Cemetery for the disabled

Cemetery area. View of the cemetery area with wall path and partly preserved Hinterland wall. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Historical gravestones. After reunification, the Invalidenfriedhof with the preserved gravesites and the remains of the Berlin Wall was placed under monument protection. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Cemetery area. In the area of the former border strip, some side paths could be laid out according to historical models. The locations of the newly planted linden trees were reconstructed on the basis of the preserved old tree stumps. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Cemetery wall. The historic cemetery wall, which partly served as a border wall, was reconstructed in its historic form. The originally uncovered middle area, walled up during GDR times, was opened and a royal lime tree was planted. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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The newly planted royal lime tree with the reopened cemetery wall. The old "Königslinde", which was in the way when the wall was built and was felled, is named after King Frederick II, who, according to legend, stayed here. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Hinterland wall. The preserved sections of the Hinterland wall were carefully restored in 2003. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Kolonnenweg. Today it is part of the Berlin Wall Trail, built between 2002 and 2006, which runs 160 kilometers along the former border strip between West and East Berlin. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Path systems. The old and new path systems were designed differently from each other, both in terms of colour and material. New lawns were laid on the cleared grave fields. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Lawns. On the cleared grave fields, new large lawns have been laid out, which may be walked on and used as lawns. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Pillow stones. It was agreed with the families whose gravesites were completely destroyed that they would not be reconstructed. Instead, it is permitted to place uniformly designed memorial stones on identified grave sites. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Sarcophagus tombs. In 1999, six sarcophagus tombs that had been buried were rediscovered and carefully restored. They are among the oldest representative tombs in Berlin preserved at the original open-air burial site. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Cemetery avenue. In the past years some characteristic cemetery avenues have been replanted and also first important graves have been completely restored. In the background you can see parts of the Hinterland wall. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

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Cemetery area. View of the cemetery area with wall path and partly preserved Hinterland wall. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Historical gravestones. After reunification, the Invalidenfriedhof with the preserved gravesites and the remains of the Berlin Wall was placed under monument protection. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Cemetery area. In the area of the former border strip, some side paths could be laid out according to historical models. The locations of the newly planted linden trees were reconstructed on the basis of the preserved old tree stumps. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Cemetery wall. The historic cemetery wall, which partly served as a border wall, was reconstructed in its historic form. The originally uncovered middle area, walled up during GDR times, was opened and a royal lime tree was planted. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

The newly planted royal lime tree with the reopened cemetery wall. The old "Königslinde", which was in the way when the wall was built and was felled, is named after King Frederick II, who, according to legend, stayed here. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Hinterland wall. The preserved sections of the Hinterland wall were carefully restored in 2003. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Kolonnenweg. Today it is part of the Berlin Wall Trail, built between 2002 and 2006, which runs 160 kilometers along the former border strip between West and East Berlin. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Path systems. The old and new path systems were designed differently from each other, both in terms of colour and material. New lawns were laid on the cleared grave fields. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Lawns. On the cleared grave fields, new large lawns have been laid out, which may be walked on and used as lawns. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Pillow stones. It was agreed with the families whose gravesites were completely destroyed that they would not be reconstructed. Instead, it is permitted to place uniformly designed memorial stones on identified grave sites. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Sarcophagus tombs. In 1999, six sarcophagus tombs that had been buried were rediscovered and carefully restored. They are among the oldest representative tombs in Berlin preserved at the original open-air burial site. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

Cemetery avenue. In the past years some characteristic cemetery avenues have been replanted and also first important graves have been completely restored. In the background you can see parts of the Hinterland wall. © 2012 Bernd Kraft bk

The Invalidenfriedhof is one of the oldest burial grounds in Berlin. It is listed as a garden monument due to its cultural and historical significance as well as individual grave monuments.

The cemetery was created in 1748, when King Frederick II ordered to build an Invalidenhaus for "lame men of war" northeast of the city walls of Berlin.
During the wars of liberation 1813-1815, notable officers of the Prussian-German army were buried here. In the second half of the 19th century, it was considered an honor, especially among the military, to be buried in the Invalidenfriedof. In order to increase the reputation of the cemetery, the grounds were completely redesigned in 1835 according to plans by Schinkel and supplemented with representative tombs.
In the years of Nazi rule, the attitude of those in power towards the Invalidenfriedhof was contradictory. On the one hand, there were efforts to idiologically exalt the site by building a huge vaulted "Soldiers' Hall." On the other hand, according to the plans of Albert Speer, the cemetery was to give way to a gigantic water basin of 1200 x 400 meters during the transformation of Berlin into the "world capital Germania".
In the last days of the war, fighting took place on the grounds of the cemetery, but the real destruction began with the construction of the Berlin Wall. The cemetery was declared a border area, gravestones were cleared, watchtowers erected, shooting ranges installed and concrete paths laid across the graves.
In May 1962, one of the most dramatic border incidents at the Berlin Wall occurred here, when a 15-year-old schoolboy fled to West Berlin via the cemetery and the adjacent Spandau shipping canal. At least four people were killed in the process.
After the Wall was opened in 1990, 200 surviving gravestones from the past 200 years were still found, despite the severe devastation from the GDR era, documenting the different eras of grave culture.
The Invalidenfridhof was placed under monument protection as a testimony to its eventful Prussian and German history. The Förderverein Invalidenfriedhof e.V. has been working since 1992 to preserve and restore the grounds and the gravesites.

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Information on external websitesn

Berlin.de Das offizielle Hauptstadtportal

Project period
1990 - 2006

Size
2,54 Hektar

Address
Scharnhornstraße 33
10115 Berlin

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