Just south of the bustling streets of Berlin is an unusual park filled with decaying railway cars and art installations. The site originally housed the Tempelhof railway switchyard, constructed in the late 19th-century and completed in 1889. Throughout the early 20th century, the area boomed with industrial growth and the roar of steam engines.
Following World War II, the railyard was gradually decommissioned and finally closed in 1952. Decades of non-use allowed nature to reclaim the site. Local citizens, inspired by the area’s wondrous ecology, pressured the city to preserve it. Designated a Nature and Landscape Conservation Area in 1999, the park, known as Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände, opened in 2000.
Today, the park is home to a variety of animals, plants, and insects, including the endangered blue-winged grasshopper. Many relics of the switchyard dot the grounds, including a 1927 water tower, an administrative hall known as the Bruekenmeisterei, and a DRB Class 50 German locomotive from the 1930s. A restored 100-year-old administrative hall today houses a gallery and performance space. Throughout the park, the sculptor group Odius also completed several steel art installations, like lookout points, footbridges, and even tree houses.
There is also a café and garden at the park. Trails allow for easy access to all areas of the park, including several access tunnels decorated with local street art.
Know Before You Go
Access the park via the S25, exit a the Priesterweg station, and continue under the tracks directly to the park entrance. There is a 1 Euro entry fee.