Already for many years Berlin has been one of the hot spots of Europe in terms of tourism. And it’s no wonder why – the city has so much to offer for every taste. Whether you are after a sophisticated culture vacation with museum tours, fancy restaurants and maybe a concert of one of the best orchestras in the world, the Berlin Philharmonic, or whether you are more into experiencing the vivid nightlife with dozens of top-notch underground clubs or exploring some of the impressive historical buildings and places that can be found all around the city: Berlin has it all.
Berlin, with a population of more than 3,5 million, has been the capital city of Germany ever since the reunification of 1990. It is also one of the 16 federal states (German: Bundesland). Undeniably, the city has an amazingly captivating history. Between 1618 and 1648 the disastrous Thirty Years’ War was raging in Central Europe and the city lost half of its population. In the early 1900s the German Expressionist movement was blossoming in the city and many new art styles were invented e.g. in the fields of painting, cinema and architecture. Later, during the World War II, the city had to witness dreadfulness when the Nazi regime was ruling the country. As a consequence of the war, Berlin was divided into four occupation zones and later in 1961 the Berlin Wall was built. In 1989 the political situation took a twist and the Wall was torn down. The Federal Republic of Germany, as we know it today, was born.
What many tourists don’t know, is that much of this impressive history can still be found in the city. And I don’t mean in all of its glory and magnificence as it used to be back in the day, but shadiness, nostalgia, eeriness and at the same time mesmerization. In this and the following article, I will take you on a journey into the forgotten, abandoned world or Berlin. Are you ready? Hold on to your hats and enjoy the ride!
Teufelsberg is a man-made hill in the eastern side of Berlin that rises up to the elevation of 120,1 meters above the sea level. It was created of the debris of war-torn buildings. A famous architect, Albert Speer, designed a Nazi military-technical college on the hill, which however, was never finished. As said, after the war the hill was filled with debris and in 1961 the US National Security Agency (NSA) built one of its biggest listening stations on top of the hill. The purpose was to eavesdrop on the Soviet and East German military traffic. Nowadays this place attracts many tourists and graffiti artists and for a good reason: the skyline of Berlin and the strange echo inside the ball-shaped buildings are worth a visit. Sadly enough, the access is rather restricted and getting in cannot be taken for granted.
I will take you deeper into the intriguing abandoned world of Berlin in the next article, be ready!