Crossing the River Spree, this beautiful double-decker bridge is well-known Berlin landmark. When the Berlin Wall went up in 1961 Oberbaumbrucke crossed the border from West to East Berlin. It became a pedestrian border-crossing for West Berliners. The entire width of the river here was considered to be in East Berlin. This had fatal consequence for five year old Certin Mert when he fell into the river in 1975; West Berliners could not intervene to save his life and he drowned.
The bridge as it stands today was built in 1895, and links two of Berlin’s Keiz (neighbourhoods), Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. It was built on the site of a wooden drawbridge that dates back to 1724, and which served as a gate to the city. It has seven arches and medieval-style turrets, and is built of concrete and brick. It was built to accommodate the ever-increasing traffic that crossed the original bridge, and would become a combined crossing for road, pedestrian, and U-Bahn (subway rail) travellers.
In 1945, the middle section was destroyed by the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Nazi Germany, to prevent the Russian Red army from using it, but was rebuilt after the war ended.
When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the bridge was restored, and received a new middle section, this time made of steel, and design by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.Show me on the map