Oberbaumbrücke : History of the Most Beautiful Bridge in Berlin

Oberbaumbrücke : History of the Most Beautiful Bridge in Berlin


The Oberbaumbrücke connects the districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, separated by the Spree, Berlin's main river, and offers one of the city's most beautiful panoramas. Throughout the 20th century, the bridge witnessed the turmoil that disrupted the German capital and became the gateway between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Identifiable by its red bricks and towers, it is now one of the symbols of Berlin and of the German reunification.

History of the Oberbaum bridge (Oberbaumbrücke)

Oberbaumbrücke Berlin 1903

Oberbaumbrücke Berlin 1903 (Wikimedia Commons)

In 1724, the Oberbaum bridge (Oberbaumbrücke in German) was a simple wooden dam where ships had to pay their customs duties. It was built in its present form by the architect Otto Stahn between 1894 and 1896. Neo-Gothic in inspiration, the monument has two floors: the upper floor houses the rails of the Berlin underground (U-Bahn) and the lower floor the street and its passers-by.

Just before the end of the war in 1945, the Nazis blew up part of the bridge, which had already been badly damaged, in order to repel the advance of the Red Army. It only underwent a few makeshift repairs after the war. When the Wall was erected in 1961, the bridge played a major role in the Berlin division. It serves as a crossing point between the East (Friedrichshain) and the West (Kreuzberg).

On November 9, 1994, the bridge reopened after extensive renovations. It then decorated the coat of arms of the new district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, which was created by merging the two districts. Each year, their respective inhabitants battle it in a memorable battle of water bombs and vegetables to commemorate their former rivalry. The last one was held in 2013 and the event has not been repeated since then.

A must-see monument in Berlin with a magnificent view of the city

The Oberbaumbrücke bridge is located between Schlesisches Tor and Warschauerstrasse, the most important places for nightlife, and sees a large amount of road and pedestrian traffic every day. Its covered sidewalks generally house concerts and street vendors.

From the bridge, you can enjoy an exceptional view of the Molecule Man, a monumental sculpture of 30 metres high on the Spree, and the East Side Gallery, another iconic site in Berlin. Not to mention the magnificent sunsets with orange colours reflecting on the river. Finally, the bright yellow metro that runs through it is a delight for photographers looking for iconic shots of the city.

A true epicentre of Berlin's nightlife, the district around the Oberbaumbrücke is full of activities, bars, clubs, cafés and restaurants. A stay in the capital cannot be complete without crossing it and admiring the clear view it offers of Berlin!

Map, Address and how to get there

Map of the Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin

The Oberbaumbrücke bridge is located in the Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain district, 5 minutes walk from the Schlesisches Tor subway station (U-Bahn) on line U1 or the U-Bahn or S-Bahn Warschauer Straße station. To cross the bridge by underground (U-Bahn), take the U1 between Schlesisches Tor and Warschauerstraße.


Mélodie Julienne

Mélodie Julienne


As a web writer, I am passionate about cinema and literature. As soon as I arrived in Berlin, I was charmed. Between two trips, I like to walk its streets and let myself be carried away by its singularity, full of creativity. An infinite fascination that I love to share!