In June 2022, I was at Berlin again, for five weeks. Berlin is my mother town. I explored some corners off the beaten tracks. So far, we have looked at the Rüdesheimer Platz and at the Fichtenberg at Steglitz. Furthermore, we have followed the tracks of the Bäke at Steglitz.
Now we will continue to follow the Bäke from Kleinmachnow’s Bäkemühle (mill) to Glienicke near Potsdam.
Review: The marks of the Bäke from the source, along the Teltow Channel and up to the Havel near Potsdam (Glienicke Brücke)
The Bäke starts at the Fichtenberg, appears in the Bäkepark, “enters” the Teltow Channel that took over the former valley of the Bäke, reappears at Kleinmachnow (Bäketal, Bäkemühle), appears again at Kohlhasenbrück (the two Bäkewiesen) and at Klein-Glienicke (Pattengraben).
With a cousin of mine, I will now follow the Bäke from the Bäke mill at Kleinmachnow to the Pattengraben at Klein-Glienicke.
The Bäke reappearing at Kleinmachnow
The Bäke mill (Bäkemühle) has been documented since 1695. The building of today is from 1862. It belonged to the noble family von Hake, as the three hooks (hook = Haken) in the coat of arms indicate. The ruins of the von Hake castle is just north of the mill, and so is the church with the tombs of the von Hake family (in the church of the von Hake family, the Dorfkirche Kleinmachnow, my parents married on 4th of March 1941).
The mill was a restaurant until 2013. In 2017, two medical doctors, father and daughter, took over the mill and had it renovated. It is now a doctor’s practice.
The Bäketal is a beautiful nature reserve north of the street called Bäkedamm.
We enter the park near the mill. We reach the bridge that once belonged to the park of the von Hake family; the bridge has recently been restored.
The forest opens to this meadow. On the map, it is called “Festwiese” or “party meadow”.
Near the church of the von Hake family, we enter the forest again and come across boggy places that show…
… what the wetlands of the Bäke once might have looked like. Difficult to access, indeed.
Just below the sluice, the Kleinmachnow Bäke arm “enters” the Teltow Channel.
The sluice of Kleinmachnow (Kleinmachnower Schleuse) was built to overcome the height difference of 2.70 meters between the Havel near Potsdam and the Spree at Köpenick (Bernstengel, p. 35).
Strolling along the Teltow Channel that has taken over the Bäke again
On a small foot path, we walk along the Teltow Channel. The Bäke has again been taken over by the Teltow Channel. Far ahead of us we can see a bridge.
I propose to walk up to that bridge and then cross the channel. The closer we come, the noisier the bridge is – “swish – swish – swish”. My cousin laughs: “I do not believe that we can cross this bridge on foot, let us take a photo of the boat that carries the name of my daughter!” I check google maps on my smartphone, and now I understand: This is the highway A115. I usually cross this highway bridge by car, entering Berlin from the south – swish – swish – swish. You are right, my cousin, we cannot cross the channel here!
We continue on our small footpath. Two ugly pillars appear on both sides of the Teltow Channel. Bernstengel, p. 33, tells me that this was the so-called cemetery train (Friedhofsbahn) from Wannsee to Stahnsdorf (south of Kleinmachnow). The train was removed, when the wall separating Berlin from the GDR was built. Just two pillars are left – this is one of them.
We carry on walking on our small footpath and pass under a bridge with trees on it (look at the photo on the link). It is the old highway A115. Later, I learn from Bernstengel, p. 31, that we could have crossed the channel here, as the bridge is solid. We did not know then and continued on our small footpath south of the Teltow Channel.
Why the old highway A115? Matters were complicated here: The channel formed the border between Berlin (West) and Brandenburg (GDR): A patch of (West) Berlin was south of the channel and a patch of Brandenburg (GDR) was north of the channel. The former highway A115 crossed this patch of West Berlin south of the channel and entered Brandenburg again north of the channel. To avoid crossing West Berlin and re-entering the GDR, they moved the highway east, and they built the new customs facilities Dreilinden to check the transit traffic through the GDR.
Panels explain the wall separating Berlin (West) from Brandenburg (GDR). We are on the so called Wall Route.
In the small patch of Berlin south of the Teltow Channel, we enter Albrechts Teerofen. In GDR times, only one small road allowed to access this place from West Berlin.
At Albrechts Teerofen, there were ovens that produced tar from the pine trees rich in resin. In 1680, the place was mentioned under the name “tar production Kohlhasenbrück”. In 1767, the owner of the oven was called Albrecht (Bernsteigel, p. 31 and wiki entry for Albrechts Teerofen). Today it is a small settlement with a few houses. Here, the camping site for children and young people is called “Bäkewiese” – the Bäke creek turns up again.
The Owl Estate (Landgut Eule) was built by the Prussian kings. The guards of the royal hunting area “Parforce Heide” stayed here.
The Parforce Heide has its name from the parforce (medieval) hunting that was performed by the Prussian kings and by nobility: Dogs chased the animals, until they were tired and could be shot by the hunters.
Just near Kohlhasenbrück, we come across the first railway line Berlin – Potsdam, inaugurated in 1838, the so-called “Stammbahn”. This railway has been out of service since 1945. Nature has taken over.
Still south of the Teltow Channel, we enter Kohlhasenbrück, a suburb that is part of Berlin. At the Bäkestrasse, we consider taking the bus. However, we decide to carry on walking.
