i was going to talk about poland for today’s travel tuesday. but i am in berlin and my mind is hopelessly submerged in all that is a berlin summer extended weekend. my trip to poland is finished and i had a wonderful time, but…. berlin is on the mind today. as well as trying to forget the polish i learned and try to transition to my german which has sat in a state of decay since my language classes wrapped up for the summer in late june. i actually had a situation where i said, “tak! er… ano! er… ja!” awkward central europe language problems. lord help me.
but i digress. today, i wanna talk about one of the great parks of berlin: tempelhofer feld, which is the huge park at tempelhof airport. there’s no other space quite like this anywhere else in the world, i’m sure. but first: a little background.
the name tempelhof was a tribute to the land on where the airport was constructed, previously belonging to the knights templar in the middle ages of berlin. originally constructed in 1927, it is well-known as the site of the berlin airlift in 1948-1949, providing the city with food and supplies during the soviet blockade of west berlin. in the nineties, berlin decided to consolidate into two airports instead of three (three is a little much, isn’t it? and a bit confusing) and tempelhof shut its doors forever in 2008. since then, the space of the old airfield and runways has been used for events, conventions, and eventually a full-blown park in 2010.
what to do with tempelhof seemed a bit of a controversial issue in this city, as it sprawls across a large chunk of land relatively near the city center. many wanted the area to be zoned for residential purposes in hopes to create more homes for ever-growing berlin. but for now that was struck down in a city-wide vote and tempelhofer feld happily remains a park… for now. (photo via)
and what a park it is. from the amount of people who were enjoying it (kite-boarding, biking, birthday parties, picnics) it was clear that berliners need and want a large sprawling outdoor space to do as they please with their leisure time. on a recent saturday, so many were enjoying a sunny afternoon here.
also of interest is the urban garden space that has sprung up, which makes for a nice wander or even a little break on one of the benches.
with a coffee cart, a free public loo, and a gated dog-run, you could easily while away a day here. alex had a nap. i napped and then gazed at kites and clouds. (with my new bright orange mop of hair– yep, i went orange)
but my favorite part of tempelhof is how the neukölln neighborhood to the east suddenly opens up on it, like you’ve reached the end of the world. take a west-bound stroll down oderstrasse and you’ll surely see what i mean. (below, main entrance on oderstrasse) rows of houses until nothing but sky. it’s such a trip!
do you have a favorite berlin park? for sentimental reasons i have one or two other small parks i love, but for all practical purposes, this one is fantastic. hoping it sticks around!
happy travel tuesday, y’all. and remember: new posts are still not occurring on bloglovin so look for me elsewhere for now.