“Germany’s Oxford” and a Prussian railway tradition: Big-city life and an idyllic rural atmosphere are never that far apart from one another. The Steglitz Zehlendorf district is also home to numerous scientific institutions.
The embassies of 13 countries are located in the southwestern part of Berlin. A chic urban atmosphere and beautiful natural surroundings are never that far apart from one another here. Schlossstraße in the Steglitz Zehlendorf subdistrict in the northeast. For example, is one of the most popular shopping streets in Berlin. The surrounding area is densely built up and there’s hardly any space left for new development. The “Steglitzer Kreisel” – a high-rise building 120 metres tall. It is located at the end of Schlossstraße. And was previously used as a district administration building – is currently being converted into an apartment building with 330 units. Further west, towards the edge of the city and Potsdam beyond, the neighbourhoods are less built up and less densely populated. These neighbourhoods then give way to natural spaces, such as Grunewald forest, its lakes and the River Havel.
Still, the first villa neighbourhoods at the gates of Berlin were not build here. Instead, they were build in the Lichterfelde subdistrict, starting with Lichterfelde West in 1860. Even today, stately Gründerzeit homes dominate the picture in Lichterfelde West, with large gardens, small street promenades and cobbled streets. Lichterfelde Ost was similarly suppose to be a colony of villas. However, it was more heavily damage in the Second World War. The Dahlem subdistrict, which borders on Grunewald, is very famous for its luxurious residential buildings. Originally a royal estate, Dahlem split in 1901 in order to create a “German Oxford”. This is a villa neighbourhood with scientific and academic institutions. Today, Dahlem is home to Freie Universität Berlin as well as numerous important international scientific and research institutes.
In summer 2021, the Berlin Senate adopted a resolution to move ahead with the extension of the U3 underground line to the Mexikoplatz S-Bahn station. This route extension, which has long been a subject of discussion, would greatly improve the transit connection between the southwestern part of Berlin and the city centre. Residents of Dahlem and the northern part of Zehlendorf would especially benefit from this.
Zehlendorf’s link with the S-Bahn line in the southern part of the subdistrict trace back to the first Prussian railway, which began providing service to Potsdam in 1838. The independent rural community of Zehlendorf was under-construction until 1872, however. People have been building villas and country houses here since the early 20th century.
Shopping streets, upscale living, international teaching and research as well as lush forests and vast lakes – the southwest of Berlin has a lot to offer.