The abandoned NSA Complex on the Teufelsberg in West-Berlin
For aficionados of the Cold War era like me, the NSA Complex was an absolute must-visitAfter a ride on the S-Bahn to station Grunewald, I drove my faithful little mountain bike into the Grunewald forest, which always makes me feel as if I am in a completely different part of the country. Think south.
As you pass a park of allotments on the right, you can’t help feeling intimidated by the giant white spheres on top of what seems a mountain. A mountain? That’s right: Teufelsberg is a man-made mountain, a rubble mound made up out of what was left of the heavily bombed buildings in West-Berlin.
Once the Cold Was was in full swing, the Americans built their high-tech spy station on top of the mountain, to eavedrop the conversations of high-rank DDR (GDR) officials.
Right after the Wall came down, the Americans broke up camp and left the whole complex for what it was. Imagine the wild parties by the liberated youth in the early nineties! The graffiti in the staircases sure tell a lot about the great vibe that must have sweeped through those abandoned, concrete halls.
It was a Saturday, and I arrived just before noon at the top of the mountain, greeted by a small group of tourists and tour guides. For just seven euros, you can take part in a walking tour throughout the complex. I guarantee you: it is so worth it!! For five euros more, I could have joined the guided tour with the history being explained to us by the guide, but I prefered to draw my own conclusions during the walk. The scenery tells you more than a thousand words ever could!
Raw concrete, twisted steel, old wiring, decay and a lot of graffiti: if you are into a grungy environment with a lot of stories to tell, then the NSA Complex is definitely worth the trip. Make sure to get there early in the morning, and don’t forget to wear the right gear: it is quite the climb to the top!
NSA Spy Station on Teufelsberg, Grunewald
S-Bahn station Grunewald (line 7 towards Hauptbahnhof Potsdam)
Opened daily, times may vary depending on season and weather
Curious about the photographs that did not make this post? Check out my Pinterest board!