Berlin Teufelsberg, the devil mountain

les installations radar, en ruines, photo Catherine Gras

Berlin is full of places where contemporary history appears very strongly. For me this one is THE place to go to understand and see the recent history of the city.

On the South West flank of Berlin, there is a huge green area: Grünewald.

Anyone going there can stroll between the hills, go up and down, enjoying the nature. In fact these hills are anything but natural hills and the trees in Grünewald are not that old.

Like so many other places in Berlin, this area has been used just after the war, to dump the rubbles of the destroyed city. At the end of the war in 1945, the priority is to clean up and reconstruct the city. The devil mountain (Teuflesberg) is one of those places made on rubbles.

At that time, the area is rather empty, except for the ruines of a nazi military school. These former buildings were fully covered by the rubbles of the war, its sounds very symbolic.

Few years later, at the beginning of the cold war, the US constructed there a base to spy on the soviets. No other western base was closer to the East block than this one.

With the reunification, the base is quickly closed. But as it is often the case in Berlin, this is only the beginning of a long story. The site has been sold and different redevelopment projects were envisaged. But as of today the site remains as it was thirty years ago, decaying with time …

Artists have taken over and the area is an incredible showcase for graffitis, huge murals.

The site is open to the public for a small fee. The view over Berlin is also worth it.

To visit Teufelsberg : https://goo.gl/maps/4F5XbwgQTkvpAvTe9

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