Where to go in Berlin – Teuflberg Hill and abondoned spy base

Phil Jern ©, Flickr
Teuflberg is a location in Berlin, near Grunewald forest in former West Berlin part. The Teuflberg is actually a hill (German for Devil’s Mountain) of artificial origin and 120 meters high on which a one of the largest listening American station was built. It was rumored to be part of the global ECHELON intelligence gathering network. In previous years the place was free to access and vandalized but a few years ago the object was bought by a private company which surrounded the area by fence and barbed wire to prevent trespassing. Now they conduct guided excursions to the site of which probably was used to be a spy base.


Some interesting facts about the place:

As it was said before the hill is artificial and has curious history: It was heaped up after the Second World War from part of the rubble of Berlin, approximately 75,000,000 m3 all over the city, during the following twenty years as the city was cleared and rebuilt. {WIKI}
This fact does not make it unique, as there are other mounds that were formed from the rubble in other European cities that were affected by war or even a Schuttberg in Germany. The most interesting fact is that underneath a never completed military-technical college (Wehrtechnische Fakultät) is buried. According to the story the Allies tried using explosives to demolish the school, but it was so sturdy that covering it with debris turned out to be easier. In June 1950 the West Berlin Magistrate decided to open a new rubble disposal on that site.
I offer to find below some photos which were made on the territory of the site. In recent years it also has become a big open art area for artists from Berlin, who were creating here before it was closed for free access
Getting there
Take a train to Heerstrasse from Alexandrplatz for instance (S5) and walk 30 min uphill through the forest. Meanwhile you can contemplate autumn landscapes and enjoy a weekend walk outside of the city.
More about the station itself
The base was built by US National Security Agency (NSA), the construction begun in July 1961. “The Hill”, as it was known colloquially by the many American soldiers who worked there around the clock and who commuted there from their quarters in the American Sector, was located in the British Sector. The station was used to conduct listening to Soviet, East German, and other Warsaw Pact nations military traffic. It was operating untill the fall of the Wall and after the station was closed and the equipment removed.

Nowadays as it was mentioned before, the private company owns this site and offers “silent” excursions for 7 EUR and tours with a narrative for 15 EUR. Decide yourself if it is worth paying  for visiting the place. If you feel interested, here is the official web site of Teuflberg listening station.