Teufelsberg means "Devil's Mountain" in German. Though named after Teufelsee, the not-especially-devilish lake to the south of the hill, the mound itself was made from the WW2 rubble that was cleared out of Berlin continuously for 20 years after the war. The spy tower at the top of the hill was built in the early 60s by the NSA to be used as a "listening station" in West Berlin. In the 90s, after the Wall came down, there was then talk of preserving the structure as a spy museum. David Lynch even tried to buy the property at one point to turn into a meditation retreat. Now it's private property, and the property managers give officially unofficial tours every weekend (likely, without the owner's permission).
These images were taken during a photo excursion I made to Teufelsberg in late October, my third attempt getting to the top. The first time was last April with my cousin JD. We climbed through three holes in three barbed-wire-topped fences, and got caught on our way to the top. I refused to pay, playing the "journalist/photographer" card, and was taken down to the master's lair to plead my case. That experience is worth its own blog post actually, but ultimately I was escorted off the property without having to pay but without seeing the roof. The second attempt was in September, and I invited too many friends to join me this time. There were 6-8 of us, planning to picnic at the top in the sunshine. Unfortunately, the holes in the fence had long since been patched up and the fence was impenetrable. I was willing to pay to get in, but by then we'd already missed the last tour of the day. So instead we had a picnic at the top of the hill, then went home without having seen the rooftop again. Third attempt, I gladly paid 7 euro for the hour-long tour of the property. Incredible views, interesting structures, some pretty amazing graffiti art as well.