Lichterfelde West is part of Lichterfelde in the Steglitz-Zehlendorf borough of Berlin. It was developed from 1860 through 1900 by a wealthy businessman Carstenn from Hamburg and is a remarkable example of 19th-century Villenkolonie, a German concept of settlements completely made up of mansion houses or villas. Lichterfelde West became part of Greater Berlin in 1920.
It is still largely intact and has a station on the S-Bahn (15 minutes' train ride from Potsdamer Platz).
Although some houses were destroyed in World War II and many have been converted into rentals, the quarter has kept its 19th-century charm and pleases with a large assortment of villas in an often extravagant mix of architectural styles. It still features its original tree-lined and cobbled streets, small squares and working gas lights.
Lichterfelde West was also home to the Prussian Main Cadet School, which was disbanded in 1920 by the Treaty of Versailles, and the Prussian and later German Royal Guard.
Today "Li-We", as it is sometimes called, is home to many diplomats and, next to Grunewald and Dahlem, one of the most sought-after residential areas of the German capital.
For a twenty-minute stroll leave Lichterfelde West train station direction South, cross Curtius Strasse into Baseler Strasse. Follow until you reach Karlsplatz, turn left along the square, cross Ring Strasse into Kadettenweg. Follow Kadettenweg, and pass by the Cadet Corps memorial until you reach Weddigenweg. Turn right, after two hundred yards turn right again into Paulinen Strasse for a short stop at the so-called "Carstenn Castles", small villas built in Tudor-castle style. Turn back and turn right again into Weddigenweg, across Baseler Strasse, until you reach Kommandanten Strasse. Turn right, follow Kommandanten Strasse (dir. North), cross Ring Strasse, still follow Kommandanten Strasse, pass by the "Rother Stift", a former retirement home for dowagers, until you reach Kadettenweg (North end). Follow Kadettenweg Strasse for a few hundred yards, turn right into Curtius Strasse, pass by the "Litehouse" coffee shop cum restaurant (terrace very recommendable in summer) and back to the train station.
Other places of interest
- Botanical Garden (Unter Den Eichen)
- Prussian Cadet School (Finckensteinallee), today home to a branch of the Bundesarchiv (Federal Archive)
- Barracks of Guards Rifles Battalion on Gardeschützenweg, today seat of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (German Intelligence Agency)
- Villa Potsdamerstrasse.JPG
- Lindenthal Villa.JPG
Villa by Gustav Lilienthal
- Villa Lichterfelde West.JPG