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Berlin: The Abandoned and Regenerated Capital of Europe

Berlin - Author City Chief: İsmail

It is not a scene from exotic India or cyberpunk science fiction movie. It’s just an abandoned NSA building on Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) in Berlin. The city is full of abandoned and regenerated structures. Most of them are from the Cold War Era or before. Some of them are still abandoned and dangerous for visitors. Some of the others are regenerated for several aims. Gentrification is the inevitable end of living cities. At that point, keeping the essence of the structure is crucial. Berlin can do that very well. Wherever you visit in Berlin, you can feel the essential history of the places beyond the modern renewed surface. That makes special the city. 

There are various main areas to visit in divided Berlin. The city was divided into 4 different regions after the Second World War. These regions are American, French, British in Western part and Russian in Eastern part which got united as united Berlin, Germany on 3rd October 1989. They still keep their influence on these regions. The abandoned or regenerated structures are the obvious evidence of this period. That creates colourful time travel between different cultures. That’s why there are 4 basic abandoned or regenerated structure examples from 4 different parts of the city to describe how divided and united Berlin. 

First of all, Teufelsberg is one of the most well-known signs of this face of the city. This abandoned field station sits on 80 meters artificial hill in the Grunewald forest on the British part of Berlin. This hill used for different aims such as once a Nazi military-technical college, for a while as a ski-hill, re-purposed by as a listening station by Americans to listen to Easter Berlin. The station was abandoned after the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9th November 1990. After that, there were plans to regenerated the place for commercial purposes. But now it is vandalized and attracting plenty of visitors every day. 

The second famous instance is Spreepark to describe the creepy and dreamy atmosphere of Berlin. It located in the eastern part of Berlin which is governed by Russian influenced the former GDR. This abandoned amusement park takes its name from Spree river because of its location next to the river. It opened as the VEB Kulturpark Plänterwald for the GDR’s 20th birthday on October 4, 1969. In 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of the end for the Kulturpark. Many investors and independent groups have tried to renovate and fix the Eastern German amusement park. They all failed. The park is still closed and waiting for its explorers. Entrance is forbidden because of the danger of old construction. But you can get a guided tour of the Internet.

Thirdly, The KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art is the regenerated art star of Neukölln district. The building is located in the American part of the Berlin. The Kindl, named after the popular beer that was brewed at the facility for 70 years. This Berlin brewery has swapped beers for artworks, becoming a new cultural hub. In October 2016, has presented to the international art society as extraordinary contemporary art space. In addition, this is a cultural venue for cross generations for multi purposes. Art exhibitions and events happen at this unusual characteristic structure. Admission is 5 Euro. Every first Sunday of the month is free.

Tempelhof is the last and most significant regenerated sign of the city to the world. This former airport turned into a gross urban park. It is located in the middle of Neukölln neighbourhood which stays in American governed part during the Cold War Era. In 2008 the airport was closed until 2010. The former airfield opened for the population to use as a recreational and leisure area. For example, many Berliners visit the park for chilling, BBQ, playing, biking, bird watching, skating, trekking, running… The escape point of urban life in the heart of the city. There are several projects currently successfully experimenting with artistic, gardening and social uses for the Tempelhofer Feld free space add to its diversity. Entrance is free.

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