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From the Rubble of World War Two began project ‘Teufelsburg’ – translated as Devil’s Mountain, the spy tower built by the US with compliance from Britain to hack and transfer USSR intelligence Built in nineteen fifty five, Teufelsburg represented a hostile epoch in the Cold War era. Stepping out of the train station began a twenty minute walk to the top of devil’s mountain, entering the security checkpoint we were open to roam the space occupying the tower, left abandoned and decorated with art


As we explored the second floor, we came across the only room present, an enclave upon a floor littered with cracks and holes. The room was an attempt by a local businessman in nineteen ninety seven to transform Teufelsburg into a multifunctional hotel and company enterprise – with the addition of a spy museum. Followed were protests and demonstrations to halt plans for the commercialisation of one of the many iconic symbols not only of Berlin, but the Cold War. Coupled with the spiralling costs of construction, the resistance movement proved a success In two thousand and four the tower was declared part of the nature landscape within the park, halting potential construction or demolition. However with urban regeneration flooding the city, the tower’s future remains turbulent


A bid was placed in two thousand and eight for the site to become a college for meditation and yoga; Happiness College, that would become home to over one thousand students. The proposed bid was eventually turned down Prior to the tower’s existence, the surrounding area was ideal for skiing slopes and .was frequented by skiers and snowboarders – a pastime still continuing today


Sounds of crisp, crunching footsteps harmonise with the fluttering remains of the tower’s sheet overcoat to produce an eery, sombre tone. Stepping out onto the floor; no roof or wall defending off the bitter winds upon us – complimenting the tone and .fitting to the original era it represents


The final ascent to the top floor of Teufelsburg was the finale of the tour and a unique opportunity to surround ourselves in the enclosed dome at the highest point on the mountain. The dome is home to exclusive acoustics as tones run around the curvatures of the wall and ceiling – as if celestial bodies are whispering around the dome


Final Remark Since the area of Teufelsburg was brought out by a private businessman – and after unsuccessful attempts to regenerate, the area remains abandoned. However the owner has leased the site out to another group, called ‘Berlin Sight Out’ that provides tours of Teufelsburg for a price: fifteen euros. The site is securitised by gating and guards. I suspect privatising the site ensures no liability on the owners, as we were asked to sign a waiver form – much of the site had no walls on the upper tiers and holes gaping though floors. When asked why the site has become profiteered, they :respond Lately we often hear complaints why Devil›s Mountain is“ «commercialized» and why the illegal entry would be punishable by open holes in the fence so strictly by security guards. Since May two thousand and twelve, two dedicated artists who leased the land from .the owners Guarding the building and protection against vandalism, metal“ theft, accidents and arson is paid primarily by your entrance fees. Your visit to a legal guide aids the preservation of historic buildings and the monuments” and latterly confirming the site is technically a .’‘construction site Nonetheless, there is a profound paradoxical outcome the site will eventually rest at – needless to say ironic. Profits made go to the company that own the site, who endeavour to convert Teufelsburg into flash hotels, restaurants and museums. Attraction and curiosity to the site ultimately leads to its death. This process can be seen all around Berlin, East to West – touristification and gentrification are .prominent words uttered in the streets of Berlin The timing of our visit is fortunate; whilst Teufelsburg will not be returned to its former state, its architecture, its graffiti art, unique acoustics and its historical relevance remain an ever-present within .the area it encompasses


Teufelsburg  

Teufelsburg

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