Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
U-Bahnhof station Hallesches Tor on the overground (in Kreuzberg) U1 Line is one of the oldest U-Bahn stations in Berlin. Opened on February 18th, 1902 it was designed by two exceptionally skilled architects, Hermann Solf und Franz Wichards. Sadly, the two little towers flanking the main entrance and bearing the winged wheels as symbols of the company that built the line no longer exist.
Neither do any of the original entrances to the tunnels of today´s underground U6 line – Linie C as it was known when first opened in 1923. Built to connect the overhead line with the underground one and make the changing quicker and easier, the tunnels led in the direction of today´s Mehringplatz (Belle-Alliance-Platz then). Those wishing to travel further north or south had quite a long walk before them if changing from the east-west line of U1.
Since the U1 line was a private one and the Linie C (U6) belonged to the city of Berlin they were in fact competing with each other. Berlin city council refused to pay for the re-modelling of the bridge and hence the rather inconvenient arrangement as far as the pedestrian connections between the lines went. Instead of placing the Linie C station under or right next to the bridge, it had it built right under the Rondelle of Belle-Alliance-Platz. This has not changed with time – although both lines became indispensable and as such equally important.
After WW2 the serious damages that the station suffered were taken care of but all of the old entrances proved to be redundant after Hallesches Tor was re-modelled again.
If you were wondering where the other vanished entrances were, look for instance at the Döner Imbiss at the main entrance. One of them is right behind it…