Gaslicht-Kultur e.V.


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Gaslight Events of Summer '24

Berliner Originale: Historische Gaslaternen

Berlins top models: These historical gas lamps and many more are shown on our guided tours.

By double-decker bus, bicycle or on foot?

No matter which you prefer, it will be a good choice. This year you can experience Berlin's gas lanterns during three high-profile cultural events:

Gaslight tour on foot:
IMT Summerwalks
Gaslight tour by double-decker bus:
Long Night of the Museums
Gaslight tour by bicycle:
Open Memorial Day 2024

Book your private gaslight tours for many occasions: your next company outing, a family celebration, birthday party, or for a guided tour with groups of any size!
Contact us for further information via email berlin[at] or by phone ++49(0)178106747.


Gaslight has cultural value

Gas Kandelaber Charlottenburg 5-arm-candelabra, Charlottenburg ©Gaslicht-Kultur e.V.

Nearly half of the world's gas lamps are to be found on the streets of Berlin. Many areas of the city are completely illuminated by the golden yellow light of these silent witnesses to Berlin's eventful history. They have survived unharmed both good times and bad, becoming thereby an integral part of the city's identity: an unofficial landmark of the city, distinctive and unmistakable. There are (early 2024) almost 20,000 gas lamps remaining in Berlin. Their technical condition, apart from occasional neglected maintenance, is excellent. Long-time Berliners, who often have personal memories associated with them, consider them "their" gas lamps. Our section entitled Gaslamps describes the various types of gas lamps encountered in Berlin.


Experience the unique flair of Berlin gas lamps

Gas Hängeleuchte Grunewald Hanging lamp, Grunewald ©Gaslicht-Kultur e.V.

A widely-read daily newspaper called them "Berlin's glittering treasures of the night!" Anyone who has ever consciously experienced a street lit completely by gas lamps knows just what is meant. The quality of light cannot be matched by electric lamps; it gives gas-lit streets that "certain something." Gaslight is natural, has a relaxing effect and creates a unique atmosphere. You can feel that atmosphere when strolling through the streets at night, taking a break in one of the many street cafés or living with gas lamps at your own front door. Why not come and immerse yourself in the world of this unique light? Whether in Chamissoplatz in the Kreuzberg district, Sophie-Charlotten-Strasse in Charlottenburg, the historic old city in Spandau or in others of the approximately 1500 streets and squares with gas lighting - no matter where - you will always feel good and at ease! You can experience this typical Berlin lighting culture on one of our guided gaslight tours, which we offer by bus, by bicycle or on foot. For further details, please go to the section entitled Sightseeing.


The demolition of Berlin's gas street lighting continues

Gas U7 Aufsatzleuchte Kreuzberg Pole top lamp, Kreuzberg ©Gaslicht-Kultur e.V.

The dismantling of Berlin's unique street lighting - the largest system of its kind in the world - started in the summer of 2012 with the removal of the row lamps, which by now have almost completely vanished from the cityscape. Since 2014, the removal of other types of gas lamps has been ongoing. Initially replaced, for the most part, by LED imitations, they are now increasingly being replaced by standard electric lights. You can find additional information in the section News. For many years, there was a political consensus in favor of retaining Berlin's gas lights. As recently as the early 90s, with the assistance of Gaslicht-Kultur e.V. (then known as Gaslichtinitiative Berlin), a resolution passed Berlin's parliament that guaranteed the preservation of all of Berlin's gas lights. After the maintenance of Berlin's street lighting was privatized, however, investors called for the gas lighting to be completely replaced by electric lighting. For them, the appearance of the city as well as cultural and historical considerations were of secondary importance to the potential for profit. Gaslicht-Kultur e.V. lobbies on a political and social level to prevent the destruction of Berlin's nocturnal cityscape. Following years of effort, in cooperation with the State Monuments Office, we were able to secure a guarantee that 3,300 gas lamps (7.5% of the total in the year 2012) in historic parts of the city would be protected. Nevertheless, the pressure on politicians by investors who want to replace even those protected gas lamps continues to increase.


What are our aims ?

Schinkel Wandarm Spandau Gas lamp on a wall bracket, Spandau ©Gaslicht-Kultur e.V.

Without any doubt, Berlin's gas lighting is unique and worthy of protection. Laws for conserving historically important landmarks, however, usually apply only to buildings and not to large-scale ensembles of street lights. Moreover, the laws protect only the individual forms of the lamps but not their light-producing medium or their historical and technological aspects. For this reason, the agreement to protect Berlin's gas-lit neighborhoods, along with similar ones in Dresden and Düsseldorf, is an important milestone. For this reason, the agreement to protect Berlin's gas-lit neighborhoods, along with similar ones in Dresden and Düsseldorf, is an important milestone. Gaslicht-Kultur e.V. promotes the classification of the gas lamps, together with their unique quality of light, as cultural-historical heritage. Gas street lighting should be evaluated not solely from a cost standpoint, for so doing fails to recognize its true worth. We are working to guide Berlin's lighting planners and responsible politicians toward our way of thinking about gas lamps. Only with a broad social and political consensus can we succeed. If you wish to support us in any way, or to offer stimulating ideas or criticism, or if you'd simply like to have additional information on this subject, please go to the Contact section.


Gaslight has many advantages over electric light

Elektroleuchte Historical gas lamp after conversion to electricity ©Gaslicht-Kultur e.V.

You may well be wondering what a picture of a poorly maintained lamp is doing on our homepage, especially a picture of an electric street lamp. Unfortunately, shabby electric lamps are not uncommon because they deteriorate much faster than gas lamps do. For example, this picture shows how soiled they can become as a result of dead insects, thousands of which are lured each night towards electric lamps, where they are burned. Electric lamps are insect killers, making them a threat to birds and other animals which feed on insects. In contrast, the light emitted by gas lamps contains no ultraviolet light, so insects do not perceive it. Moreover, the reproduction of colors by gaslight is unmatched. The electric sodium vapor lamp you see here reproduces only about 65% of the original colors, while gaslight reproduces 100% of them as authentically as natural daylight does. For more arguments in favor of gaslight, please go to our section entitled Facts and Figures.