Bockenheimer Warte Subway Station Entrance – Frankfurt, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Bockenheimer Warte Subway Station Entrance

The entrance to this Frankfurt subway station looks like an old tram car crashed into the concrete sidewalk.  


Imagine a scene in a Marvel film in which the Hulk has picked up a tram car and rammed it front-first into the sidewalk. That’s kind of what the entrance to the Bockenheimer Warte subway station looks like.

The Bockenheimer Warte subway station is an important interchange station to the west of Frankfurt’s city center. It’s easy to spot from above ground because the entrance looks like a tram car half buried in the concrete sidewalk.

The station entrance was the idea of the architect Zbigniew Peter Pininski. At the time, locals were concerned about the expansion of the city’s transport network, and any new construction was being fiercely debated and frequently opposed. Pininski, therefore, decided to design something that might bring a smile to the faces of the frowning Frankfurters.

Inspired by the work of the Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte, Pininski designed a subway entrance that looked like an old tram car rammed into the sidewalk. Local authorities gave the green light to his whimsical (and, arguably, slightly dark) design, and it was completed in 1986 along with the B and C levels of the subway station.

Locals continued to grumble about the ever-expanding transport network, but it was hard not to smile just a little at the sight of the Bockenheimer Warte entrance. When the station underwent a major expansion in 2001, the entrance could have been moved or redesigned. But thankfully, at least for all those subway users with an eye for the eccentric, the entrance was left untouched, and people still make a special stop at Bockenheimer Warte station just to see its unique design.

Know Before You Go

The Bockenheimer Warte subway station is located along Bockenheimer Landstraße to the west of Frankfurt’s city center. The entrance is just north of Goethe University.

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