At Neue Kreisstrasse, we see signs pointing to the Bäkewiese. It is a natural park that cannot be accessed. I take a photo looking over the fence.
The Nature Reserve (NSG) Bäkewiese has been set up in 1988 to preserve this piece of the former Bäke wetlands with their fauna and flora. Frogs and toads live here, cranes, various kinds of woodpeckers and cormorans as well, and in addition wild boars, foxes, and raccoons. The Bäke is now called “Kohlhasengraben”.
We cross the bridge and stop at a restaurant with a large balcony. The take away service is open today, and I have Bockwurst with potato salad. The Bockwurst reminds me of the 1960’s, when I was at Berlin for the first time.
From our table, we can see the nature reserve Bäkewiese across the Teltow Channel.
We next climb a mountain, Moritzberg, almost 95m high. This was a garbage dump set up in a former quarry in 1954. The garbage dump was closed in 1982 and secured (see blog of Antje). The woods are dense, and I cannot imagine, that I am walking on a garbage dump.
We head for Klein-Glienicke, where we will come across the Bäke again… and in addition we will experience a daunting surprise.
Klein-Glienicke: The Bäke Creek, now called Pattengraben, with the Swiss Houses
At Klein-Glienicke, an arm of the former Bäke flows between the Griebnitz Lake and the Böttcherberg (67m). This tamed Bäke arm is called “Pattengraben”.
Above the Pattengraben, there are some Swiss Chalets. This one is undergoing renovation.
Surrounded by green meadows, the next chalet seems to stand somewhere in the Bernese Oberland.
Ten Swiss Chalets were built between 1863 and 67 to echo the artificial rocks at the Böttcherberg above them; four of the chalets are left today.
Daunting memories of the wall separating West Berlin from the GDR at Klein-Glienicke
Entering Klein-Glienicke, we walk down this road which descends with green meadows and trees on both sides. A peaceful and quiet area.
I notice this information plate and understand, it has not always been peaceful here. The road belonged to the GDR, the area left and right of it was part of West Berlin. This road was a small passage between two gloomy walls.
There is a box with maps under the information plate. The map shows the odd boundary line and the narrow passage.
I have marked the narrow passage with a red oval. I look around me: This peaceful and quiet place once looked that daunting? I feel scared.
The Glienicker Lake and the Hunting Castle Glienicke
West of Klein-Glienicke, we arrive at Glienicke. We pass this inviting gate with two griffins to enter the park of the Glienicke Palace.
It was the summer residence of prince Carl of Prussia. The architect Schinkel remodelled the former estate in the year 1825, in neoclassic style.
Modern Ikea hanging oddly on a bike meets the tradition and nobility of the palace.
The beautiful park along the Havel has been designed by Peter Joseph Lenné.
It is a beautiful park with tall trees and many eye catching corners.
We leave the park and walk over to the Glienicker Brücke. It was closed for 40 years, as the border between GDR and West Berlin was in the middle of this bridge. I tell my cousin about my impressions from 1966, when my mum took me here (as described in my blog about our tour of seven lakes).
It is here, where the Bäke and the Teltow Channel end; we have reached the river Havel.
We take the bus back to the S-Bahn station Wannsee, leave the suburban train at Charlottenburg and have a lovely dinner at the Georgian restaurant Salhino at Waitzstrasse 1, just next door to where my mother was born in 1916, at Waitzstrasse 2.
Bäke, you old faithful – good-bye for now
Bäke, you old faithful, I do thank you for having opened my eyes for your former wetlands. And in addition you have opened my eyes for the history of the Teltow Channel and how important this channel was for the development of the south west districts of Berlin and its suburbs.
Bäke, good-bye for now, I will return.
- Kurt Pomplun, “Berlin und kein Ende», Berliner Kaleidoskop Band 26, Verlag Bruno Hessling Berlin 1977
- «In Berlin zu Hause», B History, das Berliner Geschichtsmagazin, Nr 4/2022
- Olaf Seeger und Burkhard Zimmermann, «Steglitzer Geschichte(n), Berliner Reminiszenzen No 56, Haude & Spenzer, Berlin 1985
- Klaus Dieter Wille, “Spaziergänge I Steglitz”, Berliner Reminiszenzen No 60, Haude & Spenzer, Berlin 1989
- Rolf Bernstengel, “Wege am Wasser: Der Teltowkanal. Fünf Spaziergänge zwischen Glienicker Brücke und Grünau”, Verlag Pharus Plan, Berlin 2021.
- Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten of 25.09.2019 (https://www.pnn.de/potsdam-mittelmark/sanierung-in-kleinmachnow-historische-baekemuehle-wird-zur-arztpraxis/25052004.html)
- Albrechts Teerofen – wikipedia entry (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albrechts_Teerofen)
- Parforce Jagd – wikipedia entry https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parforcejagd
- Kohlhasenbrück – wikipedia entry https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlhasenbr%C3%BCck, also explains the nature reserve “Bäkewiese”
- Wanderung “rund um Berlin” https://my-sportblog-berlin.me/2020/11/15/wanderung-rund-um-berlin-etappe-3-suedwest-by-antje-waldschmidt/
- Homepage of Potsdam https://www.potsdam.de/content/klein-glienicke-1
- Wikipedia entry for Schloss Glienicke https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schloss_Glienicke
- Landesdenkmalamt Berlin https://www.berlin.de/landesdenkmalamt/welterbe/welterbestaetten/schloesser-und-gaerten-von-potsdam-und-berlin/schloss-klein-glienicke-und-schlosspark-654452.php