shu and joe

Teufelsberg

Published on June 11, 2008

Post-WWII, millions of cubic meters of rubble were plowed into piles, covered with dirt and left to developing a shroud of greenery. Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) is one such hill—the tallest in Berlin—with a pretty fascinating history. One of the highlights is undoubtedly the NSA audio monitoring center that the US government built on top of the mountain to spy on the Russian and East Germany military. The facility was abandoned after German reunification and sold to a private developer in 1996. The plan was to offer luxury apartments, a resort and a spy museum, but the Berlin bubble put an end to that vision. Large geodesic domes that once protected listening instruments are still intact at the building site, and contribute to an awfully scenic rooftop.

On our visit, we were fortunate to meet up with a park caretaker who showed us around the site and informed us of the latest turn in the history of Teufelsberg: the site was recently purchased by David Lynch, who plans to develop the site into a campus for the study of Transcendental Meditation. Far out. But there’s more.

Lynch apparently announced his purchase and plan for the TM University at a news conference in Berlin last November. At the announcement his German guru, Emanuel Schiffgens, began chanting “We want an invincible Germany!” and asked the crowd to join in. Obviously, the rhetoric incited some disdain from the audience (video here). Yikes – Lynch had better read the transcript before joining the next TM junket.

Filed under: Architecture, Berlin
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