Inside the mother of all abandoned airports with Nazi and Cold War relics | The SunNovember 4, 2022
THIS airport was once a bustling, state of the art transport hub used by top ranking members of the Nazi party.
But for more than a decade, time has stood still at Berlin Tempelhof airport which has now been reclaimed by the locals who live there.
The last commercial flight took place in 2008 and the airport has since become a public space used for skateboarding and roller discos.
It is even thought to be one of the largest publicly listed buildings in the world – making it a must see for aviation enthusiasts.
The building of Berlin Tempelhof originated in 1923, before being taken over by Nazi-designers during the war where it is used for their aircraft.
It was also used in West Berlin as drop off points in 1948, as well as used throughout the Cold War thanks to its sheer size.
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And local officials believe it measures 303 hectares – dwarfing the likes of microstate Monaco by more than 100.
But importantly historians believe it now sits as a powerful symbol of the capital’s turbulent past that has often been shrouded by war and division.
The site includes a 72m radar tower – still used by the German army to monitor flight traffic – and a Nazi-era terminal that curves out under a column-free roof.
Meanwhile, rows of empty corridors and decrepit jet planes still haunt the site which what was once a bustling hub of traffic.
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Since 2010, the airfield, Tempelhofer Feld, has been open to the public as a park and has become immensely popular with local families and adventurers.
During the summer months, the park is covered with barbecues as “barely clothed kite surfers and men flying model planes,” fill the space, as described by one local.
And despite multiple plans proposed to develop the land over the years, the local community have consistently fought to keep the space as it is with tours a regular feature of the abandoned airport.
In 2015 it also became Germany’s largest refugee camp as it housed more than 13,000 migrants during the immigration crisis.
“No other city would treat itself to such a crown jewel [of open space],” Ingo Gräning of Tempelhof Projekt told The Guardian.
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