Stralauer Tor (Berlin U-Bahn)
Stralauer Tor was a Berlin U-Bahn station in Berlin-Friedrichshain. It operated between Warschauer Straße and Schlesisches Tor stations on today's U1. Following its destruction in World War II it was never rebuilt and remains to this day one of Berlin's two U-Bahn stations (the other was Nürnberger Platz, which was closed and demolished in 1961) to have been abandoned after having previously been in service.
Straulauer Tor was an elevated station built into the north-eastern part of the Oberbaumbrücke viaduct, which featured a barrel-shaped roof and two street level stairwell entrances accommodating opposing platform sides. It was constructed by German engineering company Siemens & Halske. The groundbreaking ceremony held on 10 September 1896 effectively laid one of the foundation stones of today's U-Bahn network, given the new elevated station would mark the eastern end of the city's very first elevated and subterranean electric train line – the western end terminated at Potsdamer Platz. However, although its historic status remains intact, its role as line terminus would be short-lived; six months after the station opened to the public on 15 February 1902, the present terminus Warschauer Straße (then named Warschauer Brücke) assumed the role, opening for service on 17 August 1902.
The design of Stralauer Tor astride the north-eastern end of the Oberbaumbrücke was conceived before the bridge was built. The construction of both edifices took place consecutively; once Otto Stahn had directed the erection of the bridge between 1894 and 1896, the engineering firm set about integrating their new station into the viaduct design.
Stralauer Tor was renamed Osthafen in 1924 to indicate its proximity to the city's Eastern port, which was situated alongside the Oberbaumbrücke on the northern bank of the river Spree.
On 10 March 1945 the station suffered severe bombing damage during World War II. Although some consideration was given to rebuilding the station after the war – to the extent that it appears on a 1946 Berlin map under the new name, Besarinstraße – no work was undertaken and the station never reopened. The reasons for this was that it was an inessential station; Warschauer Straße was only 320 metres away and the destruction of many buildings around Stralauer Tor during the war had reduced potential passenger footfall. However, more significantly for its long-term prospects, it was also situated on the border between the Soviet and American sectors of occupation, which would later divide the city into East and West Berlin.
The construction of the Berlin Wall along this frontier in 1961 led to the section of the U1 that traversed the Oberbaumbrücke into East Berlin being abandoned, and the remainder of the line instead terminating prematurely at Schlesisches Tor, the last station within West Berlin. Following German reunification, the line's eastern end reopened in 1995, but Stralauer Tor was not reconstructed. Today, only struts on the viaduct remain to indicate its former location.
- berliner-untergrundbahn.de Berlins U-Bahnstrecken (in German)
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