Teufelsberg – the seat of street art on the throne of devil’s mountain

Posted: October 12, 2013 in arts, Berlin, Devils Mountain, street art, Teufelsberg
Sign on the fence. I'd call it irony my self.

Sign on the fence. I’d call it irony my self.

In the cold war, British and American armed forces built a spy base on the top of the Devil’s Mountain in Berlin. The mountain its self was made of rubble from the city’s bombing in world war 2. This “man made mountain” became the highest point in West Berlin, allowing radio intercepts to be made for hundreds of miles by the Brits and the Americans.

From their spy base they monitored and intercepted East German and Russian Army communications. Surprisingly these were clear text communications and did not rely on ciphers (See my Bletchly park page for more on cipher code breaking in WWII).

The complex is massive, the tour gives you access to less than half of the site.

The complex is massive, the tour gives you access to less than half of the site.

When the French, Americans and British left in 1994, Teufelsberg was abandoned.

For many years it has been squatted and taken over by artists. I’ve wanted to visit before, but I’ve heard lots of stories about visitors running in to trouble there. So being none German speaking I’ve kept away.

In May of this year, the people owning the site hired a tour guide. If you go to the Grunewald s-Bhan station at 12:30 on a Sunday, walk under the bridge and stand out side the bar called the Scheune then a very friendly English speaking gentleman called Herr McLarren will meet you and take you to the devil’s mountain.

Herr McLarren was a code breaker at Teufelsberg in the 1970’s and is very knowledgeable about the site and its history.

The site also contains the most impressive collection of street art which I have seen to date. I have a fascination with codes and ciphers (well I am a programmer) and also with the cold war,  but it was the street art I went to see, and in that respect, 3 hours was just not long enough, it would have taken me at least a day, possibly two to plan and photograph the work there such is its abundance and quality. I will be visiting again. The gallery below contains shots of around about a third of all the pieces on display in the areas the tour was given access to.

You will need 15EU, very sensible shoes, a torch and no phobias about heights, dark tunnels or cramped spaces.

As always, very happy for any one to use these low-res images for online only non commercial purposes, just link back to this blog if you do please. Any other uses drop me a comment.

PS – Pay great attention to the route to the mountain, especially where you cross the road as you have to walk back on your own and a wrong turn ended up in a 3 mile diversion. Fortunately it was a nice walk.

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Comments
  1. […] via Teufelsberg – the seat of street art on the throne of devil’s mountain. […]

  2. […] Teufelsberg – the seat of street art on the throne of devil’s mountain. […]

  3. Amazing , just amazing!! Every picture tells a story indeed.

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