AVUS – The world’s first highway
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.
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.
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.