A road that was a racetrack
Driving into west Berlin on the Autobahn 115, you'll pass an enormous, dilapidated grandstand.
If the surreal sight of it makes you feel, for a moment, as if you're hurtling along a race track rather than a highway, the fact is you more or less are.
Because the 'AVUS' - as the A115 is still known by most Berliners - was not only Europe's first custom-built motorway, but also a former racing circuit.
In 1936, the nearby Berlin 'Messe' or Exhibition Centre was completed, and the AVUS received a revamp, too.
An Art Deco-influenced control tower was added, and a new grandstand built alongside the motorway/racetrack. The circuit itself was also reconfigured, and for a short time became the fastest in the world.
Post-war, however, AVUS' fortunes as a racing venue steadily waned.
Now fully integrated within the German motorway system, it became increasingly difficult to re-route traffic during events, and from 1975 the site was only used twice a year for this purpose. Plagued, too, by mounting safety issues, the AVUS staged its last race in 1999.
Today, the control tower and and office building have been converted into a motel, and the grandstand, although a protected monument, slowly decays. Yet its spectator-less ranks of seating still provide one of Berlin's strangest sights as they loom into view on the edge of what's now just another motorway.
Former AVUS control tower, now Motel AVUS: Halenseestraße 51 (intersection of the A115 and A100), 14055 Berlin
Former AVUS grandstand, near intersection of the A115 and A100, 14055 Berlin
AVUS speed cyclists bronze monument: Messedamm / Halenseestraße 14055 Berlin