I must admit, when I saw Teufelsberg in the itinerary as the culminating activity for our last day in Berlin, I expected it to be boring.
But the charm of visiting the once abandoned building that has been turned into one of the largest outdoor gallery parks grows on you, then you start to appreciate how different Berlin is. (Read “How Berlin has ruined living anywhere else“.)
Here’s a photo essay on our tour of Teufelsberg…
Teufelsberg is located at Berlin’s highest “man-made” mountain.
“A Cold War relic lies abandoned on top of a mountain made of rubble, built over a Nazi college that couldn’t be destroyed after the end of World War II. The gates of the former US spy station are locked and secure; its perimeter sealed by an uncompromising high fence, an angry crisscross mesh of wires that clearly imply: “Eintritt Verboten!”
“Welcome to Teufelsberg, literally “Devil’s Mountain,” a hill reaching 114.7 meters above sea-level, made from an estimated 12 million cubic meters of war rubble (apparently about 400,000 bombed houses) pushed together in the north of the Grunewald forest in West Berlin.”
Read More about the Story of Teufelsberg (Abandoned spy station)
It was supposed to be turned into a high-end residential area, however the project was ultimately abandoned in the middle of construction due to bankruptcy.
My first impression was, “What can you possibly learn from an abandoned place?”
We entered what was the main lobby before.
The tour started to get interesting as the story of Teufelsberg unfolded, beginning with the cold war era.
This is the abandoned main entrance where the old photo above was shot.
It was a bit creepy. I wonder if there’s a night tour of the place?
The old uniforms and insignia of the security personnel who protected the place were on display.
We then walked along a dark hallway, with the tour guide explaining what was underneath the mountain.
This was the old Nazi military training school building that was indestructible, so they burried it under rubble from bombed houses from World War 2 and created the hill.
For a time, it was a popular ski area for Berliners during the winter season.
We started our ascent to the radar via the staircase.
Teufelsberg is envisioned to be the largest outdoor urban gallery in the world.
It’s a great backdrop for fashion blogging shoots.
One of the more popular graffiti artworks. “Old Man” by Berlin-based JBAK–a collaboration between James Bullough and Addison Karl.
Aside from the historical tour, it would have been nice to also have a graffiti art tour of the most interesting pieces in Teufelsberg.
This realistic picture of a lady, also by JBAK, is entitled “Characters”.
More beautiful graffiti art from JBAK.
We went up the stairs to reach the radar.
We finally reached the rooftop with beautiful surrounding views of Berlin.
On the left is one of the dilapidated radars…
…with another one on the right side. It’s quite beautiful to see these illuminated at night by a fire dance performance.
Inside the right radar dome.
They say the radars are phallic symbols, meant to taunt the other side.
You need a flashlight to navigate your way through the abandoned buildings.
Check out this Stencil Artwork from Exit Strategy Ambush.
Check out the Ambush blog for more information.
The last radar dome is quite high, and some might get discouraged to proceed further.
At least you’ll be entertained by graffiti art on your way up.
The Radar Dome artwork is a bit creepy, but it has one of the best acoustics.
This was the highlight of the trip. It’s a plus if you have a performer in your group who can test out the natural amplification and huge reverb.
MUERAN HUMANOS – MONSTRUO (en Teufelsberg) from chance on Vimeo.
Check out the awesome view of the forest.
The ski slope is on the right side.
QR Code on the roof, which leads to the website of the artist.
On your way down, you’ll notice other graffiti art…
Twoone and Addison Grafitti Art.
Just to give context on how big the graffiti mural is.
The outdoor gallery continues at the back of the radar station.
One more thing from our guide…
…antique big shredders used during the cold war.
This is where you feed the documents to be shredded.
Alien Graffiti pointing you to the exit.
The area outside looks like a movie set.
The ASEAN Blogger delegation after the hour-long tour of Teufelsberg.
I had my initial doubts, but exploring abandoned sites is a unique way to understand the culture of Berlin better, through its Cold War history, urban graffiti art, and breathtaking views.
All guides and tours begin at the gate of the former Field Station Berlin Teufelsberg at Teufelsseechaussee 10, 14193 Berlin.
You can visit http://berliner-teufelsberg.com/ for more info on a guided tour of Teufelsberg.
AWESOME BERLIN – The Best Kept Secret City of Europe Series:
- BERLIN: 10 Most Awesome Experiences for First Timers in Berlin!
- BERLIN: The Fall of the Berlin Wall–25th Year Anniversary! @VisitBerlin
- SUNDAYS IN BERLIN: Alexanderplatz, Bayernallee Filipino Mass, Mauerpark Flea Market & Lost in U-Bahn! (First Impressions of Germany)
- BERLIN BUNDESTAG: Käfer Breakfast at the Rooftop of the Reichstag Building!
- BERLIN: An Awesome Underground Supper Clubbing Experience in Berlin! @SupperClubbing
- BERLIN: Meeting SupperClub Founder at Hüttenpalast Caravan-Hotel in Hipster-District of Neukölln
- BERLIN: Hasir + Doner Kebab – The Best Turkish Food Outside of Turkey! @BarbaraWoolsey
- BERLIN: Meeting The Filipina Diplomatic Wife in Berlin over Berlin Chocolates @DiplomaticWife
- BERLIN: What I Learned from Berlin’s Best Bloggers at Max und Moritz Old Berlin Tavern?
- BERLIN: TEUFELSBERG – Abandoned Cold War-era Spy Station on top of the Devil’s Mountain!
- BERLIN: Markthalle Neun Street Food Market Thursdays @BerlinFood
- BERLIN: White Trash Fast Food – “Exotic food just like Mama used to make!”
- BERLIN: The TIM RAUE Experience – Best Chef in Berlin? (A Review)
- BERLIN: Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz (A Review)
- GERMAN VISA MANILA: How to Apply for Schengen Visa in the German Embassy in Manila?
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our Berlin Trip was courtesy of the Foreign Ministry as part of the Blogger Visitors Program of the Federal Republic of Germany. I wrote this article with my own biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. The story of Teufelsberg is quite interesting in light of the continuing NSA spying scandal.
Read: DAILY MAIL ONLINE | The ghosts of America’s Cold War surveillance network pictured crumbling in Berlin as it’s alleged the NSA still bugs Germany on the same scale as Communist China