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  • Berlin in the snow: Images of a winter wonderland


Berlin in the snow: Images of a winter wonderland

When snow falls over Berlin, the city is blanketed in white and there is suddenly a magic about that place. Here are some striking images of Berlin in the snow.

Photo: IMAGO / Christian Thiel (1987)

Snow is becoming rare in Berlin, but, when it comes, it’s fantastic to see how quickly the city is transformed. Berliners have always loved their city’s winter look. Here are images of a wonderfully snowy Berlin.

Photo: Source unknown (c. 1930)

In the winter of 1930, Berlin’s lakes and canals froze over and children everywhere took to the ice. They look happy and innocent, in their various hats. Weird to think this is almost 100 ago!

Photos: IMAGO / United Archives (1937)

Entrance to a Christmas Market with the snow-capped Berliner Dom looming in the background.

Photo: IMAGO / Horstmüller (1946)

Just a year since the end of WWII, much of Berlin – including the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (now the backdrop to one of the city’s most popular Christmas Markets) remained in rubble.

Photo: IMAGO / United Archives (November 1947)

In the winter of 1947, Trümmerfrauen (or so-called ‘rubble woman) cleared rubble and debris from the streets of Berlin.

Photo: IMAGO / ZUMA/Keystone (Nov. 11, 1962)

A British soldier trudges through the snow while guarding the Russian War Memorial in West Berlin. November 1962 saw the heaviest snow fall in Berlin for almost 40 years.

Snow covering a sector of the Berlin Wall in Neukölln (1978). Photo: Imago Images/Marius Schwarz

When Berlin was divided in two, friends and families were split across different zones and there was a general sense of uncertainty for the future. But there were times when the Cold War earned its name. This photograph shows a wintery Neukölln that’s unrecognisable today.

Chimney-sweeps on their bicycles (1978). Photo: IMAGO / Werner Schulze
Photo: IMAGO / Gerhard Leber (1979)

West Berliners brave the cold for a little last-minute Christmas shopping at KaDeWe.

Photo: Imago/Günter Schneider (1 December 1985)

The famous Reichstag looks almost unrecognisable surrounded by this expansive snowscape, with the setting set glowing in its windows. Notice too that it’s missing the famous dome – that was only installed in 1999.

Photo: IMAGO / imagebroker (1985)

Far from the tourist attraction it is today, the Brandenburger Tor was an absolute no-go area for East and West Berliner alike.

Photo: Imago/Frank Sorge (1985)

You could certainly argue that the socialist-style of architecture lends itself well to a frozen, grey landscape. This Plattenbau apartment building in Marzahn is like many others from its time – built from large, prefabricated concrete slabs, its efficient and austere design is emblematic of Socialism.

Photo: IMAGO / Christian Thiel (1987)

This photo, taken on a foggy day in March 1987, show the Marx-Engel Forum in the former DDR blanketed in snow.

Photo: Imago Images/Uwe Steinert (1998)

While we don’t have any real mountains in Berlin, that doesn’t stop children from heading to the hills as soon as snow starts to fall. Families rush to Volkspark Friedrichshain, Teufelsberg, or even just the small hill on the eastern end of Tempelhofer Feld to gain a few metres of altitude – toboggan or sleigh in hand.

Photo: Imago Images/Brigani Art (2003)

A gentle meander through the snow is sometimes all you need to experience the winter charm. Berlin’s parks and forests are transformed into magical wonderlands: grab a Glühwein to-go and start exploring.

Photo: Imago/Raimund Müller (2005)

The Gardens of the World in Marzahn is a park featuring different themed gardens and pavilions. While most of the flower species of course don’t stick around through the colder months, the snow-covered Chinese pagoda is quite a sight. The Gardens also have a 120-metre high lookout deck, with views extending beyond Berlin and into Brandenburg snowy countryside.

Photo: Imago Images/Jürgen Heinrich (2009)

Grunewald forest is a classic place to go when it snows in Berlin. Just hop on the S-Bahn and the wintry experience begins – just don’t get lost!

Photo: Imago/Steinach (January 2009)

Berlin experienced some serious snow in the winter of 2008/2009. Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof had only been open for less than three years over this picture was taken and you can see it surrounded by a thick blanket of snow.

Photo: Imago Images/Kitty Kleist-Heinrich/Tagesspiegel (February 2012)

In 2012 (and again in 2021) Berliner’s enjoyed some open-air skating on the city’s frozen lakes and canals. The local fire brigade generally warns against stepping onto the ice, but most people can’t resist.