Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
Here is a beautiful photo of the corner of the boulevard Unter den Linden and Friedrichstrasse taken in 1909 by a photographer from the famous Berlin photo atelier Zander & Labisch (with its seat in Mohrenstrasse 19).
The horse-drawn omnibus standing behind the gathered crowd belonged to the Line No. 5 which ran between Bülowstrasse in Schöneberg and Stettiner Bahnhof, the Stettin Railway Station (since 1950 Nordbahnhof), in Mitte. The journey from end of the line to another cost 10 Pfenning, a shorter journey (a “Teilstrecke”) only half of that price.
The journey from one terminal at the Hochbahnhof Bülowstrasse (U-Bahnhof Bülowstrasse today) to the other in front of the Stettin Railway station, lasted 35 minutes. Nobody needed to worry in case they missed their connection: the Omnibusse on the Line No. 5 ran every 2-3 minutes.
It is worth mentioning that Friedrichstrasse and this particular crossing formed one of the main traffic veins of the Wilhelminian Berlin: since the Kaiser specifically forbade installing any electric trams along or across his favourite boulevard and because the first underground railway line along Friedrichstrasse was not built until 1923, those were the horse-drawn omnibuses of the Lines 5, Line 4 (Hallesches Tor to Chausseestrasse), 4A (Hallesches Tor to Nettelbeckplatz) and 4B (Hallesches Tor to Müllerstrasse-corner-Schulstrasse) as well as the “Kraftomnibusse” or motor-powered buses which debuted in 1905, that conveyed thousands of passengers along one of Berlin´s busiest routes.
The Victoria Cafe at 46 Unter den Linden (the northern side of the boulevard where a small shopping arcade stands today) was among the most popular meeting points for both tourists and locals in the pre-WWII Berlin.