27 Sep ’12 by Stefan Places
Stefan takes you on a private tour through the remnants of the NSA listening station on the Teufelsberg in Grunewald.

Teufelsberg has long been a very popular “urban exploration” spot for tourists and wanderers alike. I’ll spare you the elaborate story on the artificial hill with the listening station on top of it by simply pointing you to the relevant Wikipedia article.

But there it is now, a former US-listening station, nowadays lying in ruins but remaining impressive nonetheless. Like the Spreewald, photographers and street artists, writers and people who simply adore the myth of forgotten places, try to find their way up and in there to enjoy the view and leave their mark.

In that spirit it was just reasonable that the Berlin artbase Festival 2012 was to take place there. Many artists have already left their works up on the Teufelsberg and the listening station. Unfortunately, the artbase Festival had to cancel their event last minute as the local authorities decided they didn’t want to “rent out” the wasteland. Quite a pity.

The spirit of the artbase is to re-interpret wastelands and forgotten places like this and use them as platform for (urban) art of all kinds. Now that the festival was cancelled there will be no public event around these leftover artworks… ironically the whole situation is now even more in the spirit of “urban exploration” and forgotten stuff.

But: since there are frequent tours (for about 7 €) it’s not impossible to see the galleries up there. Here are a few impressions of what’s to find.

Grunewald, 14193 Berlin

Six comments

  1. This is a great article on the spy station. I was there last year and truly enjoyed the sound and beauty of this building. And also the view around it was the best in the city, just breathtaking.
    Thank you for posting this, I can’t to go to Berlin and see this place again,, fingers crossed it’s still there 2013.

    – Giselle

  2. Hey hey, I went there two weeks ago and the coolest thing happend: Some random Guys (calling themself tenants”) took over the Place and taking Money for “Tours” … it is great … It realy help the spirit of the Place – taking money for Street-Art. The 7 Euro for “making the Place Safe” is totaly worth it!

    I love it

    My Tip: Wait after 7pm and search for holes in the fence

  3. Philip, that’s really sad. I suppose it wasn’t Berliner Unterwelten, the association which has exclusive access to several historic ruins. In case those guys you met don’t have an official order to do so, I guess it’s best to get their contact details and report them to the authorities, since such tours around unsafe places might get them in big trouble. However, anyone who wanders around there on their own, can only be held for trespassing, but not for charging people to get themselves in unexpected danger.

  4. Wow. It has changed a lot since I was there last. Now it looks like “The Wall” during the 80s. Hope someone can get some use out of it before it falls down.

Other opinions

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