of well over sixty meters or, as newspapers did not fail to point out at the time, slightly wider than Unter den Linden, Berlin’s central avenue.4 With a length of almost 200 meters it was also longer than any other station in the city and the largest on the European continent.5

Anhalter Bahnhof, 2nd design phase (Stufe B), 1872. From Krings 1985.

However, it ended up not quite as exorbitant as Schwechten had envisioned. Construction was started in September of 1875 after the terrain had been cleared of the remains of the old station, and services moved to their temporary facilities. One of the demands for the station had been that the tracks be moved above street level, which turned out to be exorbitantly costly because that meant building new bridges as well. Moreover, in the mid-1870s, Germany was in the middle of an economic crisis, and the railway company saw itself forced to halt construction for more than a year from October of 1875 onwards due to financial shortages.

When the work started again in November of 1876, Schwechten had been forced to simplify his design in order to save costs. Although the overall dimensions of the shed remained intact, both side wings had become noticeably shorter and narrower. This meant that the waiting rooms and restaurants lost some of their opulence. Remarkably, most of all the royal waiting rooms suffered, and the ramp for royal coaches had been removed.

The final design of the Anhalter Bahnhof, 1878.

This crisis was one of the reasons why Bismarck forced through the nationalization of the Berlin-Anhaltische Eisenbahngesellschaft in 1882: he considered the railways to be too important to leave in the hands of market forces.

Stations as architecture

Along with the slightly earlier Stettiner Bahnhof, the Anhalter represented architectural innovation. To see why we need to briefly delve into the history of Berlin’s other stations. The unveiling of the new Ostbahnhof (popularly known as “Küstriner Bahnhof”) in 1867 had provoked harsh criticism. Architects, who described its neo-renaissance front building as a “cake”, complained that the building in front of the shed reflected nothing of the structure behind it, and hid something the Prussians were beginning to be proud of.

Postcard of the Küstriner Bahnhof, c. 1880.

A more practical issue was that for the traveler it was useless: the entrance and exit were to the side of the shed, and the front building only contained administrative services and housing for railway employees. This also meant that a huge potential benefit of a terminal station – the concentration of services at the head of the platform – was left unused. The new Potsdamer Bahnhof of 1871 had only partly addressed these issues. While its front building was at least partly usable (but only as an exit, not as an entrance), it posed a stylistic anomaly with the shed behind, even more so than the Küstriner. This might have been all right two decades earlier, but in the meantime, architects had started to integrate a building’s function into its design.

The controversy was given even greater weight because around this time, the German profession of the Baumeister – a blend of contractor, engineer, and architect – was being diversified into its constructive and aesthetic parts. Architects of a more modern kind began emancipating their profession and were no longer content with the utilitarian setup of previous railway architecture. Moreover, as Berlin was becoming an imperial capital and a growing metropolis, they looked to examples from outside, especially in London and Paris. Notably, Baron Haussmann’s redevelopment of the Parisian inner city had utilized its large railway termini as the impressive bookends of its new, large boulevards – something which contrasted rather markedly with the way in which most of Berlin’s stations had been tucked away.

Grand Central

Anhalter Bahnhof, shed, 1880. Colorized photograph.

The new building was ceremoniously opened by Reich Chancellor Bismarck on June 15, 1880. At the Askanischer Platz in front of the station, a crowd of hundreds had gathered to take a look at the new station and be among the first to enter it at 3.30 AM. The first train, the 5.40AM to Lichterfelde, had to be extended several times to accommodate the seven hundred people that wanted to be on it. And even then it couldn’t take off because almost two hundred railway employees wanted to tag along as well. The 58-axle express eventually departed with a five-minute delay.

Anhalter Bahnhof, entrance hall (left) and royal waiting rooms, 1880.

From the outset, the station was meant to impress. The opening doorway led into an opulent grand hall, which contained the vestibule and ticket offices. To get to the trains, passengers had to ascend a huge staircase, at the top of which the even more impressive train shed revealed itself.6

Architectural reviews were favorable from the outset, both within and outside Germany. As the Leipziger Illustrirte Zeitung declared:

Here we do not see that sickly compromise between utility and monumentality, which often shows itself to such a troublesome degree in railroad buildings; rather, the building is fully and magnificently conceived and masterfully executed in all its aspects.7

Like the Stettiner four years earlier, the Anhalter did away with the traditional division between arriving and departing passengers, and so became much more convenient for those wanting to switch trains. Upon arrival, travelers could leave either by the side or the front; but there was no longer a general entrance building to the right (west) of the station. That space had been allocated to waiting rooms (this was still the side where trains left) and restaurants, but could only be reached from within the station. The outside could therefore be used for logistical operations, such as goods and baggage handling.

