If you watch Netflix as much as we do, you already know about their series Dark. Some people say that the series is similar to Stranger Things since the city where everything happens in this series is a massive part of the mystery in the series. But Winden, the city where most of the series happens, is not real and you can find some small pieces of it in and around Berlin.
The story in Dark begins with a teenager gone missing and a series of unexplained events that overwhelm four families in the town of Winden. Tall trees, subterranean caves that are not what they seem, a dark forest that could be the source of all the mystery and a small-town community where everybody knows each other for as long as they have been living there.
This is the setting of Dark, and we loved it so much that we need to know where was it filmed.
There is a map at the end of this article where you can see all the locations from the series Dark around Berlin. At least, the ones that we found out.
- The Church where Noah meets Michael
- The High School in Winden
- The Bridge and Train Tracks
- The Fake Winden Cave
- The mental asylum where Ulrich was locked in 1953
- Waldhotel Winden
- The Grim Future in 2020
- Where Tronte and Jana Nielsen live
- The street scene from 1921
- All Roads lead to Winden
- Winden Public Library
Where was Netflix’s series Dark filmed?
According to the series creators, Baran bo Odarn and Jantje Friese, Winden is not a real town, and everything that was filmed for the series was purposely put together so that this fictional town wouldn’t look like a northern German town or a Bavarian village.
Their idea was to turn this fictional town in a place that could be everywhere and anywhere at the same time. Because of this, they went to Berlin and explored the surrounding areas looking for the village look that would fit well with everything about the series Dark.
When you leave Berlin and go straight into the forest around Grünewald, the area becomes completely different from what you see in places like Neukölln. There are long straight trees that create a creepy, almost fairytale, type of forest.
If you don’t want to read spoilers, go straight into the map at the end of this article. There you can see all the locations we found from Dark. If you don’t care about spoilers, just read the rest of the text below.
The church where Michael meets Noah
In episode 5, when Noah meets Michael, there is a church in the background since Michael is there to see where his father is buried. We learned about the location of this church from Dark through our friends at Canal Alemanizando, and you can find it at the Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf. This is the cemetery that used to be connected to Wannsee via the railroad that it’s now abandoned.
The cemetery is the second largest one in Germany, and it has a beautiful forest character that makes the experience of walking around pretty interesting. There are a lot of historic tombs in the, including the one from Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau who directed the movie Nosferatu. But we went there to see the cemetery chapel!
The cemetery chapel from Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf was built between 1908 and 1911, and it follows the plans from Gustav Werner. The church has a Norwegian style, and it’s all made of wood. Inside, the wooden decoration is presented together with Art Nouveau glass windows and an organ by Wilhelm Sauer that is all original.
The trip to Stahnsdorf is, somehow, not that simple but the visit we did to the cemetery and the church was more than worth it. Even if we weren’t fans of the series Dark, it would be cool to explore the area.
The high school where everything starts in the series Dark
Most of the action in Dark happens around or at a high school where most of the kid’s study. According to a video we watched from our friends at Canal Alemanizando, the school is easy to find, and it was effortless to do it.
The school is called Reinfelder-Schule, and you can find it in the Berlin-Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf neighborhood. You just take a train to S Messe Süd and walk a few blocks, and that is it. Simple. The school has a concrete block feel, and it’s all painted in yellow, like in the series. We visited the area on a Sunday afternoon, and we took too many pictures of it.
We went there on a Sunday to avoid taking photos of the kids, and it was more than worth it since the school was empty and we had all the time in the world to enjoy being a part of the series Dark.
The Bridge and the train tracks from the series Dark
The year is 2019 and there is a kid missing in Winden. He is the person dealing with marijuana to some of the kids in school, and nobody seems to know where he might be. One o the kids decided to put together a group and go looking for the stash of drugs from the missing kids. They follow some train tracks that lead deeper into the forest, while they go looking for a cave.
They enter a cave looking for the stash of drugs, but there are strange sounds and some flickering flashlights that scare everybody in different directions. When they get together again, one of the kids is missing.
All of this happens in the same place in the middle of the Düppeler forest. The train tracks are part of an abandoned railroad that used to lead to one of the most significant cemeteries in Germany: Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf. Known as the Friedhofsbahn, it used to connect Wannsee to Stahnsdorf until 1952 when the last train rolled into Stahnsdorf.
The bridge overlooks the abandoned train tracks, and there is a hiking route there that is called Königsweg, and it used to be one of the military paths between Berlin and Potsdam, back in the 1870s.
