It was whilst on the trail of a giant portrait by street artist Vhils that I finally walked into the RAW-Gelände.
Suddenly, I realised that the place was a hotbed of street art. Not just small pieces of street art. Gigantic pieces of street art too.
As this couple and their photographer recognised. Good luck in the years ahead, guys! But hang on, were those railway tracks?
After some digging online, I discovered that this collection of buildings was a disused railroad workshop. As the full form of “RAW” indicated: Reichsbahnausbesserungswerkstatt.
When the workshop was established in 1867, though, it was known as the Königlich-Preußische Eisenbahnhauptwerkstatt Berlin II. It served the East Prussian railway, which ran up to the Russian border.
A century after the workshop's formation, in a completely different era, the workshop was renamed after Franz Stenzer, a communist who was murdered by the Nazis.
The historical information for this essay was garnered from the now-defunct homepage of the RAW Flohmarkt, a former flea market located on the RAW-Gelände grounds.