I Spy With My Little Eye, Tech Ruins

The Most Interesting Hill In The World

Exploring Abandoned Teufelsberg

Teufelsberg might just be the most interesting hill in the world. Located near Berlin, it’s a man-made hill that stands about 80 m above the surrounding terrain. It was built by Allied forces after WW2 and is made of the debris from approximately 400,000 buildings cleared out during the rebuilding of Berlin. That, however, isn’t very unusual. Many European cities have man-made hills on their outskirts where post-war debris was dumped during rebuilding.

It’s what’s under and on top of this hill that make it most interesting.

An old abandoned cold war NSA listening post on the outskirts of Berlin

Teufelsberg is reportedly built atop a Nazi military technical college designed by Albert Speer himself. The Allies at first tried destroying the building with explosives in an effort to erase the Nazi influence on Germany. The building was so sturdy, though, that the explosives failed. They found it easier to bury it than to eradicate it.

Now we turn our sights to the top of the hill. Sitting triumphantly over the ruins of a former enemy, is a radar installation. This isn’t just any radar installation. This one was used by the National Security Administration to listen to Soviet, East German and other Warsaw Pact communications.

During the 1950s, the Americans and British were looking for a place where they could set up a listening station in West Berlin. They tried a variety of locations until a group of Americans walked up Teufelsberg and found it to be the best point possible. Located in the British sector, it was solidly in non-Soviet territory. The Americans then built a large installation with various radomes and antennae, quite possibly as part of the ECHELON project. It remained in service until the end of the Cold War.

So, there you have it. A hill atop a Nazi war college and with an American cold war relic atop it.

Go here to see the full set from Eddie Codel on Flickr.

[Image Credits: Eddie Codel on Flickr]

  • The Professor

    I was just reading something about Teufelsberg the other day, I can't remember where (typical). It partially answered a question that I've had for a long time, which is "what did they do with all of the rubble from the bombed out cities in Europe?". I also didn't know how thoroughly the allies worked to erase every vestige of the Nazi regime. They really wanted it gone.

  • raphaelinberlin

    It's really easy to get into the facility, but sadly I never went past the fences when I was there – one of my regrets

  • Mad_Hungarian

    The name means "Devil's Mountain."

  • craigsu

    Oh great, now I've got Jezza's voice stuck in my head.

  • Alff

    … after being encased for 65 years, zombie Nazi student-soldiers arise from their tomb.