Back to overview

AVUS – The world’s first highway

Berlin–Charlottenburg
AVUS circuit📌
The AVUS made its mark well beyond Berlin with its legendary car races. It was built due to German failures in car racing events at the beginning of the 20th century.

Back then, automobile developers of the German Reich lagged behind England and France. To change that, the passionate car lover Emperor Wilhelm II. decided to build the AVUS (“Automobil- und Verkehrsübungsstraße”).

The prestigious project of motorsport was already planned in 1909 but due to World War I, its opening had to be postponed. It was the first street that allowed cars exclusively - the first highway so to say - although a very small one due to its 8.3 kilometers’ length at the time of opening.

AVUS circuit📌
AVUS circuit📌
AVUS circuit📌
Until 1998, the AVUS was used as a circuit on special weekends.

The AVUS had its hour of glory on May 23, 1928 when car manufacturer Fritz von Opel started his “Raketenwagen” (“rocket car”), the RAK2. Every footstep on the accelerator ignited one of 24 skyrockets. Due to 120 kilogram explosives on board, the car reached 238 kilometers per hour, a surprising speed back then.

Coordinates:
The AVUS is located in the southwest of Berlin and marks the northern part of the highway A 115. It leads to the Funkturm where it connects with the Berlin ring road (A 100), almost nine kilometers straight through Grunewald to Nikolassee.