Between Wedding and Gesundbrunnen stations on the Ringbah (the Berliner inner loop line), an abandoned building full of graffiti is clearly visible from the train tracks. Despite the area’s abandonment, the site has become a haven for street artists featuring some remarkable pieces.
Wiesenburg was founded in 1869 as an asylum for homeless people. The founding association gradually acquired more and more significance and expanded by buying plots nearby. The building was finally erected in 1895 and commissioned a year later. It was immediately successful. Ten years later, an asylum for women was built too. For financial reasons, part of the building was rented to the army, which used it as a tin factory and from 1935 on the “Nationale deutsche Flugmotoren-Vergaserfabrik” (German national gasifier factory) settled in. During the war, a metal foundry moved in, but the building endured severe damage from a firebomb in 1945.
The site is rather well concealed, requiring some obstinate Google maps research and some other wandering by bike before finding it. It is located precisely between the Wiesenstraße–hence its nickname of Wiesenburg–and the wharfs of the Berliner small river called “Panke”.
The area has been closed to the public for many years, although it is not private property, as the entrance suggests. The place has served as a film set for famous German movies such as The Tin Drum (1979) and Lili Marleen (1981). It is sometimes made accessible for open air film screenings and other cultural events. Particularly remarkable are the street art masterpieces that surround the place, including its famous rabbit.