Bahnhof Berlin Zoologischer Garten – Berlin, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Berlin, Germany

Bahnhof Berlin Zoologischer Garten

Metro station with a claim to rock n' roll fame. 

During the Cold War the Bahnhof Zoo - officially Bahnhof Berlin Zoologischer Garten – Station served as a main transportation hub of West Berlin. At this point several U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines of city public transport intersected. The station also served as a starting point of long distance trains, and the city’s biggest bus terminal is located near by.

The station’s pop-culture prominence started in the 1970s when the area around the station become a gathering place for teenage drug addicts and prostitutes. Drug abuse, especially heroin addiction was rampant among the youth in West Berlin at a time. This problem came in the focus of public attention with publication of a book “We, Children from Zoo Station” (Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo). The book is based on a true story of Christiane F. a 14 year old drug addict and prostitute who hung around the Bahnhof Zoo.

The youth culture which spawned the likes of Christiane F. and other child drug addicts and prostitutes was intimately intertwined with rock music, especially the music of David Bowie and Iggy Pop. West Berlin was already for some time a place of gathering of prominent rock musicians, ad artists. Bowie’s famous Berlin trilogy was also created at the same period. David Bowie, Christiane’s favorite author, contributed the soundtrack for the movie version of the book.

Notoriety of the station quickly spread resulting in numerous references in songs by many bands and artists including U2, Alphaville, Nina Hagen and Scorpions. Zoo station and the idea of living in a zoo become a symbol of West Berlin, since West Berlin was surrounded by the wall, much like a zoo. Coincidencidently this station is currently served by U2 metro line.

Know Before You Go

Serviced by U2, U9, S5, S7, S75 and S9 lines.