Outside the Schloss Bellevue stands a red pillar that many confuse with a postbox. The pillar is actually a feuermelder, essentially a public fire alarm station.
These old fire alarms date back to a time when having a landline inside your house was considered a luxury. These stations were utilized by the public to quickly summon help to a fire.
The alarms are marked with the phrase “Berechtigt zum Melden ist, wer die Brandstelle angeben kann,” which means, “Anyone who can report the scene of a fire is authorized to do so.” Another engraving states “Missbrauch strafbar” meaning, “Abuse is punishable.”
There are 11 of these old fire alarms still standing today in Berlin, but only this one is complete with a wonderful view of Schloss Bellevue.
A retired painter, Dieter Benger, has taken it upon himself to single-handedly maintain these old fire alarms, dedicating about 12 to 15 hours to restore each station. Benger was recently honored for his services by the Berlin fire services.