Monday, July 30, 2012

Alternative Berlin: Abandoned spy station

Where: Spandauer Straße 9, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Abandoned spy station

Go there or not to go there? - that is a question. Go! Definitely go! In fact g
etting to Grünewald forest where the Americans and British tried to figure out what was going on in Russian-controlled East Germany requires some effort - good 25 minutes walk from metro station and some climbing up, but it's definitely worth it. 
The cold war spy base built atop a mountain is not only the place where you can boost your adrenaline and find some genius graffiti, but also see the beautiful city view.

Hardily believable that this  80 - meter hill was man-made from the rubble of Berlin crashed down during WWII (apparently about 400,000 bombed houses).

Underneath the there is the nazi-military training school buried. Instead of putting an effort in crushing it down, Allies decided to cover it with rubble. Everyday, 80 truckloads of 7,000 cubic metres of rubble collected mostly by local women used to arrive. Construction of the first buildings of listening station began shortly after 1961.

Teufelsberg, literally "Devil's Mountain" welcomes you with the smile of a guy who wants 5 euros from you and get you to sign up some pepers. In free translation you claims that they would not gonna pay for your funeral service if something happen to you behind this gate.  Indeed, there are some holes in the fance, but don't try to be canny - at the very top somebody else will check if you are "legal" here. 

Listening station or rather it's ashes make creepy impression. Huge vast of concrete to cover with sprayEach radome domes contained huge 12 meter satellite dishes and the most sophisticated up-to-date spying equipment, enabling the western powers interpret satellite signals, radio waves, microwave links and radar transmissions, before interpreting and analysing their findings. You will not find any peace of it, but going to the top dome is a great acoustic experience. It you play on some instrument, just bring it there - supposedly you can get such an effect using every music software, but i bet you will be amazed. The effect is outstanding, and different depend where you stand. And the view! If you have acrophobia your visit will be just more exciting to you.  

How has it happened that it all stands abandoned? After cold war, the 4.7 hectare site was sold to developers for 5.2 million Deutschmark, and they started with their plans to build posh apartments, a hotel and restaurant, as well as a spy-museum. Berlin's building boom produced a glut of buildings, however, and the Teufelsberg project became unprofitable. The construction project was then aborted. As of the early 2000s, there has been talk of the city buying back the hill. However, this is unlikely, as the area is encumbered with a mortgage of nearly 50 million dollars. - that what wikipedia says about it's present status.

It looks like nobody has had a drink from a makeshift bar for a long time...

If you still have some energy go to the nearby lake. I didn't take any photos -  good 20% of the people on crowded beach were enthusiastic about being naturist. 

How to get there?
Teufelsbergchaussee, Get the S-Bahn, S9 or S75 to Heerstraße, or S1 to Grünewald and walk from there. 

Pros: you don't need any substances to feel like get trip
Cons: quite a long trip

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