The Lost Termini of Berlin, Part 1. A City to Arrive in

Many who arrive in Berlin will do so by train. Thanks to Germany’s excellent railroad infrastructure, the journey is usually comfortable and quick, and drops you off right in the centre of the German capital. Granted, Hauptbahnhof is rather cramped for the amount of traffic it receives and it’s not fully hooked up to the subway station yet (a situation which is going to change quickly), but it takes only minimal effort to get wherever you need to go – even if that destination lies outside of the city.

Potsdamer Bahnhof, Berlin, ca. 1920. Postcard (Source: Tunneltours.de)

It used to be very different. Before the Second World War, Berlin was a city meant to arrive in, and not so much one to traverse on your way to a different place. Around the centre of the city, a number of large terminal stations was constructed in the course of the 19th and early 20th century, each named after and leading to a different destination. The Anhalter Bahnhof carried passengers to and from Anhalt, the Potsdamer Bahnhof to and from Potsdam… you get the idea.

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