Hennigsdorf is just over the northwest town border of Berlin, making it a great getaway for a day from the downtown hustle and bustle. As one of the towns that ended up on the Eastern side of the Berlin Wall, it also offers guests a view into what that life was like.
You can see one of the three remaining border watchtowers of the Berlin Wall here. The tower has a museum that is open in the summer months, which will celebrate 10 years of operation in 2009.
When the watchtower was operating, the locals chafed under its restrictions. Hennigsdorf is a town of movement, and walls get in the way of free motion.
Many Berliners used to have weekend getaway homes here, but the Wall stopped them from taking advantage of the natural parks and trails that keep the town green.
The most popular bike trail at the moment is a 20 km historical tour. It’s a good day ride over mostly paved, flat surfaces and guides are available. The key stops are also available by public transport if you don’t feel like pedaling.
On the route, you will see the memorial to Willie Block, a Wall-crosser who was shot, Spandau forest and the memorial to the “March of the Steelworkers,” a major workers’ uprising that happened in 1953. You’ll also go by the old border transit point, the specially dug Hennigsdorf Canal.
All the border points and steel workers doings are important as markers of the other key industry of Hennigsdorf: movement. Since 1913, the town has been a major manufacturer of locomotives.
Its engines and cars are internationally famous. They estimate that 21,700 rail engines have been built here over the years, meaning that no matter where in the world you go, one of their engines is pulling the train.
You can check this all out at the North Train station at the end of the S25 from Berlin. Bring your camera too for cinematographic thrills!
Hennigsdorf has been used for TV and video productions so it gives a sense of deja vu to the whole place. The best known scenes filmed here are the steel house murders in the Praxis Bülowbogen series and music videos for Rosenstolz, Fettes Brot and The Doctors.