Let’s continue our exploration of the Landwehrkanal bridges in Kreuzberg and see what we stumble upon: As you recall, we left off at the Anhalter Steg, so now we look down the canal and soak in the rather unimpressive Möckernbrücke, these days completely overshadowed by the tram railway above it. The beauty and texture of the original sandstone bridge exists only in the archives now, as this too fell victim to the ravages of WWII. Constructed in 1898, the bridge commemorates the 1813 Battle of Möckern between the Prussian and French forces, considered by some historians to be the beginning of the demise of the Napoleonic Empire.
The current concrete monstrosity that replaced the original bridge was erected in 1954, and renovated in 2004. If you look at it now, you would never imagine that it had any historical significance whatsoever, let alone any reference to Napoleon! Most people won’t even be able to tell you anything about the Battle of Möckern either.
So, let us leave Napoleon in the past and move on to the U2 Mendelsson-Bartholdy Underground station. Here we find the Köthenerbrücke, again, overshadowed by the railways. Constructed in 1910, the bridge’s name is a homage to the city of Köthen, in Saxony Anhalt, whose claim to fame, among other things, is being the cradle of homeopathic medicine. Now why on earth would a bridge in Berlin be named after a town in Saxony Anhalt? Remember where we started the walk, the Anhalter Steg, and the significance to the Prussian and Saxonian transportation history! It all began to make sense.
This entire corner is actually quite interesting. You have the bridge itself, the park across the street on one side, and if you follow the tracks underneath you end up in a quaint little parking area that reminded me very much of Paris for some reason. To the right you will find Parkhaus Dreieck, a multi-storey garage which is about to be converted into apartment buildings as part of a massive gentrification project. Before they tear down the entire place, the strangely tacky huge cement roses outside are worth a look. If that doesn’t catch your fancy, don’t miss the graffiti under the bridge. The wind was bitterly cold so it was time to head towards the next bridge, off the beaten path as always.
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