A Seebrücke, or pier, is something you can find in many places in and around Berlin. Maybe you’ve heard of the term before as a description for protests? Yes, you would be right, as the term Seebrücke gets used when mentioning a civil protest. But here, you will learn all about the beautiful piers and those that lived and continue to live, off of and for them.
As there are numerous piers in Berlin, we will focus on some of the most prominent or beautiful.
Fischer Insel – the fishermen’s isle bridges
This area of Berlin is one of the oldest parts, belonging to the city of Cölln. It’s surrounded by the river Spree on all sides, which gives it the title of island. Today, it’s filled with culture, history, and opportunities to leave behind the hectic city atmosphere, thanks to the parks, cafés, and pretty views.
As islands tend to do, the Fischer Insel also boasts several bridges. Some are simply for practical use, but some are quite a sight to behold.
Berlin Seebrücke “Inselbrücke”
On the most eastern tip of the fishermen’s isle, you can find the Inselbrücke and the pier to the Reederei Böttcher – a local shipping company that focuses on showing you the beauty of this historic city from aboard a boat! You’re close to the water and close to all the different kinds of architecture that Berlin has to offer. That includes many Seebrücken as well!
This Inselbrücke off Fishermen’s Isle was built of stone. Cobblestone mixes with stone tiling and is framed by beautiful banisters of intricately designed stone pillars. Several wide, shallow arches beneath the bridge allow small boats, like Böttchers boats, to travel the River Spree.
Standing atop this Fishermen’s Isle Bridge at night, you can turn around yourself and see all the beautiful lights the city has to offer. With the TV tower and the private boats moored just a few feet away – it is truly magical.
Another bridge off Fishermen’s Isle is the Karl-Liebknecht-Brücke. This Seebrücke is less artistic and shows the character of Berlin as a city of industry and evolution. Standing on this Seebrücke, you’re surrounded by history! To the West, you can see the Berlin Dome, a beautifully built structure with amazing workmanship. And to the North lies the DDR Museum which tells you so much more about the people you meet on the streets and their lives than any travel guidebook ever could.
Also crossing the River Spree, the Mühlendammbrücke is best known as a bridge for traffic and the passage of everyday life. But below it, you can see the floodgate that offers quite a sight as well! Many people say it’s good luck to watch a floodgate, or a bridge, open up and allow a ship to pass. Maybe you’ll get to see it, too?
Now, shall we leave this part of Berlin and move on?
Berlin Seebrücke “Elsenbrücke”
The Elsenbrücke runs parallel to the Parkwegbrücke, but offers a completely different view!
From this bridge, you have an undisrupted view of a steel sculpture, the Molecule Man.
Berlin Seebrücke “Oberbaumbrücke”
This bridge is one you cannot forego! It is not one of the most-photographed bridges in Berlin for no reason. It was built to resemble structures of medieval times, with spires built from red stones and shallow but wide arches. Not only is it rumored to be the most beautiful bridge in the city, it holds the railway tracks to the oldest Metro Line in all of Berlin.
In the far West, connecting the always-bustling city and the quiet escape right next to it lies the Spandauer Seebrücke. It’s only one of over 80 bridges that connect all of Spandau.
Lesser known and lesser loved counterpart to the intricate Oberbaumbrücke, it’s a very long bridge, spanning over 300 meters. If you want to go somewhere you can relax while still enjoying all the comforts of a big city, this bridge will lead you to just the right place. Close to the border between Berlin and Brandenburg, it also allows you to continue on all the way to our next and last bridge.
Where the previous bridge leads you into a more relaxed part of the city, this bridge will make you feel like you have entered a completely different world. Surrounded by greenery, the blue paint on the railing chipping, no other people gawking or rushing past. This bridge is the epitome of “slower times” and tells the story of industrialization, progress, and forgetting.
While not pristine or intricate, this bridge has a “lost places” vibe, which, to some people, has even more appeal and charm.
Why don’t you escape the bustle of Berlin for just a few hours and look at what more this city of opposites and controversy has to offer you?
Did you already make up a plan in your head?
If you did, that is great! But you do not need to have a solid plan. Berlin has a way of sweeping you up and into its own rhythm. Just follow your feet, maybe your stomach, and you will end up exactly where you should. Sometimes, that isn’t where you intended to go, but you will always reach where you are supposed to go. Follow the Seebrücken, and pass through decades of history on your own two feet. Or maybe on a little boat, following the River Spree, crossing underneath the Seebrücken and the stories they have to tell.
FAQ – Berlin Seebrücke
Seebrücken are bridges or piers connecting different places across rivers or lakes. Berlin is divided by the River Spree, but also boasts many lakes. Big or small, where water divides the land, a bridge will connect it again.
Oh, too many to count, really. Bridges in Berlin total around 2100. Depending on definition, some are Seebrücken, some are not. The number was not clear to anyone as of 2020.
Yes, it does. Berlin Seebrücke also refers to activities and protests regarding the efforts of sea rescues, refugee care and human rights. They are involved in a lot of topics.