Bowled over: The abandoned bowling alley

Filed 21/3/2014 | Updated 22/4/14
The last pin languishes lonely and sad. Nine siblings split, the cousins skittled off too. Now it lies forlornly on its side, the reluctant kingpin. No one has bowled it over for 20 years or more. It’s going spare.
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 carparks, 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.

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 (or should if you’ve gone to the bother of taking the train to Steglitz) also combine it with a viewing of the war-torn villa just around the corner.

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. 

More pictures can be checked out here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/abandonedberlin/sets/72157644190079081/
Süd-Bowling 8372728933302700271

14 comments

This is brilliant! I sent the link to my father who is definitely a bowling aficionado, and knows quite a bit about the bowling alleys in Germany too.

Just walk in through a huge hole in the fence. No need to use the Rusty stairs in the back. There are more stairs in the front.

Easy. It was the last destination of our sunday trip. we got there at 1130am and even if we were in the middle of the neighborhoods anyone watched us sneaking inside.
The place is buried and nothing left. Personaly I thought it was a little better... but anyway.
I'd recomend u to change the difficulty to 1/10 due it's really easy ro reach and u don't even need to jump over the fence.

Visited the site on a sunday afternoon. Just parked the car next door en sliped between the fence. Very easy. Drop to garage is about 1 meter, no probleem. Keep a look out for nosy neighbours. Inside use a flashlight because the ceiling is in a very bad shape. Did I see asbestos? A shoe a bowling pin are nice things to see. Tip if you're hungry, nearby is the Konditorei Rabien!!
Greeting form the Holland Urban Ex Club :-)

The place is really fucked up, but you can still make a few cool pics. Use the hole in the fence to get in, it's really easy!

Well. Went there and can tell, not nice to go in anymore. Cannot see a thing realy. No bowling pin or what might lead to a bowling alley. The roof is so nasty and all the other crap what lays around is nasty too.
The days are over to have a nice look at it. Try to find another one which is actually fun to go to.

Süd-Bowling gehörte einst der Familie Renate Engelhardt aus der Obstallee in Berlin-Spandau.
Nach der Scheidung der Eheleute wurde es verkauft. Frau Engelhardt war bis zu ihrer Pensionierung Mitarbeiterin der BfA, Dezernat 4114,Zi. 4324 in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Ruhrstrasse 2

Danke für das Hinweis. Könnte leider kein Bestätigung dafür finden.

Hi..was ther this afternoon. as someone mentioned before there is a hole in the fence (on Selerweg), so no need to jump or hold on to something. Indeed..difficulty level only 1. But also hardly anything interesting to see,,,

went there today and can just confirm: Nice hole in the fence, fairly easy, but hardly anything to see.

We've been here today, the place looks like it's burned down. Almost nothing usefull to take pictures off.

Was here today and there is a nice hole in the fence on selerweg road side. It's pretty creepy! There's a shoe and a burned bowling pin. Up the concrete stairs there's a old vending machine but I wouldn't advise going near where the lanes were, the floors are far to dodgy to walk on!

Went there today and sadly there's nothing left to see here - upstairs is completely burnt out and we met builders who asked us to leave the premises.

Meanwhile, the whole place has been torn down. I went there yesterday and it's a big construction site.
The former anatomy institute of the Freie Universität Berlin (which is nearby, about 15 min by bus) is still easily accessible and worth a look.

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