Achtung! Süd-bowling was eventually torn down and replaced by apartments. What else? Below is the original 2014 post for archival purposes.
Alley bowled over
The burnt-out shell of Süd-Bowling in Steglitz suggests happier times were had here before. It used to be one of the city’s most successful bowling alleys, with 16 lanes. Now the old Kegelbahn has none.
It has been abandoned, ignored, burnt and shat upon so often nobody remembers what it was before. Well, some do. Local author Nicolà Tölcke told RBB he used to come here after dancing to shoot a few balls, or whatever the appropriate bowling parlance may be.
The Bee Gees were popular at the time. Perhaps it’s a good thing those days are gone.
The advertising slogan used to be “US flair and best American steaks” but nobody is eating here anymore. A burnt out car is parked in the carpark underneath, while unburnt cars still use the one beneath that.
The bowling alley itself is above the car parks, blackened and as dark as its own future prospects. Old advertisements flaunt bygone wares and services, cables and metal bars hang from the flagging ceiling and everywhere you step is soggy rubble. In short – it’s fucked.
A couple of battered vending machines have nothing to sell, while the Kegelbahn keeps a last fragile grasp of its glory days through a solitary bowling shoe sitting on a dusty table.
An investor took over after its demise, but apparently they went bust, leaving it in the gutter. Now the city is at a loss to deal with the unsightly orange and cream hulk of a building hiding behind trees.
“The site isn’t owned by the district. So we have no say,” city official Norbert Schmidt told the Berliner Woche.
There were plans to revive it but these went to the dogs – or to the foxes that now call it home – with the investors’ bankruptcy. Apparently there are restrictions on what can be done with it due to the increased traffic new development would bring.
That’s how it rolls. Not that the unfortunate Süd-Bowling is rolling anymore. It’s all gone south.
LOCATION AND ACCESS (HOW TO FIND GUIDE)
- What: Süd-Bowling, an abandoned bowling alley, apparently once one of Berlin’s most popular.
- Where: Selerweg 4-8, 12169 Berlin, Germany
- How to get there: Get the S1 S-Bahn to Steglitz, turn east of the station, walk down Albrechtstraße until you hit the busy junction with Neue Filandastraße. The bowling alley is on the left-hand corner on the other side of the corner, hiding unsuccessfully behind trees. Here’s a map to help you find the way. You could also visit the Bierpinsel while you’re at it.
- Getting in: It’s not very difficult but some care is needed not to plunge to your death while walking over the wall to the side of the locked front door. There’s a fair drop to the entrance to the underground carpark below. Hang on to the metal bars just to be on the safe side – don’t try any kamikaze stuff. You’ll find yourself in the (unused) carpark. The bowling alley part is accessible by a rusty stairway at the back.
- When to go: You probably could have a party here if you wanted to, though it really is dank and dirty, plus inebriated partygoers are likely to plunge to their deaths while entering or leaving. Obviously if they plunge to their deaths entering they won’t do it again leaving – you know what I mean. A daytime visit is definitely safer.
- Difficulty rating: 3/10 Some caution required to avoid plunging to your death and joining the bowling pins in the sky, but otherwise not hard.
- Who to bring: Bowling aficionados. Just remember, this is bowling. There are rules.
- What to bring: Bowling pins and balls if you’re bringing the bowling aficionados. A few beers. Even more important(!) is a torch. Jaysus, don’t forget to bring a torch.
- Dangers: Death, as in plunging to it etc. I think I’ve covered this well enough already.
Also in the gutter…
The Sporthotel und Kongresszentrum des Sportforums Hohenschönhausen is in a sorry state, beyond salvation, thrashed and abused. Not even drugs can help.
Blub was a swimming and leisure center with pools, slides and crazy stuff that was very popular before the rats noticed it too. Then it was a blubbering mess.
The abandoned status of Strandbad Tegel looks secure. Campaigners are trying so hard to reopen it that you can be sure it won’t be opening anytime soon.