The Iconic Bridge of Berlin
The Oberbaum bridge: The Iconic Bridge of Berlin
Many people travel to Berlin for the history, for the stories it has to tell. And given that Berlin is THE city of the 20th century, that's not surprising.
There is a problem, however. Most people travel halfway across the world to see and experience this city they heard so much about, only to miss some really fascinating stories simply because the mass-market guides and the guidebooks never mention them.
Here's an example of this.
The Oberbaum bridge certainly looks regal from a distance, with its two medieval-style towers and imposing size. Apart from attracting a glance from visitors in the area, most people just pass it by. However, if Berlin is the iconic city of the 20th century, then this particular bridge is Berlin in miniature, having participated in pretty much all the big events of the city.
It was built during the era of Imperial Germany and Kaiser Wilhelm II, and its strutting proud form reflects the confidence and swagger of that long-lost age.
Hitler certainly saw it, and almost certainly crossed over it. In the closing days of the war, Soviet troops fought for it with submachine guns and rifles.
In the Cold War, the Berlin Wall effectively cut it in two, making the bridge a little-known crossing point for pedestrians only.
After the Wall fell, the bridge was once again open for drivers and passengers to freely cross, marking the reunification of the city.
The bridge is also a great place for comparative photography, those "then-and-now" shots that capture these dramatic stories so well.
So on your next trip, get away from the mass market and explore these gems, which showcase Berlin's turbulent history so well.