Tempelhof Airport

Berlin, Germany

Tempelhof was designated as an airport by the Ministry of Transport on 8 October 1923. The old terminal was originally constructed in 1927. In anticipation of increasing air traffic, the Nazi government began a massive reconstruction in the mid-1930s. While it was occasionally cited as the world's oldest operating commercial airport, the title was disputed by several other airports, and is no longer an issue since its closure.

Tempelhof was one of Europe's three iconic pre-World War II airports, the others being London's now defunct Croydon Airport and the old Paris – Le Bourget Airport. It acquired a further iconic status as the centre of the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49. One of the airport's most distinctive features is its large, canopy-style roof, which was able to accommodate most contemporary airliners in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, protecting passengers from the elements. Tempelhof Airport's main building was once among the top 20 largest buildings on earth; in contrast, it formerly had the world's smallest duty-free shop.

Tempelhof Airport closed all operations on 30 October 2008, despite the efforts of some protesters to prevent the closure. A non-binding referendum was held on 27 April 2008 against the impending closure but failed due to low voter turnout.

Tempelhof has been used since closing to host numerous fairs and events. The fields will be used as a park indefinitely.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

09L/27R, Berlin, Germany
See all sites in Berlin

Details

Founded: 1923
Category:
Historical period: Weimar Republic (Germany)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Melanie Hyde (16 months ago)
What an amazing place. The building is amazing. We paid for the tour which was 2 hours long but was so good it felt like 30 mins. Can't recommend enough.
J Pro (16 months ago)
We took the airport walking tours. It costs around 15 euros and is worth every penny! The guide took us through the terminal building and onto the tarmac. The terminal building contains hidden spaces which you would not expect in present day airports. I didn’t want the tour to end. In my opinion this was the hidden gem of Berlin.
Laur Cristopher Papuc (16 months ago)
Amazing historical venue, impressive building. The park itself is a really beautiful place to come and relax, walk or run. Dog friendly, also! If you want to visit the Hangar, beware you can do so only in organized tours (German or English) which would be better to buy or research online in advance.
Emily Harden (17 months ago)
Joined the English tour to see the airport. The history of the building was very interesting, certainly a visit that I'd recommend to friends and family. Perhaps not ideal for older visitors as some parts of the building require you to climb many flights of stairs. However the view from the roof was well worth it. €16 for a two hour tour was a good price in my opinion, definitely one for those who enjoy history.
Harinath Reddy (2 years ago)
The guided tour of Airport building: For me, finding the entrance to Airport was hard. Tip: The one beside police-station is not actual entrance. The building is huge, has good architecture and history. The 2 hour guided tour, involves a lot of walking and too many stairs. If you are old, you can skip it.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cochem Castle

The original Cochem Castle, perched prominently on a hill above the Moselle River, served to collect tolls from passing ships. Modern research dates its origins to around 1100. Before its destruction by the French in 1689, the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.

In 1151 King Konrad III ended a dispute over who should inherit Cochem Castle by laying siege to it and taking possession of it himself. That same year it became an official Imperial Castle (Reichsburg) subject to imperial authority. In 1282 it was Habsburg King Rudolf’s turn, when he conquered the Reichsburg Cochem and took it over. But just 12 years later, in 1294, the newest owner, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle, the town of Cochem and the surrounding region in order to finance his coronation. Adolf’s successor, Albrecht I, was unable to redeem the pledge and was forced to grant the castle to the archbishop in nearby Trier and the Electorate of Trier, which then administered the Reichsburg continuously, except for a brief interruption when Trier’s Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had to pawn the castle to a countess. But he got it back a year later.

The Electorate of Trier and its nobility became wealthy and powerful in large part due to the income from Cochem Castle and the rights to shipping tolls on the Moselle. Not until 1419 did the castle and its tolls come under the administration of civil bailiffs (Amtsmänner). While under the control of the bishops and electors in Trier from the 14th to the 16th century, the castle was expanded several times.

In 1688 the French invaded the Rhine and Moselle regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the Reichsburg and then laid waste not only to the castle but also to Cochem and most of the other surrounding towns in a scorched-earth campaign. Between that time and the Congress of Vienna, the Palatinate and Cochem went back and forth between France and Prussia. In 1815 the western Palatinate and Cochem finally became part of Prussia once and for all.

Louis Jacques Ravené (1823-1879) did not live to see the completion of his renovated castle, but it was completed by his son Louis Auguste Ravené (1866-1944). Louis Auguste was only two years old when construction work at the old ruins above Cochem began in 1868, but most of the new castle took shape from 1874 to 1877, based on designs by Berlin architects. After the death of his father in 1879, Louis Auguste supervised the final stages of construction, mostly involving work on the castle’s interior. The castle was finally completed in 1890. Louis Auguste, like his father, a lover of art, filled the castle with an extensive art collection, most of which was lost during the Second World War.

In 1942, during the Nazi years, Ravené was forced to sell the family castle to the Prussian Ministry of Justice, which turned it into a law school run by the Nazi government. Following the end of the war, the castle became the property of the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate). In 1978 the city of Cochem bought the castle for 664,000 marks.