Devil’s Mountain: Teufelsberg is an artificial mountain which is located in the district of Grunewald, West Berlin, Germany. With a height of 120 meters, it is the highest place in Berlin.
When translated, the name of the hill means “Devil’s Mountain.” It was named after Teufelssee (translated as “Devil’s Lake”) which lies to the south.
Before the creation of the hill, this area offered visitors the natural beauty of the Grunewald forest. Even when Berlin grew substantially, this part of Germany was not built upon.
In 1933, the Nazis came to power and developed a plan for the reorganization of Berlin. Construction of a huge military institute began in this place but had to be abandoned when war broke out.
During the war, the institute was bombed and half destroyed. After the war, it was decided to blow up the remnants of the structure. This area was then used as a dumping site for the rubble and ruins of Berlin after the war.
Construction debris and fragments of Berlin houses that were destroyed during the war were piled up and left on the hill over the years.
By 1972, 27 million cubic meters of rubble had been collected at the site of the former university. Such waste included reinforced concrete slabs, fragments of 15,000 houses, and a large number of bricks.
In 1972, the hill became a nature reserve after it was covered with sand and earth, and around a million trees and shrubs were planted.
For lovers of winter sports, ski jumps and ski lifts were built on the site in 1955. These were used by skiers until 1969.
Listening Station in the Cold War
During the Cold War, tests were carried out throughout West Berlin to find a location for an American listening station to intercept Soviet radio communications.
These studies revealed that Teufelsberg was an ideal location for such a center.
The design of the station consisted of white towers, buildings, and domes. In 1963, the construction of the station on the top of the hill was completed.
Until 2020, what happened inside the station was classified. However, it appears that various communications continued until 1989.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the station was closed, having lost most of its equipment. This place has now become a popular place with tourists. Teufelsberg is used for shooting feature films, TV shows, music videos, and more.
After the end of the Cold War, attempts were made to erect a complex that would include apartments, restaurants, and hotels on the site. The idea of building a university was also proposed.
However, in the end, the Berlin authorities declared Teufelsberg a natural environment and banned any construction. Big thank you to Kay Wiegand and check out their web site www.kaywiegand.de
Currently, Teufelsberg is a haven for graffiti artists, creative youths, and curious tourists. Although the listening station is officially closed and the inside is considered unsafe, semi-legal two-hour excursions are conducted around the site.
Even from afar, one can see the distinctive ruins of the tower with its round domes.
On October 30, 2018, Teufelsberg was included in the list of historical monuments of the city of Berlin.
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