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PHOTOS: The story of the historic Tempelhof Airport in Berlin

tempelhof  airport berlin germany

Berlin is a city full of abandoned buildings with long and troublesome histories. But one building has been through more turmoil than most: Tempelhof Airport.

The colossal airport straddles Neukölln and Tempelhof — neighbourhoods approximatelty 4km south of the city's centre.

The airport's main building was once one of the largest structures in Europe and it was crowned "the mother of all airports" by British architect Norman Foster.

Tempelhof has been used to test some of the world's first aircraft, house WWII prisoners, and give the people of West Berlin a vital lifeline to the outside world during the Cold War. It's also been used to film movies such as "The Hunger Games," "The Bourne Supremacy," and "Bridge of Spies," as well as the occassional illegal rave.

Despite efforts from around 500 protestors and a majority voting in a referendum to keep it open, the airport officially closed on October 30, 2008.

Today, the airport is used for car races, big exhibitions, concerts, fashion shows, and festivals, while the old administration offices are being turned into workspaces for creative people and educational institutions.

We went on a tour of the airport with tour guide Celine Gilly:

Tempelhof Airport was built by the Nazis on the site of a much smaller existing airport between 1936 and 1941. It's huge.

After the Nazis took power, they set about redesigning the city of Berlin. Tempelhof was designed to to wow visitors to the new Third Reich capital of Germania. It represents the monumental thinking behind Nazi architecture and it's a landmark in civil engineering.

Today, large parts of the airport are derelict, including the former departures hall.

Long, empty corridors that would have been used by Hitler's henchman and subsequently international passengers now feel eerily quiet.

See the rest of the story at INSIDERSource: This is Insider

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