RAW Area - Urban Art and Lost Place Romantics

Das RAW-Gelände - Urban Art und Lost Place Romantik
RAW Area - Urban Art and Lost Place Romantics

Berlin. Anyone looking for urban art hotspots in Berlin will quickly come across the RAW site. The abandoned buildings of the former Reichsbahn repair works are now home to creatives, artists and alternative people. In the summer, it's a long party mile with a food market, beer gardens, clubs and much more. But the heart of the RAW area for me is "Urban Spree" with the gallery for urban art. A must-see for all street art lovers. Here you can learn more about your visit to the RAW area and I show you a few of the most beautiful street art pieces. Please klick on the placeholder to see the pictures:

An industrial Wasteland becomes a Hotspot for Urban Art

Dilapidated brick buildings, railroad tracks running nowhere and empty factory halls give lost place a romantic come to life. Anyone entering the RAW site in the trendy Friedrichhain neighborhood for the first time will be overwhelmed. It is colorful, anarchic and always new and different. A world of its own. Between ivy-covered walls and broken windows, graffiti, paste-ups and stickers have the RAW site firmly in their grip - urban art wherever you look.It almost seems as if all the paint is holding the ramshackle buildings together in the first place.

Das RAW-Gelände - Urban Art und Lost Place Romantik: verfallenes Backsteingebäude mit Graffiti
The dilapidated brick buildings evoke the romance of a lost place.

The "Urban Spree", a 1,700 square meter hotspot for urban art in Berlin, has been created on the RAW site. Urban Spree organizes exhibitions, workshops and concerts. There is also an art market and a small beer garden for refreshments. Urban Spree also includes the 400 sqm Urban Spree Gallery with independent exhibitions of contemporary urban art. The flagship of Urban Spree is the so-called Artist Wall,a 15-meter long and 8-meter high wall facing Warschauer Straße. Here you can see ever-changing paintings. Please klick on the placeholder to see the pictures:

History of the RAW Site

RAW stands for Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk. It opened in 1867 under the name "Königlich Preußische Eisenbahnwerkstatt Berlin II" and belonged to the Prussian Eastern Railway. After the end of the monarchy in 1918, it was then renamed "Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk". During World War II, almost 80% of the site was destroyed in air raids in 1944. After the end of the war, the plant was finally rebuilt and given the name "Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk (RAW) Franz Stenzer" in 1967. Stenzer was a communist Reichstag deputy and Bavarian railroad worker who was murdered in the Dachau concentration camp. After German reunification, however, there were too many railroad repair shops. Therefore, the workshops on the RAW site were gradually shut down. Between 1995 and 1999, everything finally stood still on the site. But in the summer of 1999, the RAW-Tempel e.V. association began leasing the site and adapting it for interim use. Art, culture, clubs and gastronomy found a place here on the old industrial wasteland where they could realize themselves.

A monument to the communists Franz Stenzer and Ernst Thälmann.

And what's next for the RAW Site?

Since April 1, 2015, the Kurth company has been the owner of the 52,000 square meter site. According to the Kurth company, the future orientation of the site is to tie in with its decades-long function as a central, mixed-use neighborhood. We shall see. As is often the case in Berlin, everything here revolves around one topic: the threat of gentrification of entire city neighborhoods.

Das RAW-Gelände - Urban Art und Lost Place Romantik: verfallenes Backsteingebäude mit Graffiti
The ravages of time are also gnawing away at the RAW site. Several buildings are closed off and no longer accessible.

How to get there:
Revalerstrasse 99, Friedrichshain
S-/U-Bahn station Warschauer Straße

Tip: The East Side Gallery is not far from the RAW area. You can combine the visit of these two urban art hotspots in Berlin.

Urban Art am RAW-Gelände - Mural von einem exotischen Vogel am Backsteingebäude
The giant toucan has a good laugh!

Do you want to discover the street art scene in Berlin together with like-minded people on a guided tour? Then I can recommend this three-hour Street Art Tour* or the half-day Tour through the Alternative Berlin* . Both tours are in English. Do you love lost places as much as street art? Then the Tour to the former Listening Station at Teufelsberg* (in German) is made for you.

Book Recommendations for Street Art Fans

You like to browse through illustrated books for new murals or artists you don't know yet? You love to discover the street art scene of other cities? Then I can recommend these books. Click on the picture to get to Amazon, where you can order the books. If you buy something through one of these affiliate links, I get a small commission and you help me to keep filling Fernweh-Motive with interesting articles. The product will not be more expensive for you.

Did you like my article about the urban art at the RAW site? Then follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. I would also be very happy if you share my article with your friends. Do you have any questions or suggestions? If so, please write me a comment!

Here you can find more Urban Art

You want to see more street art in Berlin? Then continue here with a visit to Haus Schwarzenberg in Berlin Mitte and to the Graffiti Skyscrapers in Art Park Tegel.

Art Park Tegel - die Graffiti-Hochhäuser von Berlin
Art Park Tegel - the Graffiti Skyscrapers of Berlin
Haus Schwarzenberg – Street Art Hotspot in Berlin
House Schwarzenberg - Street Art Highlight in Berlin


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