Ready for Takeoff
Berlin’s Legendary Tempelhof Airport has morphed into a “Feld” of recreation
Once the testing ground for Orville Wright’s pioneering aircrafts, the now-defunct runways of Tempelhof Airport are the testing ground for children’s chalk creations. Designed early into the 20th Century to be the largest air terminal of its day, the building—once called “the mother of all modern airports” by architect Norman Foster—has seen its share of history, not to mention World War II and Cold War turmoil.
In recent years, the airport’s grounds—now termed “Tempelhofer Feld”—have been cast in a far shinier light. The locale for such attractions as the Bread & Butter fashion tradeshow, the music-minded Berlin Festival, and the city marathon is also a primary gathering ground for joggers, gardeners, and picnicking families from the city center and beyond.
On a typical sunny day, you’ll find kids playing hopscotch (an upside to the expanse of concrete), teenagers dancing around boom boxes, and couples strolling through the flowerbeds. A beer garden, first established for the U.S. military during the Cold War, serves up frosty brews, and families can relax beside the hulking terminal, which thankfully casts a substantial, cooling shadow on hot summer days. “What’s more, you can skate, ride, run, or walk the complete length of the landing strip,” says Berlin mother of two, Kerstin Geffert. “And the surrounding views are truly fantastic.” —Lucie Alig
Photos by: Sean Gallup/Getty Images