This is perhaps not the world’s most attractive water tower, but it is rather unusual, don’t you think?
Originally, the lower 2/3 of this structure was built as an air raid shelter in the Second World War. It was used for that purpose quite often because Misburg, now a district of Hannover, had numerous factories and a canal harbor for delivering oil, so it was often attacked by allied bombers. The factories were destroyed but the shelter served its purpose and withstood all the bombardments, thus saving many lives.
Not everyone was admitted to the air raid shelter, however. According to the city’s website, the shelter was reserved during the war for local German residents and for prisoners of war from Western European countries. Prisoners from Eastern Europe, who were forced to work in the nearby factories, were not admitted.
In 1960 a water tank was added to the top of the air raid shelter, turning it into a water tower. Then in 1990, when water towers were no longer needed, it was sold to a private buyer.
Like many other left-over air raid shelters in Germany, this one in Misburg is now sometimes used by local rock bands to rehearse their music. Since the walls are so thick, the bands can play as loud as they wish without disturbing the neighbors.
When I was riding by on my bicycle and caught sight of this yellow vending machine in Misburg, my first reaction was to begin my usual rant about the perversity of selling cigarettes out in the open in public spaces.
But then I took a closer look and saw that they were selling something useful this time, namely condoms. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new trend?
My photos in this post are from 2011. I revised the text in 2021.
See more posts on Hannover, Germany.