King of the Hill

March 23, 2011 § 3 Comments

A French photographer visiting from Milan asked me to join him on an early morning adventure to the Grunewald forest on Berlin’s western edge. He had heard about an abandoned “listening station” erected by the U.S. National Security Agency (for eavesdropping on the commies), and wanted to snap some pictures of the strange compound.

What makes Teufelsberg extra intriguing is that it resides on top of an 80 meter hill of debris from post-war Berlin. Grass, trees, and running paths now cover the rubble of some 400,000 buildings, including a still-standing Nazi military-technical college (so sturdy it was easier to bury than blow up).

The station and the hill were abandoned after the wall fell. In the ’90s, kids would break into the towers to party and vandalize. These days, the walls of the ten-story tower are gone. The elevator’s gone, too. The grounds are blocked off. But with help of wire cutters, we were able to “find” an opening in the chain link fence. So up we went.

Onto the grounds. (Note abandoned hobo camp.)

Into the tower.

Under the canvas.

On top of the roof.



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