AVUS is by no means one of the most evocative of the old European circuits.
There is a striking memorial just north of the circuit, with a timeline of the track and two motorbikes on a stylised banking. But the iconic banking itself was demolished in 1967, and the “ground-level” North Curve (used for the DTM until the track held its last race in 1998) is nothing much to look at.
The distinctive control tower is still there, looking much more prominent than in photos from 1937 or 1959, when it was dwarfed, trying to peek out from behind the massive banking.
Curiously, the grandstand just south of the tower is subject to a heritage order, but is locked and verboten, so is left to stare blankly out over the busy autobahn.
Of course, any famous track – even one as notorious as AVUS - is still worth a look for most enthusiasts. But if you nd yourself in Berlin and you’re interested in motor racing history, make sure you also visit Dahlem cemetery, just a few kilometres from AVUS. It is one of the only cemeteries in the world to hold the graves of two Grand Prix drivers who were killed at the wheel.
Bernd Rosemeyer (1909-1938), one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, has an exceedingly plain grave. Ironically, his old Auto Union team-mate Ernst von Delius (1912-1937), a journeyman driver at best, has a much more ornate headstone. They are buried just a few metres apart.
Neither of them was killed at AVUS. But they are both echoes of a bygone era in the sport, a time when it was thought that constructing a track as conceptually extreme as AVUS seemed like an eminently sensible idea.