Tempelhof Field: Berlin’s Airport Turned Community Park



Berlin82Berlin2Ok, I am *finally* sitting down to get this blog up to date! I’m still taking pictures and traveling quite a bit. I’ve been really busy with a Fulbright to go back to Iceland, a move to Poland after that, and my podcast, Museums in Strange Places.

But first things first, I need to get past the roadblock that has been the enormous amount of photos I took in Berlin in February 2017. These are from Tempelhofer Feld, a site with a long and fascinating history. Originally a military parade ground used by locals as a park when it wasn’t needed for it’s formal purpose, it became an airport in the 1920’s and was the sight of many early experiments in flight. The Nazis took over in the 1930’s and built a much bigger airport on top of the existing one. After the war, the airfield served many purposes, and in recent years was serving once again as an airport. In 2008, the airport was closed, and rather than see the land be developed, the surrounding communities came together to keep the area preserved as a huge mixed-use park. Today, the former airport buildings are being used as Germany’s largest refugee shelter.

It’s a weird place to explore because little of the airport apparatus was removed. When we went, even on a gray February day, it was filled with people using it in many creative ways, from cleaning out their plot in a beautifully chaotic community garden (pictured above and below) to using the old runways to windsurf with skateboards and roller blades. Parents with kids strolled around the outer walkway, while kids and teens raced back and forth on the tarmac, enjoying the enormous empty paved spaces you don’t usually find in the middle of a city park.



35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more posts from Germany.

And don’t forget to check out my podcast about museums and travel, Museums in Strange Places, available on Apple Podcasts and wherever else you get your podcast fix.

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