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Berlin Guidefor vistors and residents
berlin.barwick.de & blog
Tempelhof (IATA code THF) was the smallest of Berlin's three airports, with mainly regional flights mostly using turboprop planes. Its location close to the centre of Berlin made it the most convenient airport, but it was finally closed in 2008, much to the relief of residents of the surrounding districts.
Tempelhof is one of the most famous examples of monumental Nazi archictecture. Built between 1936 and 1941 to designs by architect Ernst Sagebiel, it is impressive mostly for its sheer size. The main building consists of a quarter circle 1,200 metres long around one corner of the airfield, with hangars and gates all along the airfield side. A 100 metre long departure hall forms the symmetrical axis of the entire complex, linking the main entrance on Platz der Luftbrücke with the flight gate hall, a huge 400 metre long room with no central supports. On Platz der Luftbrücke office buildings, in a smaller quarter-circle mirroring the main building, flank the main entrance.
The facade is mainly reinforced concrete clad with shell limestone panelling and dominated by endless rows of windows. The outer edge of the main airport building is broken at 70 metre intervals by block-style double staircases. These were intended to give access to the roof, which doubles as a viewing stand, for spectators of airshows.
The main building is a short walk from Platz der Luftbrücke (not Tempelhof!) U-Bahn station on the U6. The section of Ringbahn between Tempelhof and Hermannstrasse provides a good view over the airfield from the south.
The former airfield itself has now been opened as the Tempelhof Park and is accessible to the public.
Platz der Luftbrücke (Station) (0.3 km), Hammett Krimibuchhandlung (0.7 km), Barcomi's - Kaffeerösterei & Deli (0.8 km), Another Country (Bookshop) (0.9 km), Tienda Latina Café (0.9 km), Der 7. Tibeter (1.0 km), Mehringdamm (Station) (1.2 km), Tempelhof (Station) (1.4 km), Yorckstraße (Station) (1.5 km)