Gallery 9: Germany/Czech Republic  [page 1]

The photos on these next three pages were taken during a 12 day trip to eastern Germany and the Czech Republic during June of 2002.

Standard European border signage located just north of the Czech border near Altenberg.  The "D" in the oval is the country abbreviation for Deutschland followed by the national speed limits: 50km/h in urban areas, 100km/h in rural areas, and a recommended speed of 130km/h on motorways (i.e. the autobahn) indicated by the blue square.  The yellow sign in the background identifies a regional crossroad.  Unnumbered roads are seldom referred to by name, rather by control cities.

The remainder of the photos on this page are of the northbound A13 autobahn near Cottbus in eastern Germany.  The following 5 photos depict the standard autobahn exit signage for a surface route.

  This first sign is a typical initial approach sign for an exit to a surface road and includes the interchange number in a circle, the interchange name, "Großräschen" in this case, and the distance to the exit, usually 1000m (or 1km).  Interchanges are numbered sequentially in Germany.

The second sign is always diagrammatic and shows the through route and control city, as well as the control cities and route number (when applicable) for the exit, and is typically located 500m from the exit.  When the crossroad is not a federal highway, only control cities are shown, never road names, even in urban areas.

Countdown markers are located at 300, 200, and 100 meters from the exit.  The first countdown marker also displays the junction number.

Exit signage, again illustrating control cities and the route number (when applicable).

Gore signage.  "Ausfahrt" simply translates as "Exit" and interestingly enough, junction numbers are not signed at the gore point, only at the first "BBS" and atop the 300m countdown marker.  The small rectangular sign reading "U 29" with an arrow refers to a detour or emergency route.  Many autobahn exits employ these bypass routes with each exit having its own detour number leading to the next junction in that direction.  These detours are not only useful during emergency closures but are also a handy way to avoid congestion.

Distance signage showing the autobahn and Euroroute numbers.  Frequently, the Euroroute numbers only appear alongside their German counterparts on these signs.  Also note the small blue kilometer post to the left of the sign.  These appear to be located at 500m intervals.

A Reichsautobahn vintage brick overpass which has recently been refurbished.  These are still quite common on the autobahnen of the former East Germany.

More initial approach signage, announcing two upcoming interchanges.  Note the different symbol used for motorway-to-motorway junctions versus an exit to a surface road.  The motorway-to-motorway junction signs are generally placed 2000m before the junction (2500m in this case), while the surface exits' are placed at 1000m.

Speed limit sign.  Contrary to popular belief, many stretches of autobahn do have a posted speed limit, in this case due to the upcoming trumpet interchange at the motorway-to-motorway junction.  At the end of the speed zone, a "speed limit ends" sign would be posted literally meaning the speed limit ends in this case.  The white sign beneath the speed limit sign identifies an accident hazard due to a large number of accidents in the past.

Advance junction signage placed at 1000 and 500 meters before a motorway-to-motorway junction.  Note that only the autobahn route numbers are displayed even though the A13 is cosigned with E55 and the A15 is cosigned with E36.  Also note the lack of cardinal directions which are never posted in Germany.

Junction signage.  Note the lack of shoulders in this vicinity and in the following photos.

Entering a construction zone.  "Right lane ends 200m."  Much of the pavement in the former East Germany has been repaired or replaced since reunification, however a number of reconstruction projects were underway in the summer of 2002 and some segments of perennially neglected 1930s pavement remain.  Outdated design characteristics such as narrow lanes and the lack of shoulders are common on these stretches.

Red an white chevrons used to mark curves.

Within the construction zone.

"No passing, next 3km."  The middle sign indicates that the regulation only applies to trucks over 3.5 tons, busses, and vehicles towing a trailer.

Temporary exit within the construction zone.

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