Teufelsberg: An Insider's Guide to Devil's Mountain

Megan King

As part of Culture Trip’s curious world series, the team headed to Berlin to discover Teufelsberg, a former US spy station-turned-Cold War relic built on the debris of World War II.

Everyone knows that Berlin is a flat city—yet one mysterious mountain towards the western end on the city seems to stand out. This is Teufelsberg—also known as Devil’s Mountain, an artificial hill literally built on the ruins of history.

Located in the northern part of Grunewald forest, the slope is made from an estimated 12 million cubic meters (just over 42 million cubic feet) of Nazi war rubble that the allies were unable to destroy after the Second World War. This includes the debris of nearly half a million bombed houses. Every day, around 80 truckloads of broken concrete was collected, mostly by local women, and brought to the site, which stands at around 120 meters (394 feet) above sea level. These women became known as Trümmerfrauen—or ‘rubble women’—due to the nature of their work.

Eventually, a complex was built, which became the place where American and British spies went to gather information on Russian-controlled East Germany. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, the station was abandoned in 1992. It was later bought by developers, who in 1996 attempted to transform the site into luxury apartments. Thankfully, spiralling costs prevented this from happening.

Teufelsburg’s future is still unclear, with rumours that it’ll become a fully functional creative space or a venue for parties. It is still privately owned, and hoards of people come each day to explore the space, which is full of rotating graffiti artworks and incredible views.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article