Spandau is one of the Berlin’s largest boroughs and its roots are traced back to the thirteenth century when it was founded as a medieval fortress town. The Zitadelle Berlin (Citadel), the borough’s most impressive historical monument, is few minutes’ walk from Spandau old town. One of the best-preserved Renaissance fortresses in all Europe, the Citadel not only boasts many fascinating treasures but also long bastion walls, up to four metres thick with vaulted corridors which attracts around 10,000 bats for their winter hibernation regularly. Just a few steps further, one can find the quaint cobbled streets and alleyways of the Kolk quarter, the oldest part of Spandau. An Eighth century Saint Mary’s Church (the Marienkirche), lies among trees set back from the banks of Havel river.
The Berlin Spandau station is located on the western outskirts in the district of Spandau and has connectivity through long-distance trains, regional trains and S-Bahn trains. The station has direct connection to the subway and the travel centre is in the station concourse.
Its open between 8:00 am - 8:00 pm on Monday to Friday and 10:00 am - 6:00 pm on Saturday to Sunday.
From S-Bahn station, trains go directly to the centre of Berlin and the journey takes about 30 minutes. From underground station, the subway U7 goes via Charlottenburg and Schöneberg to Neukölln.
Routes: S- and U-Bahn: S5, U7; Bus: X 33, 130, 134, 135, 136, 236, 237, 337, 638, 639, 671, M32, M37, M45, N30, N34
Spandau has so many listed buildings and historical objects to discover – in fact, every corner has its own story to tell.
Zitadelle Spandau: Treat yourself to an impressive view by climbing the 13th century Juliusturm. The old fortified tower, which is incidentally the oldest building in Berlin, stands in the middle of the Zitadelle, a square fortress built in the 16th century, which is surrounded by water and is one of the most important and best-preserved Renaissance fortresses in Europe. Within its thick walls there are now museums that have fascinating objects that tell the story of the past. One of the exhibits gained international frame from the Film “Goodbye Lenin”: the head of the monumental Lenin stature unveiled in 1970 in Friedrichshain.
Spandauer Altstadt: An old town centre with remnants of the historic wall, old half-timbered buildings and a large market square. A football-sized black cannonball from the Napoleonic wars is still embedded in its wall. Don’t miss the Nikolaikirche, the church which was the cradle of the Reformation in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Famous housing estates – Spandau’s open-air museums: Spandau also known for its modern side, rather modern architecture to be precise. Großsiedlung Siemensstadt, is a huge housing estate that was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008. The western part of the estate belongs to Spandau, the eastern part to Charlottenburg. It was built for Siemens workers in the 1920 and was a pioneering example of an open residential estate with green spaces and light, airy apartments. This project involved many famous architects, including Walter Gropius, Bruno Taut and Hans Scharoun.
Finnenhaussiedlung: Located in the south of Spandau, this has a history that reflects world politics. In 1957, the United States provided a generous gift: the construction of hundreds of new houses for recognised political refugees as a result of Second World War. 377 small, two-storey houses in various shades of grey, yellow and red were built for Berlin’s new residents by utilizing American money and Finnish wood. The Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr, the German air force museum on the former Gatow airfield located in south of Spandau, tells moving stories at the place where they happened. A third of all allied flights landed here during Berlin airlift. One can find historic aircrafts, including the wreckage of a Messerschmitt, helicopters, anti-aircraft guns and other remarkable objects related to military aviation since 1884.
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