This gorgeous double decker bridge for pedestrian, automobile and train traffic connects 2 districts of Berlin that used to be separated by the wall that ran along the water.
The earliest mention of the bridge is fro the 1700s when it used to be a wooden drawbridge connecting the fortified city of Berlin with the countryside. This wooden bridge was the longest in Berlin but it proved to be insufficient for the amount of traffic in and out of the city.
The new bridge was made of stone and was wider than the old bridge. It also included a railway line. Since by this time, the wall of Berlin was not meant for protection but simple as a customs wall, the bridge was designed by Otto Stahn to look like a Gothic gateway with decorative elements. The design was inspired by the Mitteltorturm in the city of Prenzlau in Brandenburg.
During the Second World War, as the Soviet Army advanced to capture Berlin, the Nazis blew up the bridge to prevent the Red Army from crossing it. Although the bridge wasn’t repaired at that time, it continued to serve a crossing point for pedestrian traffic during the time that the city was divided into East and West.
The bridge was reconstructed using metal this time only as late as 1994. A few years later, Thorsten Goldberg installed his art piece named “Stone-Paper-Scissors” on the bridge as a state about the randomness of important decisions (e.g. immigration, asylim, etc.) made by opposing political camps.</
From 1999 to 2013, there were annual staged fights with citizens approaching from 2 sides of the bridge in extravagant costumes with cardboard and plastic armour and carrying buckets of water and rotten fruits and vegetables to fling at their foes when they got to the middle of the bridge.