Tempelhof Airport (closed) Zentralflughafen
At one time the area of the present Tempelhof airport in Berlin's Tempelhof district was a military training ground. In 1883 the Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin experimented here with two unpowered biplanes, but his attempts to fly failed because of high winds. In 1908 the brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved the first powered flight here (19 minutes).In 1923 the airport began to operate for civil flights, and was extended in subsequent years, notably between 1936 and 1939 by the architect Ernst Sagebiel in the typical Nazi monumental style.After the Second World War Tempelhof was taken over by the American military government as a military airport, and was not returned to civil use until 1950. In the following year the new Tempelhof Central Airport was brought into operation, and in 1962 the present terminal building, measuring 100 m/330ft by 50 m/165ft and 17 m/56ft high, was opened. Since 1975 Berlin's civil air traffic has been handled by Tegel Airport, because Tempelhof's situation within the city area made it impossible to contemplate any extension of the runways. In the years that followed, Tempelhof was used by the American authorities. In October 1986 a civil flight was inaugurated from Tempelhof to Dortmund, and since the reunification of Berlin Tempelhof has increased in importance and there are plans to extend it as Berlin's regional airport for local flights.
Transit: U-Bahn: Platz der Luftbrucke (U6); Bus: 104, 119, 184, 341.
In the Platz der Luftbrücke in front of the main entrance to Berlin's Tempelhof Airport stands the Air-Lift Memorial, commemorating the Berlin Blockade of 1948-49 and the Allied air- lift that brought in supplies to the beleaguered city. From June 1948 to May 1949 the air-lift, organized by the American generals Clay and Wedemeyer, provided Berlin with the necessities of life and defeated the Russian blockade of the city. The monument, designed by Eduard Ludwig in 1951 and known by Berliners as the "Hungerkralle" (Claw of Hunger), stands 20m/65ft high. with three towering arches looking towards the west and symbolizing the three air corridors which linked Berlin with West Germany during the Soviet blockade. These flights, often dangerous, had to be made blind along air corridors only 32km/20mi wide, and involved 222 American, 110 British and 48 other aircraft. The operations resulted in the death of 77 men, including 41 British, 31 Americans and five Berliners. During the eleven months of the blockade 250,000 flights were made and 2,300,000 tons of supplies delivered. In 1986 a similar memorial was erected on the American section of the Rhein-Main Airport near Frankfurt am Main. It can be seen from the "Zeppelheim" exit from the A5 motorway.
Map of Berlin Attractions