Anhalter Bahnhof, 2nd class waiting room (situated in the northwest corner of the hall).

The royal rooms were situated on the eastern side of the building. While these obviously served the members of Germany’s royal families (the Allerhöchste Herrschaften), they also functioned as something of a showcase for the ability of the architect and the prestige of the railway company and destination. Of all the royal rooms in Berlin’s stations, these were the most used since this was where visiting heads of states typically reposed after their arrival.

Reich chancellor Bismarck, his son Herbert and Italian chancellor Crispi at the Anhalter at the occasion of Italian King Umberto I’s visit (see also above), June 1889.

With a better station came a better neighborhood. Gone were the days when the street in front of the station was being dominated by the fumes of the Verbindungsbahn; the Königgrätzer Straße, as it had been renamed, had become a place where upper-class hotels catered to the beau monde that had just arrived or was waiting to depart: the Excelsior, Askanischer Hof and Habsburger Hof were among the best in town, with prices to match.

Glory Days

Anhalter Bahnhof, overview of the train shed towards the south, 1880.

From now on, this was the place where foreign dignitaries were received in the capital and where the wealthy set out on their vacation. Trains departed for Dresden, Magdeburg, and Frankfurt, but also for far more exotic destinations such as Istanbul, Athens, the Mediterranean coast, or Rome. Still, the station also remained an important hub for local and regional traffic.

That is not to say that despite its generous dimensions and its six platforms it didn’t immediately suffer from the same, continual growing pains that afflicted all the Berlin stations. This became immediately apparent when, two years after its opening, services from and to Dresden were diverted to the Anhalter from the ill-fated Dresdener Bahnhof. Quite big still wasn’t large enough, as it turned out. Over the years, additional tracks were put in – most of which ended outside of the big hall – facilities added, and platforms extended.8

Anhalter Bahnhof in the 1930s (colorized).

A much-publicized addition took place in 1928, when a tunnel to the luxurious Excelsior hotel was installed in the basement, allowing its guests to move to and from the station without having to brave the elements and Berlin’s hectic traffic on the Königgrätzer Straße.

Wrong place, wrong time.

From the turn of the 20th century onward, it became increasingly clear that in the long run, the Anhalter was on the way out. Plans to rationalize the city’s railway infrastructure came to focus on the creation of a north-south tunnel between the area around the Lehrter in the north and the Potsdamer Bahnhof in the south – the situation that we have today, in fact. The Anhalter, for all its splendor, was just slightly in the wrong place. When the S-Bahn was constructed during the 1920s, the connection to the Anhalter Bahnhof required building a somewhat unseemly curve in an otherwise mostly straight line. And new plans for a central railway station for Berlin typically ignored the “Gateway to the South”.

Brix and Genzmer, Wettbewerb Groß-Berlin 1910, Redesign for the Königgrätzer Straße. Architekturmuseum der TU Berlin. PD.

But the station building’s reputation might have saved it regardless. Even Albert Speer’s megalomaniacal plan for the Reichshauptstadt Germania from 1938, which hardly shied away from tearing down entire swathes of the city, still saw a purpose for the building as a museum or a swimming pool.

As we’ll see with depressing regularity, it was the Second World War and its consequences that hailed the end of Berlin’s “gateway to the south”. From 1933 onwards, it was where those that feared repression by the Nazi regime went into exile; Heinz Berggruen, a Jewish art collector quoted at the start of this article, was among them. Things took a turn for the even more sinister when from June 1942, the station was used to transport the city’s Jews to Theresienstadt concentration camp. This was done using regular trains, unlike at the more out-of-the-way Grunewald station, from where Jews were transported in the cattle carriages that we’ve come to know. The Anhalter was still in the middle of the city of course, and used by other travelers, so too much brutality might have been a tad too conspicuous.

The building was bombed heavily on the night of February 3rd, 1945. The rear part of its roof did not survive the bombs and the subsequent fire. The damage was cleared up to some extent, but train traffic ended in April of that year during the Battle for Berlin. Citizens of the heavily damaged city took refuge behind its monumental walls, in its basement and the Excelsior tunnel. On April 29, the Russians attacked in full force; but around 10,000 people could be evacuated through the S-Bahn tunnel to Stettin station.