We visited the area twice and we even added to our weekly vlog! It’s quite impressive to watch the series and be there a couple of days later.
The bridge where the kids realize that one of them is missing overlooks the abandoned train tracks, and you can see how Dark had to do some movie magic to make it look like it does on screen.
Exploring the Winden Cave
In Dark, it seems like there is a large complex of caves that lie under the forest that surrounds the city of Winden. This cave system is more extensive than most residents know, but we don’t think anyone knows how large it really is.
Inside the cave, you are going to find some hidden drugs, three large doors that you can use to travel back in time, and even some radioactive waste. But the most exciting thing that you can find in there is a passage that can be used to travel through time. That is the entire premises of the series.
When it comes to the shots done inside the Winden Cave, it seems like the shots were done in the Unicorn Cave in the Harz region, here in Germany. Which makes sense since there are no rock formations like those around Berlin and Brandenburg.
The outside area, where you can see the entry to the cave system, is fake, and the cave is not real. What you can see in the series is a mixture of CGI and a set built in a forest between Tremsdorf and Saarmund in Brandenburg, south of Berlin.
On a cold December day, I took a train to Berlin-Wannsee, a bus in the direction of the Nuthe-Nieplitz-Niederung nature reserve, and after a long walk in the woods, I found the Winden Cave. Or, the location where the cave was supposed to be since there was nothing there.
The forest around the place is beautiful and, after a few minutes of walking surrounded by trees, I saw some familiar shapes in the distance. A ravine looked like something I saw before and, once I grabbed a reference picture from the series, I knew this was the right place.
THE MENTAL ASYLUM WHERE ULRICH WAS LOCKED IN 1953
A lot happens to the police officer know as Ulrich Nielsen in the Dark. But, here, we are not going to talk much about him. We are here to mention another one of the many Dark Locations we found around Berlin. If you’re a fan of the series, you know about the mental asylum where Ulrich was locked in 1953.
In the series, Ulrich Nielsen grows from a rebellious teen to an energetic police officer. When his son disappears in the first episode of the series, we see him grow into a different character until he travels back in time and is locked in a mental asylum. In the real world, this building isn’t similar to a mental asylum in any way. This Dark location can be found in a district called Potsdam-Süd, in an anvil-shaped peninsula known as Hermannswerder.
Nowadays, most of the area is owned by the Evangelical Hoffbauer Foundation. The building used in Dark is a gorgeous-looking brick building where Biotecon Diagnostics is located, as you can see on the map at the end of this article. I was there on a summer evening, after a long bike ride from Berlin to Potsdam.
Waldhotel Winden from Dark
The Waldhotel Winden from Dark appears at the beginning of the series as a hotel in Winden, the city where most of the action happens in the series. It’s operated by Regina Tiedemann in the present, which would be in 2019. When the series evolves, and it goes back to 1953, you can see that the house belonged to the Doppler Family. This is where Helge lives with his strict mother.
One of my personal favorite scenes from the first season of Dark happens in the Waldhotel Winden. It is there that Regina Tiedemann is surprised by the arrival of a hooded stranger that asks for a room. A few days later, the stranger leaves the room and says that he will return soon. When Regina enters the room, she is surprised by the fact that the walls are covered in photographs, clippings ad notes about the people that disappeared in Winden and time travel.
The exterior shots from the hotel were done at the Schloss Lanke in Brandenburg. Back in January of 2020, I visited the place with the fantastic guys from Alemanizando.
Some Dark Locations from the Future in 2020
In Dark season 2, the meltdown of the power plant sets off a nuclear winter of sorts and what I believe to be the Apocalypse that the series talks about so much. There are few survivors left, band together with leftover tank, some guns, and all this left me with too many questions.
When I first watched season two, some of Jonas’s scenes walking around in the apocalyptic future seemed familiar. Some of the locations used were similar to places I have seen while doing urban exploration around Berlin and, after checking out some of my pictures, I can clearly state that I have been to a few of these locations.
The first one that grabbed my attention shows up when Jonas is walking around some stairs, checking for people or something else. From there, he walks into this dilapidated gymnasium, where he picks up a piece of something that looks electronic. This location is the old gymnasium in Krampnitz, a former Soviet Military base between Potsdam and Spandau that I visited a few times in the past.
