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The Airport That Changed Europe

Tempelhof embodies everything that is Berlin.

lundi 23 janv., Il y a 11 mois
 5 min

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There is no better place to feel the weight of history and the heady energy of one of Europe's most free-thinking and lively cities than Tempelhof.

It may be hard to imagine many places where a morning jog or a Sunday picnic can transport you to the abandoned runways and sprawling tarmac of a former airfield; but that is exactly what Tempelhof, the 953-acre airport-turned-public park offers.The site has become a mainstay for Syrian asylum seekers playing football outside a World War II-era terminal or picnicking families next to Cold War-era aeroplanes.

Tempelhof, as the former airport was called and how most Berliners still refer to the site, has had a pivotal role in some of the greatest crests and troughs of European history. In a city that is always becoming and never being, Tempelhof is where the city's past, present and future converge. It is emblematic of Berlin, a city where people come to stare history in the face, to touch the wall of concrete that cleaved the world in two, to bask in the city's unbridled nonchalence and to feel its pulse; an intoxicating experience that is a must-see for many.

Thousands of people descend on the park everyday, creating a diverse neighbourhood out of thin air, consisting of residents from every walk of life conceivable - from tough Berliners to refugees to Turkish families to harried flatmates looking for a bit of fresh air. The place is not just a historical site, it has become a space for sub-cultural practices and other marks of diversity as well as a haven for birds that nest nowhere else in the area.

The vastness of the site produces an overwhelming sense of space, a feeling that lures and inspires people who are eager for room to play.

Source: BBC Travel

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