Here comes the second installment of my new blog series – train stations of Berlin! (Click here for the first one.)
Hermannplatz is one of the busiest train stations in Berlin. It serves as an interchange between two service lines (U7 and U8) and was opened in 1926. The station´s architects were Alfred Grenander and Alfred Gehse.
The station is directly situated under a square also called Hermannplatz which houses a food market 2 or 3 days a week in the very densely populated district of Neukölln.
It was the first station in the Berlin network that was fitted with escalators, which connected the two platforms.
Due to its enormous size it´s one of the most impressive stations in Berlin. The ceiling is 7,25 m (23,8 ft ; 7,9 yard) high and the platform is 135 m long (443 ft; 147,6 yard).
Although the station has been modernized in 1993, parts of the original construction and decor have been preserved, especially the tiles of the art-deco pillars holding the ceiling.
This station holds a sweet memory for me: Since my school was in a different district from where I lived, I had to take the train every morning to get there. It was quite a long ride too, over 30 minutes and I used to make some of my homework on board (especially maths which I hated).
Luckily quite a lot of kids in my class had to do the same and I was always in good company, scribbling down numbers or hastily translating and comparing some sentences from Latin into German.
One day, I must have been about 15 years old, I spotted a guy whom I instantly had a huge crush on, standing on the platform of the U7 and then joining me on the train. Since I was late that day, none of my classmates were with me and I had him all to myself so to speak. Which only means that I stared at him with eyes wide open, unblinking, drinking him in. That day, I didn´t do my homework on the train. 😉
Unfortunately he left the train a couple of stations earlier, obviously he went to a different school which was just my luck. I was both flying high and drowning in sorrow that day, certain that I would never see him again.
But I did!! 🙂 Clever as I was, I decided to take the later train again next day (side note: I still made it in time to school – but only just 😉 ) and see if he would be there again, which he was!
This went one for about a year.
He was very tall, blond with blue eyes, high cheekbones and a straight nose and all in all reminded me of a viking – a viking who was admittedly wearing a baseball cap and lowsitting trousers which were very en vogue back then. And because I couldn’t just name him “the guy” when I was talking about him with my friends, I decided to name him “Hermann” which really is a very German name and not at all fashionable anymore but totally made sense to me since “Hermannplatz” is where he joined my train.
Unfortunately he seemed to have changed schools after a year – or simply couldn’t stand being admired anymore – which admittedly is all that I did since I never found the courage to talk to him, him being a couple of years older and all.
I never saw him again, but every time I am at Hermannplatz I have to smile. 🙂