The Bridge of sorrows

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Situated on the border of East and West Berlin is the Liesenbrucken, it was known to locals as the bridge of sorrows.

I had been past this bridge many times on the S-Bahn, and thought about visiting it for many years, and on a very cold day in January I finally got around to it.

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In 1952, East Germany completed work on the “Berliner Aussenring” (Berlin outer ring), a line which meant that trains from anywhere in the DDR could access East Berlin without traversing West Berlin territory. This led to the closure of Berlin’s terminus stations, for example the above-ground Anhalter Bahnhof (a fragment of the facade remains) which was in the West but lines led southward to the East (Leipzig and Dresden), the Görlitzer Bahnhof (in the West, but entered Eastern territory just south of Treptower Park) and the Stettiner Bahnhof – (it was in the East but entered the West by Humboldthain) – in fact, the bridge was on the borderline.

Post-war, when Stettin became the Polish city of Szczecin, the Stettiner Bahnhof (both surface and S-Bahn) was renamed “Nordbahnhof”. Similarly, the Schlesischer Bahnhof (“Silesian Station”) became the Ostbahnhof when Silesia was transferred to Poland.

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