Both Dark locations can be found on the map below, but I have to let you know that the gymnasium in Krampnitz doesn’t exist anymore. I was there in May 2020, and it was demolished. You have to believe in the pictures I have here.
Where Tronte and Jana Nielsen live in 2019
After rewatching a few dark episodes before the third season was released, I wondered about where Tronte and Jana Nielsen live in 2019. In the series, whenever the couple appears in the past, they still live where Ulrich Nielsen lived with his family in 2019. But, whenever the show goes into the present, the year 2019, they live in a gray block of buildings.
These buildings looked familiar to me. I have been cycling around Berlin for a long time, and, from time to time, I recognize places and locations that I might have seen before.
To find this one, I went on Google Maps and started researching locations near the Babelsberg Studios, where there was a playground with sand and buildings organized in a geometrical shape. After some minutes of exploring, I found a location that matched my goals.
On a sunny day in June 2020, I took my bike all the way and confirmed that my geo-guessing was right. The house where Tronte and Jana Nielsen live is this one. But I don’t feel like sharing the location because those are houses and people live there. It would be not nice to see tourists visiting the place with cameras since this is such a beautiful part of Berlin.
1921 in Winden
In Dark, 1921 is an exciting year since the people behind Sic Mundus built the church over their secret lab. It’s in that year that we see Jonas traveling back in time from 2053 and landing somewhere different, in what seems to be a wheat field. From there on, he is found by some farmers and taken to a place where he meets teenager Noah and child Agnes.
But we are not here to talk about the series like that; we’re here to talk about the fantastic location Jonas walks into. We believe that this is the 1921 version of Winden and we found where it was shot, in a town south of Berlin called Rehagen.
This historical looking street leads to the Schlafwagenhotel Bahnhof Rehagen, a restaurant and hotel focused on cultural events and culinary delights. We didn’t have much time to explore during our visit, but we know we will be back to see what they have to offer.
All Roads Lead to Winden
In almost every episode, there is a scene where somebody is driving around empty streets in the middle of a forest. Sometimes you can see some curves over the horizon, sometimes you just see rain and asphalt. It seems to us like this is the road that connects Winden to the Nuclear Power Plant, and we manage to find this Dark location.
This is where the bus stop scenes are shot. This is where the forest road that many pass by bike. This is the location from the road shot in every episode, and it can be found south of Berlin. It’s located next to a small town called Schöneiche.
The place where they shot these scenes is called Fahrtechnikakademie Kallinchen. It is a safety driving training center in Brandenburg. We visited this place by bike in July 2020, and it was easy to enter and leave, but we are not sure if we got lucky or if there was somebody else there that saw us. Maybe, before you go there, send them a message and see how they feel about your presence.
It was quite unusual for us to cycle in a familiar place that we only saw on tv. It was a warm summer day, and everything looked similar to what we picture in our own head but, at the same time, completely different. The bus stop wasn’t there, but we could clearly see where it used to stand. There were driving cones on the ground, and the usual Winden rain wasn’t anywhere to be seen, but it was a location from Dark.
Also, the coolest location here is the forest road. We found it by accident while we took a bike ride around the entire training center. One small road leads into the middle of the forest and, once we started cycling there, we realized where we were. One of the best feelings!
Winden Public Library
When the Claudia Tiedemann from 1987 travels to the future of 2020, she struggles to understand what did just happen. One of the places that she visits research about the future and the past is the Winden Public Library.
Known in German as Stadtbücherei Winden, this is a subtle Dark location that we knew we wanted to visit. Still, it took us a while to realize that this is the library from the University of Applied Sciences for Finances in Königs Wusterhausen, a city next to Berlin.
Visiting this location is quite simple since the University Library is not that far away from the S-Bahn station in Königs Wusterhausen. It was the starting point of a bike ride that took us from the library to the Winden roads and, finally, ended in the 1921 street. If you want to visit these locations, take a look at the map at the end of this article since they are quite far away from each other.
The painting is called The Fall of the Damned and is a monumental religious artwork painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1620. The picture shows a complex mass of bodies being hurled into the abyss by archangel Michael. The original artwork can be found at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, where my sister saw it and shared it with me.
the Bridge and Train Tracks
The Mental Asylum where Ulrich was locked in 1953
The Winden Cave
Winden Public Library
All Roads Lead to Winden
These were some of the locations from Netflix’s series Dark we found around Berlin. We are still looking for some other ones. If you have any tips for us, leave a comment below.