Affectionately dubbed by Berliners as the “Banana Bunker” this huge steel and concrete fortress was built between 1941 and 1942 by some 2,500 workers, many of whom came from the contraction fields near Berlin. It was intended as an anti-bomb shelter for the workers of the German railway company Deutsche Reichsbahn (DRB), as well as for its passengers, in case an enemy bomber approaches.
During the war bombings this bunker fulfilled its objective, although the most interesting thing in its history begins right after it ends. In the first months after the end of the war, Soviet troops used the bunker as a military prison. Then, starting in 1957, this gigantic bunker was used as a fruit warehouse for East Berlin, especially bananas, which were very well preserved inside thanks to its thick walls, which created a microclimate inside. Subsequently, the bunker was an electronic music disco, until it was closed in the 90s, since it did not have the smallest security measures.
Then the bunker would pass from hand to hand, having different owners, until after the 2000s, it was bought by a Polish millionaire, who decided to turn it into his personal home, in addition to a large art museum, where he exhibited his collection. Thus, the 3000 square meters of its interior are currently used to exhibit and protect a large collection of contemporary and international art.
Address: Reinhardtstraße 20
The Führerbunker was located under the gardens of the Reich Chancellery itself, right in the center of Berlin, less than 200 meters from the famous Brandenburg Gate. This bunker built in 1943, was Hitler’s command center when he was in Berlin, the entire underground complex had more than 40 rooms, including a situation room, a doctors room, bathrooms, auxiliary rooms and Hitler’s own personal offices.
It was located about 12 meters underground, and its thick walls were up to about four meters thick, making it a really impenetrable fortress for any armament of the time. In addition to the fact that access to it was totally restricted to any person who was not part of Hitler’s closest sequito, and no one was allowed to enter it armed.
As the story goes, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in this bunker on April 30, 1945, and the Red Army troops came to him only two days later. After the war it was about delimiting the bunker but the dynamite simply could not do much with its thick walls, so it was decided to close it permanently and leave it underground. Entering the 80s, an apartment block was built on the grounds above the bunker and the former chancellery, which can be seen today. And in the area where the old bunker was today there is only a small parking lot and a small sign reminiscent of the underground fortress.
Address: Gertrud-Kolmar-Straße 4
This austere but imposing and gigantic concrete bunker was built in 1943 to protect the civilian population of Berlin from recurring aerial bombardment. It was designed to house some 3500 people, although in full fervor of the war, it gave asylum to more than 12,000 people at the same time.
Today this bunker is an annex of the Berlin Story Museum, and inside you can see a five-story museum with an exotic collection of horrors. Here are exposed artifacts of torture manufactured from the middle ages, to more modern times, as well as we will see an exhibition on medicine and its horrors such as amputation, cannibalism and blood transfusions from animal to human. Inside, the crimes of Nazism are also recounted, and even the interior of Hitler’s own personal room, where he took his own life, in the Führerbunker neighborhood is recreated.
Address: Schöneberger Str. 23A
If you want to delve into the depths of Berlin, we recommend you take one of the tours organized by this museum, located near the Berlin-Gesundbrunnen transport center. This museum organizes daily guided tours through the interior of the large underground bunker located just below this railway station. In these tours of the Berlin subsoil you will find different historical elements, such as the pipe system, the GDR escape tunnels, ammunition caps and various archaeological treasures that are preserved there.
Touring this network of tunnels is possible only within the framework of guided tours organized by the museum itself. Usually, a tour of the bunker facilities in Gesundbrunnen lasts approximately 90 minutes and it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes for the underground route ahead.
As it is not possible to reserve or purchase tickets in advance, to acquire them it is necessary to go personally to the museum offices located next to the access to the bunker and keep in mind that they are sold only on the day they are held.
Address: Brunnenstraße 105
Just in front of the entrance to the bunkers of Berliner Unterwelten and the Berlin-Gesundbrunnen station is the large anti-Humboldthain area protection tower, which was one of the three that existed in Berlin.
Known as Flak towers, these towers were designed by Luftwaffe engineers to provide an anti-aircraft defense to the city of Berlin. At the top of these modern castles, there were guns of different calibers which worked in combination with a primitive radar system with the intention of defending the city from Allied bombing.
Currently, this concrete mass is part of the Humboldthain Park, its old pipes were replaced by statues commemorating the horrors of war and visitors can climb to its highest part following the park’s paths. Its interior is in a semi-state of collapse, but nevertheless it can be visited in the guided tours organized by Berliner Unterwelten, something that is really worth it if you are passionate about history, or if you want to feel like an urban explorer.
Address: Hochstraße 5