Alte Bahngleise im Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände
© Konstantin Börner
Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände

Technology & urban nature

A visit to the Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände is like a trip through Berlin's history, a detour into wild nature and a visit to the railway technology museum paired with art and cultural experiences of a special kind.

 

Railroad technology from times gone by

Even if no train has been running here for a long time, the history of the site remains present through the relics of the railroad era. Young and old will especially enjoy the old class 50 steam locomotive. The 55-metre-high steel water tower, the park's landmark visible from afar, supplied the water that was once needed for rail operations. Numerous water cranes, light poles, rail tracks and switches are also reminders of the railroad's history. One of the oldest turntables in Germany is also part of the park's inventory.
The larger and most important witnesses of the past, however, are the two old buildings. The Brückenmeisterei now houses a café on the first floor and the park's administration on the upper floor. The approximately 100-year-old locomotive hall is to be developed into an event venue in the coming years.

Die alte Dampflok steht im Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände inmitten von Bäumen
© Holger Koppatsch

The 503707 steam locomotive

At the end of the 1920s and beginning of the 1930s, the Deutsche Reichsbahn, founded as an amalgamation of the state railroads, developed the so-called standardised steam locomotives in order to master the multitude of series, spare parts and workshop problems through consistent standardisation.
Alte Bahngleise verlaufen durch einen Wald mit Bäumen und wilden Wiesen
© Konstantin Börner

Wild urban nature

After rail operations at the Tempelhof marshalling yard, completed in 1889, were discontinued in 1952, nature gradually reclaimed the terrain. Valuable dry grasslands, tall herbaceous meadows and a native forest emerged from the railroad wasteland – without human influence.

Protected areas for flora & fauna

Since 1999, large parts of the nature park have been designated as a nature and landscape conservation area. The nature reserve can be traversed on a metal footbridge supported on iron pipes, which largely follows a former railroad line. Here, one can experience both the different phases of development of the forest and the extensive open areas.