While searching for pre-unification maps of Berlin, I came across this page,Welcome to Nowhere, built by Nicolas Jasson in 2005 (via the Map Room.) It details an East German map of Berlin, published in the late 1970’s/ early 80’s by the state cartographic publishing house “VEB Landkartenverlag·Berlin.” Given the political climate at that time, and the impossibility of East-West travel, the cartographic company chose to act as though nothing existed beyond the Berlin Wall (in purple).


Jasson notes that the spelling of “Westberlin” was typical of the GDR regime, which falsely claimed the existence of a third German state entitled as such. He also links to an overhead image of the area circa 1985:

all images couresty Nicolas Jassen

See also:

Jassen’s addendum, as posted in the comment section of the Map Room’s site, wherein he outlays the bizarre complexity of the S and U-Bahn trains prior to unification (a system which, as we know, was eventually lauded as a symbol of its success). According to Jasson, the map above also strategically omits two U-Bahn lines.

UrbanRail.net for a well-illustrated history of Berlin’s public transportation history.

the Berlin City Map Archive, an ever-expanding collection of historical and contemporary maps.

Nerd out.


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Filed under Academia, Built Environment, Cartography, Visual Culture

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