The Yorckbrücken are built
The ensemble of over forty Yorckbrücken was constructed between 1875 and 1940. Without central supports, they cross the 26.5-metre wide Yorckstrasse in a north-south direction. The Dresdener Bahn built its first bridges in 1875, of which Bridge 5 still stands in its renovated form. It is the oldest existing steel bridge in Berlin.
After that, bridges were built for the new Anhalter Bahnhof, which was erected between 1872 and 1880, as well as those for the Potsdamer Bahn. Although each of the three railway companies strived to achieve a distinctive image, bridges built in the 1870s and 1880s looked rather similar due to the construction method.
The architect Franz Schwechten and the engineer Heinrich Seidel designed most of the Yorckbrücken for the Berlin-Anhaltische Eisenbahn. They were equipped with beam hinges and supported by cast-iron Hartung columns. Their recognisable feature is a channelled shaft with a characteristic triple interlace and ornamental rings with floral motifs.
The other two railway companies used other types of cast-iron columns, including the Hartwich column with decorative elements inspired by ancient motifs.