The Anhalter Bahnhof, mid-1945.

Although bombed and shot to pieces, the station building could soon be reactivated after the end of hostilities, although the remaining part of the roof had to be removed for safety reasons. Train services, mostly to the outskirts of Berlin and further on into the Soviet Zones, could be resumed in August of 1945, and continued, with an interruption during the Berlin Blockade of 1948, until 1951. In that year East German citizens were formally prohibited from visiting West Berlin, which left the Anhalter – a West Berlin station whose tracks led into the GDR and East Berlin – without passengers. Inevitably, the station had to be closed. The “Gateway to the south” had ceased having a south to be a gateway to.

That entrance

Portico of the Anhalter Bahnhof, 2021.

The Anhalter’s almost-disappearance is a typical story of damaged structures in old Berlin. There were a number of factors that contributed to its end, though. Firstly, as we saw, officially the Anhalter had ceased to be a viable station for destinations in East Germany after 1951.

The second contributing factor was the craving for any modern thing not related to an ignominious past in West Berlin. This was the time when the West Berlin authorities, headed by the infamous senator Rolf Schwedler9 gave away subsidies to have the old ornamentation removed from housing blocks and so give the city a more contemporary appearance. That also meant that buildings such as the Anhalter Station could count on little love from the authorities.

Finally and perhaps most effectively, at that time West Berlin wasn’t exactly known as a haven of bureaucratic integrity. Long story short: someone got a good deal for the bricks, so the building went down in spite of vocal opposition. Ostensibly, the tile work on the outside was to be re-used for reconstruction housing. But since everything had been built by Prussian engineers, the tiles couldn’t easily be removed from the bricks, nor the bricks from one another, and all were eventually thrown away.

The Anhalter Bahnhof during demolition, 1961. Click to enlarge.

In 1959, the train shed was blown up. However, just before the demolition someone suggested the portico be spared as a reminder of the horrors of the Second World War. This is where it still stands, amid as desolate an urban landscape as you’re likely to encounter in Berlin. The area once occupied by the shed is now a football pitch, bookended by a concert hall, the Tempodrom. Behind that, however, one can still find the platforms that were once part of the Anhalter – a far more obscure memorial, now overgrown and often the home of the capital’s homeless community.

The rear of the Anhalter’s ruin, 1990 (Photo Ger Dijkstra).

In a way, the fate of the Anhalter contributed to something of a turnaround in attitudes towards Berlin’s architectural heritage. The ferocity of the protests was such that not only wasn’t the demolition final, but it also caused the authorities, at long last, to rethink the way in which they handled such cases. This is what likely helped the Kunstgewerbemuseum (today’s Martin-Gropius-Bau) to survive a few years later.

Exile Memorial

From time to time, calls for the Anhalter’s reconstruction have appeared and usually gone away after a while. There no longer is any use for a station on the site, but because it hasn’t been built over so far there is still hope of rebuilding the glory days. But what is one to do with such a huge hall? One suggestion has been to use it as an entertainment venue like the Tempodrom, or as a huge swimming pool.

Dorte Mandrup’s design for the new Exile Museum. (c) 2020 Dorte Mandrup Architects.

For now, the portal’s most likely future is as the entrance of a new Exile Museum that is planned on the site. Again, this has raised protests, mostly of an aesthetic nature, by people who would like to see a total rebuild of the old station. Unfortunately, the discussion has become quite polarized, with the (sometimes extreme) right10 arguing in favor of a rebuild (and against the Exile Museum) and the (sometimes extreme) left seeing any attempt at reconstruction as a surrender to reaction.

A stronger argument against reconstruction, in my view, is the situation of the surrounding area. Almost entirely flattened in the final days of the war, it was built up afterward in the least inspiring type of 1960s architecture and has effectively been ruined. A rebuilt Anhalter would look entirely out of place if those buildings didn’t receive some serious love as well.

Whatever your ideas are about the architecture, it is difficult to deny that even in a less grand building it would be a worthy memorial of the role the Anhalter played in the country’s darkest past.

Acknowledgments

I want to thank Ger Dijkstra and Mark Thomas for their assistance.

