Hiking Teufelsberg In Berlin: Abandoned History & Street Art

Teufelsberg literally means “Devil’s Mountain” in German.

Teufelsberg Berlin
FACEBOOK Teufelsberg Berlin

It seems somewhat mystically appropriate, because it used to be an American spy tower during the Cold War. Before that, it was a Nazi training institution. Set in the forest and surrounded by barbed wire fences, it is hard to even find, let alone sending inviting vibes to a tourist.

What a lot of tourists also don’t know is that it is one of the hidden gems of Berlin’s famous street art scene. The East Side Gallery and even the famous squat Tacheles have become typical tourist stops, but not many have heard of the Teufelsberg art. This is mainly because it served as a dump for rebuilding efforts after the Cold War, and was illegal to get into.

When I hiked through the forest to try and get a peek at the abandoned spy towers, we had already joined with other travelers who were German. They too were trying to jump the barbed wire fence—little did we know that all you had to do was pay five Euros to enter on the other side of the property.

Though it is clear that this location will soon be overrun with tourists, it has held out long enough to maintain its “creepiness”. With its abandoned towers and buildings, gritty broken glass, and exhausted spray cans, it truly holds a unique atmosphere. It’s a place to wander quietly at your own pace, just like a museum with no “do not touch” lines.  I can’t possibly give any description of the shredded but defiant quality of the area. Perhaps pictures can begin to do so.

It is clear that the street artists have created these raw beautiful murals simply because of their love of art and painting. Paired with the open structures, you can switch between looking at the creations of Germans and other inspired individuals and the incredible view of Berlin. Never before had I felt so lucky to be a benefactor of space and time, since I had never dreamed of coming to a place so unique. It is a place that I will never forget. It was an experience that taught me the benefits of exploring the world, saying yes without reservations, and remembering that there is always something out there that hasn’t been discovered yet.

Article written by AJ Kiyoizumi.

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