That industrial look

There can’t be many places left in Berlin where you can experience the might of Germany’s industrial past in a very visceral sense, most of it was bombed out during the last world war and now resides as part of one of the many hills surrounding the city, huge mountains of bomb-debris, and it has all since been replaced by more modern structures, but the 50-meter iron rail-bridge spanning the river Spree at Friedrichstraße is surely one of them.

Giant 50-meter arched girders supporting rail tracks above
Giant 50-meter arched girders supporting rail tracks above

The bridge, first built in 1882 to carry four tracks of rail traffic over the river Spree, still largely reflects its 19th-century construction, the original arch-spans were made of puddled steel riveted together with heavy dome-headed rivets, which is still the dominant impression.

21st-century female contrasted against 19th-century industrial backdrop
21st-century female contrasted against 19th-century industrial backdrop

Although only 2 of these original arches still exist, the others having been replaced with more modern girders during renovations to the bridge in the 1990s to accommodate ICE rail traffic, they were however manufactured to closely resemble the originals they were replacing.

60s Hollywood cool
60s Hollywood cool

It’s one of my favourite photography locations, because hidden within is a pedestrian walkway enabling access to the Friedrichstrasse S-Bahn station from the other side of the Spree at the Schiffbauerdamm entrance.

A reflection in a window at S-Bahn station Friedrichstraße
A reflection in a window at S-Bahn station Friedrichstraße

The riveted iron structure, dark grey in colour,  in almost permanent shadow, creates a very texture-rich and moody backdrop, with plenty of character, perfect for edgy black and white street photography, offering a perfect background to contrast against a wide variety of foreground subjects.

This is where 60s Hollywood cool can meet industrial downtown Berlin and shine.

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