Further reading

Unsurprisingly, the Anhalter’s history been described best of all the Berlin terminals. However, all of the books dedicated to it are in German. As I’ve argued before, Ulrich Krings’ Bahnhofsarchitektur (1985) is compulsory reading for anyone interested in the architectural history of German railway stations (and 19th century railway architecture in general, to be honest). Of all the books about the Anhalter specifically, the first choice has to be Helmut Maier’s Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof (1984). Unfortunately, both these titles can only be purchased second-hand, and Maier’s particularly can get pricey (I purchased mine for about 40 euros and that was a real steal). If you’re into rolling stock, Rainer Knothe’s Anhalter Bahnhof : Entwicklung und Betrieb is very informative and also far more affordable.

  • Berger, Manfred. Historische Bahnhofsbauten Sachsens, Preussens, Mecklenburgs und Thüringens. Berlin: Transpress, 1981.
  • Berggruen, Heinz, Kleine Abschiede : 1935-1937: Berlin, Kopenhagen, Kalifornien. Berlin: Transit, 2004.
  • Bley, Peter. 125 Jahre Berlin-Dresdener Eisenbahn. Berlin-Zossen-Elsterwerda-Dresden. Düsseldorf: Alba, 1999.
  • Boberg, Jochen. Der Anhalter. Geschichte und Geschichten um den größten Bahnhof Berlins. Berlin.: Museumspädagogischer Dienst Berlin, 1983.
  • Demps, Laurenz. Der Schlesische Bahnhof in Berlin. Ein Kapitel preußischer Eisenbahn-Geschichte. Berlin: TranzPress, 1991.
  • Eiselen, Fritz. “Die Lösung der Verkehrsfragen im Wettbewerb Groß-Berlin.” Deutsche Bauzeitung 1910, no. 50-59 (1910): 385–392, 401.
  • Fritsch, Karl. “Das neue Empfangs-Gebäude der Berlin-Anhaltischen Eisenbahn in Berlin.” Deutsche Bauzeitung 13 (1879): 11-14, 23–25, 41.
  • Gottwaldt, Alfred B. Berliner Fernbahnhöfe. Erinnerungen an ihre große Zeit. Düsseldorf: Alba, 1982.
  • Gympel, Jan. “Wie der Postbahnhof zum Dresdener Bahnhof wurde Die DB AG entdeckte einen neuen alten Bahnhof – und hat sich damit gründlich blamiert [signalarchiv.de].” Signal 1997, no. 7 (1997): 9–11.
  • Hofmann, Albert. “Groß-Berlin, sein Verhältnis zur modernen Großstadtbewegung und der Wettbewerb zur Erlangung eines Grundplanes für die städtebauliche Entwicklung Berlins und seiner Vororte im zwanzigsten Jahrhundert.” Deutsche Bauzeitung 44 (1910): 169–181, 197, 213, 233, 261, 281, 311, 325.
  • Knothe, Rainer. Anhalter Bahnhof : Entwicklung und Betrieb; Zeugen und Zeugnisse aus über 100 Jahren. Berlin: Verlag Ästhetik und Kommunikation, 1987.
  • Krings, Ulrich. Bahnhofsarchitektur. Deutsche Großstadtbahnhöfe des Historismus. München: Prestel, 1985.
  • Maier, Helmut. Berlin Anhalter Bahnhof. Berlin: Verlag Ästhetik und Kommunikation, 1984.

  1. Although it needs to be said that the Stettiner’s traffic was highly seasonal. There is also a good case for treating the Stadbahn as a single station as far as long-distance travel is concerned. In that case, both the Stettiner and Anhalter come in a distant second and third. In 1893-4, the Stadbahn carried 1.2 million long-distance travellers, the Stettiner around 750,000, and the Anhalter circa 650,000. For comparison: Berlin Hauptbahnhof in 2015 served about 90 million on its own. Source: Berlin und seine Bauten, 1896, I, 306 

  2. This street was later renamed Königgrätzer Straße, after the victorious battle against the Austrians in the war of 1866 

  3. Today, the German Technology Museum (Technikmuseum) stands in this location. 

  4. Up to that point, stations had been designed according to the Berliner Breidte of 37,66 meters. 

  5. Albeit still smaller than St. Pancras in London and Kansas City in the U.S. in terms of surface area. 

  6. For a very similar experience, visit Antwerp Central station and enter the shed from the hall. 

  7. As quoted in Maier 1984, 249. 

  8. Some of these can still be visited in the woods behind the Tempodrom. 

  9. Schwedler was allegedly responsible for more destruction in West Berlin than the allied bombings had achieved, and would have razed much of Kreuzberg if given the chance. 

  10. For those in doubt, take a look at this Facebook group. 

Published inLost Termini of Berlin series

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