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Rabbit Field: Where rabbits used to cross the Berlin Wall

  • Berlin
  • 4 min read
  • Last updated on

Berlin has plenty of tourist attractions. However, beyond the usual tourist hotspots, several hidden gems are waiting to be discovered, which is one reason why we keep writing articles here. One such gem is the location of an installation known as Kaninchenfeld or Rabbit Field.

The Rabbit Field is located on a small stretch of the Chausseestraße between Mitte and Wedding; this art installation comprises life-size brass rabbits set into the road and pavement. Although bunnies aren’t exactly an uncommon sight in Berlin, these ones serve as a poignant reminder of the city’s history and the division caused by the Berlin Wall.

Real rabbits once roamed this area in abundance, and there’s something else that used to be here, too: a border control for the Berlin Wall. The installation Kaninchenfeld (Rabbit Field in English) by artist Karla Sachse presents how rabbits flourished in the wilderness of its death strip when the Berlin Wall still stood.

The rabbits dug their tunnels directly beneath the barrier from one part of the city to another. Although beloved by East and West Germans alike, their presence served as an ironic reminder of the freedom of movement denied to Berlin’s human inhabitants.

The rabbits’ homes were swept away when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Nowadays, the metal silhouettes provide the only clue as to their former habitat and a reminder of the location of the border checkpoint itself.

But this wonderful and unique memorial to Berlin’s years of division is in danger of disappearing. Artist Karla Sachse’s Rabbit Field installation was first installed in 1999 and featured 120 metal plaques. However, it has since been depleted in numbers due to roadworks and rebuilding. The remaining metal silhouettes now provide the only clue to the rabbits’ former habitat and the location of the border checkpoint.

In a final ironic twist to the tale of the Rabbit Field, the continuing construction of a new Berlin may finally deprive them of their second Chausseestraße home.

Sadly, the continuing construction of a new Berlin threatens to take away the rabbits’ second Chausseestrasse home and this unique memorial to the city’s years of division.

If you’re looking for a unique experience during your travels in Berlin, check out the Rabbit Field installation on the Chausseestrasse.

While we researched for this article, we found out about an exciting movie.

Mauerhase, also known as Królik po berlińsku in Polish, is a film that tells the story of the rabbits that lived near the Berlin Wall when Germany was divided. This documentary was so good that it got nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for the Best Short Documentary category.

The film shows how the rabbits experience when the country is split, but they don’t understand why it happened. They thought the wall was built to protect them and keep them safe.

For the rabbits, the time of division was good because they could live without worrying about other animals that might harm them in the area called the death strip. They were able to roam freely.

But when the wall fell, the rabbits had to find their way to the western part of the city. This was a challenge for them, and they had to adapt to a new environment.

Rabbit Field: Where rabbits used to cross the Berlin Wall

Chausseestraße 93, 10115 Berlin

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani is a passionate designer with a penchant for crafting unique experiences and a mixed taste in music. As the curator behind this blog's explorations, he takes pride in discovering fascinating destinations. Whether unearthing hidden gems or sharing captivating historical narratives, Felipe is the creative force driving the stories you find here. Join him on a journey of design, discovery, and the delightful rhythm of unconventional tunes.View Author posts