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Paradestraße (Berlin U-Bahn)

The platform at Paradestraße station; the coloured tiles are in the colours of the lines of the Berlin U-Bahn system

Paradestraße is a Berlin U-Bahn station on the U 6 line. It was opened in 1927 as Flughafen (airport) and at that time provided the world's first direct connection between a metro system and an airport (Tempelhof Airport).


The station opened on 10 September 1927, taking over as the southern terminus of the north-south line from Kreuzberg, now Platz der Luftbrücke. It remained the terminus until 1929, when the extension reached Tempelhof.[1] As indicated by its original name, Flughafen, it was intended to provide direct access to Tempelhof Airport. The platform is broad and four of the stairs from it led to a large mezzanine from which two exits led into the airport terminal building.[2][3] This was the world's first direct airport-underground railway connection.[4]

However, the airport was rebuilt in the 1930s, both because it proved too small[5] and because part of Hitler's plan for converting Berlin into Welthauptstadt Germania was for the main entrance to the airport to be aligned with the triumphal arch on the North-South Axis.[6][7] The station was no longer in the correct position and in January 1937 was renamed Paradestraße; the Kreuzberg station became the new connection between the U-Bahn and the airport and was renamed Flughafen.[8][9] The eastern exits at Paradestraße, which had led to the former terminal, were sealed and the mezzanine reduced in size. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (Berlin Transport) used the closed-off portion as a shooting gallery.[2][10]

On 28/29 January 1944, there was a direct hit in the ceiling of the platform hall. The ceiling collapses on 29 April 1944, this is the second ceiling opening in this station. The damage to the track and station facilities is now so sustainable that an orderly underground operation is no longer possible even in the longer term. At some stations, the subway can no longer hold or some routes are so destructive that the operation had to be completely shut down.

In 1946 the city planned to rename the station again, to Franz-Werfel-Straße, and even made the change on street maps, but it was never actually changed.[11]

In the early 1990s, one of the two remaining stairways from the street to the station was replaced with a lift, leaving only one exit in case of fire.[2] The station now again has 2 stairways in addition to a lift.[12]

The extension of the line south to Kreuzberg and Flughafen, and later beyond, was originally known as C II. In 1966 it became known as Line 6 and in 1986 as U6.[2]


The station was designed by Alfred Grenander and was originally sandy-coloured.[13] Around 1992, it was retiled in small white tiles with multicoloured accents representing the colours of all the Berlin U-Bahn lines, making it one of the most colourful stations in the system.[2]


  1. ^ Die Bahnhöfe der U6 Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine, (in German)
  2. ^ a b c d e Der Tempelhofer Abzweig der Nord-Süd-Bahn Archived 2011-01-07 at the Wayback Machine, Berliner (in German)
  3. ^ Christine Heeb, "A multifaceted monument - the complex heritage of Tempelhof Central Airport", Master of Arts thesis in World Heritage Studies, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, 2007 (pdf), p. 18 states that the planned passenger access tunnel was not built.
  4. ^ Flughäfen in und um Berlin at Stadtplan "[Der Flughafen Tempelhof] ist der älteste Flughafen Europas und der weltweit erste, der über eine eigene U-Bahnverbindung mit dem Stadtzentrum verbunden wurde. (Bereits 1927)" - "[Tempelhof Airport] is the oldest airport in Europe and the oldest worldwide to have been connected via its own metro link to the city centre. (Already in 1927)"
  5. ^ Heeb, p. 20.
  6. ^ Lars Olof Larsson, Die Neugestaltung der Reichshauptstadt: Albert Speers Generalbebauungsplan für Berlin, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1978, ISBN 91-22-00131-X, p. 24 (in German)
  7. ^ Heeb, p. 21, "on the north-west edge of the existing site".
  8. ^ Frank Schmitz, Flughafen Tempelhof: Berlins Tor zur Welt, Berlin: be.bra, 1997, ISBN 3-930863-32-4, p. 84 (in German).
  9. ^ Petra Domke and Markus Hoeft, Tunnel, Gräben, Viadukte: 100 Jahre Baugeschichte der Berliner U-Bahn, Berlin: Kulturbild, 1998, ISBN 3-933300-00-2, p. 95 (in German)
  10. ^ However, according to Heeb, p. 68 and note 37, the Nazi regime did not make the new terminal available to the public or include it on maps; throughout World War II the old terminal remained in use as the Berlin central airport and the new buildings were used for exclusively military purposes. The old terminal was destroyed by wartime bombs and the entire airfield was used by the U.S. military after the war, as Tempelhof Central Airport.
  11. ^ Paradestraße, Die Bahnhöfe der U6 Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine,
  12. ^ Map of station and surroundings, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, 14 December 2008 (in German) (pdf)
  13. ^ Robert Schwandl, Berlin U-Bahn-Album: alle 192 Untergrund- und Hochbahnhöfe in Farbe, Berlin: MetroPlanet, 2002, ISBN 3-936573-01-8, [1] (in German)

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