A trip to the Natur Park Südgelände is always a journey of discovery. Once opened as part of the Expo 2000 world exhibition, the park on the site of the former Tempelhof marshalling yard fascinates with its unique combination of old railway technology, wild nature worthy of protection and art. From the very beginning, the park has stood for the successful transformation of a former industrial wasteland into a nature park of a special kind. Originally planned by artists and landscape architects, visitors to this unique park, the first of its kind, stroll between the present and the past through partly untouched nature, which time and again reveals surprising new relics from days gone by.
Located directly at the Priesterweg S-Bahn station, the 18-hectare green space extends almost to Südkreuz. After the station was finally shut down in 1952, nature gradually reclaimed the territory and allowed an impressive diversity of species to emerge. In 1999, the Natur Park Südgelände was designated as a landscape conservation area and parts of it as a nature reserve.
Railway history is omnipresent everywhere: in addition to tracks, points and rail tracks, water cranes, light poles, a steam locomotive and one of the oldest turntables in Germany have been left in the park. Together with the steel water tower and the old bridge master's office, the almost 5,000 square metre locomotive hall is part of a listed overall complex.
In 2022, the jury of the Italian Benetton Study and Research Foundation based in Treviso (Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, Treviso) honoured Berlin's urban nature and the Natur Park Südgelände as a "bridge between ecology, art and urban culture" with the International Carlo Scarpa Prize. The international award, which has been presented annually since 1990, recognises outstanding places in landscape architecture that relate nature-related, historical and design values in a special way and bring them to life.
1889 Completion of Tempelhof marshalling yard
Until the 1930s the marshalling yard is extended several times
1927 Construction of the water tower
1952 Rail traffic is discontinued
1952 - 2000 A unique natural environment develops almost entirely independently on the disused site
1999 Protected area ordinance comes into force, designating the Natur Park Südgelände as a landscape conservation area and parts of it as a nature reserve.
2000 Opening of the Natur Park Südgelände as part of Expo 2000
2016 Closure of the Locomotive hall for safety reasons
2019 Renovation of the Water tower
2021 From autumn, preparatory measures for the redevelopment of the Locomotive hall, start of work on the new service yard and logistics area
2025 Planned reopening of the Locomotive hall as a cultural and creative location