The snappily-titled Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände is a not-so-well-known 18-hectare urban park at the southern end of Schöneberg. The park has blossomed from the ruins of an old railway hub that was built in the 1890s, and which for 70 years operated as one of the city’s busiest (including during WWII).
The area was closed and abandoned following the division of the city and nature slowly began to work its magic, reclaiming the old crumbling administrative buildings and rotting railway tracks from the ground up. In 1995, the legal owners Deutsche Bahn AG donated 18 hectares of the area to the Berlin Senate as compensation for the “negative impact on nature of transportation facility expansion in the city center”. Thanks to the work of campaigning Berliners and ecological experts, the park was officially opened to the public in 2000 and declared a Global Project of EXPO 2000.
Today the park is a beguiling mix of industrial ruins (including a well-maintained old steam train), modern art (a series of modern sculptures and a spray park) and the fauna and flora – birch, lime, fruit and oak trees, 30 species of breeding birds, 350 plant species and lots of bees, crickets and grasshoppers – that now call the park home and keep the joggers and strollers company.
Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände Priesterweg 10829 Berlin T +49 (0)30 70 09 060 The main entrance to the park is via Priesterweg S-Bahn station (S2, S25). The park is open all year round from 09:00 until sunset. Admission: 1 euro.