This ten-kilometer canal through the center of Berlin was built in the nineteenth century (1845-1850) to provide additional transportation capacity parallel to the Spree River, which at that time had more boats and barges than it could handle.
Today the canal is used mainly by sightseeing boats, two of which are shown going through the Lower Locks in my first photo. On the bridge in the background is a Berlin S-Bahn train.
The word Landwehr in the name of the canal means literally ‘land defense’, and once referred to some sort of fortifications just outside the city walls.
This historic wrought-iron bridge from 1880–1882 crosses the Landwehr Canal in Kreuzberg district of Berlin. It was built 1880–1882 and was used originally for a tram line (until 1921) and for motor traffic as soon as there was such a thing.
Since the 1990s the bridge has been reserved for pedestrians, and has gradually become a popular meeting place in the evenings for people who want to sit around chatting and drinking.
Residents living nearby on both sides of the canal are not happy about the bridge’s popularity and tried to have the evening gatherings prohibited. But in 2010 a compromise was reached, and now the visitors are asked to leave the bridge by 22:00 = 10:00 pm. (This is apparently enforced by the police.)
I liked the friendly atmosphere on the bridge, but at my age I am not a big fan of sitting cross-legged on cobblestones, so I don’t think this will become one of my regular haunts.
My photos in this post are from 2009 and 2016. I revised the text in 2020.
See more posts on Berlin, Germany.