The best way to find out where Berlin’s coldest point is is to ask the meteorologists – or look at the Berlin city map and search for a name that actually reveals exactly that it must be particularly cold here – Eiskeller (ice cellar).
The coldest place in Berlin is verifiably in Berlin Spandau and is appropriately named Eiskeller. As a Spandau resident, I have known this place for many years, but in a completely different context.
Eiskeller – a German-German story
Eiskeller was an exclave of Berlin in the surrounding countryside with the founding of Greater Berlin in 1920. With the construction of the Berlin Wall, the small community of three farms and about 30 residents became an exclave of West Berlin in the GDR.
If you wanted to go to Eiskeller, you could drive along a 4-metre-wide and 800-metre-long corridor that led directly through the GDR border fortifications. Soldiers from the British Army patrolled here and one felt somewhat cramped when visiting Eiskeller.
In the beginning, the area was very small. In the course of area swaps, the area expanded and with it the living conditions of the families improved. For financial reasons, the ice cellar had no connection to the public electricity grid. The water had to be pumped. Life was simple, with no washing machine, no dishwasher and the television was powered by a car battery. Because of the lack of electricity, there were consultations between West Berlin and the GDR on 25 March 1975, at which they proposed a joint electricity generator.
The exclave’s connection to Spandau was secured by the British soldiers for many years. In 1961, a story broke that soon became the talk of the town. A boy claimed to have been stopped by the People’s Police (of the GDR) on his daily way to school. He would not have been able to go to school because of this. To avoid incidents like this, a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle secured the way to school from that day on. This story lingered for 33 years until the boy admitted that he had only used an excuse to skip school.
The Eiskeller was not only used as a place to live. West Berlin children also came here to a school farm. Later, there was also a prison here and plans were made to build a power station there in case of emergency.
Where did the place get its name?
The Eiskeller area has a significantly lower temperature in the winter months than the Berlin city area. Differences of up to 10 degrees Celsius have been measured.
Where the small area got its name is not entirely clear.
Perhaps the name originated from the storage of ice cut from nearby Lake Falkenhagen. From the ice cellar it was sold to breweries and hospitals.
Eiskeller – the coldest place in Berlin
Today you can easily drive to Eiskeller or, and I would recommend this, take a short hike there along the Berlin Wall Trail. The area is a landscape conservation area and is under special protection as an extensive natural monument.
I hiked one of the possible routes and you can see the route very well on the map.
I started at the border between Berlin and Falkensee. There is a car park here for drivers (free of charge) and there is also a bus stop nearby.
During the hike, you will pass several information pillars that draw attention to the course of the Wall and events at the Wall. The path itself is paved and is popular with cyclists.
A small fact on the side: on my hike to the Eiskeller, I would have liked the coldest place in Berlin. In summer, the sun shines mercilessly on the fields and it is sometimes even hotter than in other places in Berlin.
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