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Video - Berlin: Tempelhof airport’s second life

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990 acres of trails and lawns, in the heart of Berlin. Before, Tempelhof was an airport. In 2010, it became a park open to all, to relax or practice the most unusual sports, and thrill seekers are well catered for.

Patrick, Paragliding enthusiast

"It’s pretty good here because in this area we have good steady winds, in other words, without twisting and turning."

The park annually hosts two million visitors, but long before outdoor games, it was the US army’s Douglas C-47’s and C-54’s which made Tempelhof famous. In 1948, West Berlin’s population was starving due to the Soviet blockade.

The cargo planes full of food and supplies landed every 90 seconds in front of the onlookers. For 40 years, the airport was a symbol of the Cold War.

Florian Weiss, Curator of the Allied Museum in Berlin

"Before the Berlin Wall was built, it was also through here that we evacuated many East Germans fleeing to the West, and, very importantly, it was a hot bed of espionage, known for its electronic and radio listening stations pointed towards East Germany."

At its closing in 2008, the site was scheduled to accomodate a number of housing programmes, but the population opposed it in a referendum.

Today, the older people are proud of what Tempelhof has become. Elke, born in Berlin during 1959, nostalgically recalls the time when they took off from here to discover the world, but she is delighted that the place has been preserved.

Tempelhof Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

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