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Inside 'devil's mountain,' a reclaimed Cold War spy station

Teufelsburg, one of Berlin's more offbeat tourist attractions, gets new lease of life as a street art destination and a cultural hub.

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Katie Collins, Andrew Hoyle
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Teufelsberg Field Station on the fringes of Berlin was used by the British and Americans during the Cold War to spy on the Soviet Union. It's now a tourist attraction covered in street art.

Warning: Some of the street art in these pictures contains language readers may find offensive.

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The station was abandoned by the NSA in the early nineties, and it took all its equipment and information with it.

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Classified reports are due to be released about what happened at the station in 2022.

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All we know at the moment is that around 1,500 spies worked here 24 hours a day over three shifts.

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Now Teufelsberg has been reclaimed by graffiti and street artists.

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The current landlord wants Teufelsberg to be a "natural cultural space."

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A regeneration project announced earlier this year will see electricity, running water, heating and windows put in.

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It will build on the artist's visits that already take place.

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Painting on the inside of Teufelsberg's highest dome.

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A piece of exercise equipment inside the station.

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Visitors must sign a disclaimer when they visit Teufelsberg as the site is rife with hazards.

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This tower was the first to be built and was analogue (the rest are digital).

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Art by Victoriano from Brazil.

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Nearly all of the site is accessible to visitors.

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Sculpture is also present alongside street art.

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The Teflon used to make the domes is delicate and has been damaged by vandalism.

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Teufelsberg is surrounded by the Grunewald Forest. In the distance is Lake Wannsee.

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Berlin's Olympic stadium is visible from the uppermost window of the tallest tower.

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Visitors pay 8 euros to gain entrance to Teufelsberg.

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There is a small bar and gardens for people to chill out in.

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Many of the artworks contain a political message.

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Each artist contributes to the project in their own unique way.

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The domes were designed to let information in, but not out, as well as to disguise the equipment underneath.

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Teufelsberg, which means "devil's mountain," is actually the name of the man-made hill on which the Field Station sits. However, it's surrounded by forest, making it hard to spot from a distance. 

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Bee hives.

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Views stretch far and wide across the surrounding countryside.

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The NSA left behind very minimal equipment.

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Visitors must pay an extra 7 euros to take photos on the site.

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Getting there involves a 30-minute walk from one of the nearby S-bahn stations.

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Outside is a makeshift bar, with relaxation areas and a ping pong table.

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Each triangle used to construct the domes is a different size. Fitting them together is a complex mathematical problem.

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Most of the high-up vantage points now have railings installed.

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Artwork by Nick Flatt.

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The current landlord wants the station to be a place of relaxation.

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There are four domes in total at Teufelsberg.

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Nyika Mukada is an artist and tour guide working at the listening station.

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Sometimes jam sessions are held in the uppermost dome.

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Wherever you go, you will stumble upon surprising artworks.

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Parts of the site are very overgrown.

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It's worth going to Teufelsberg for the incredible views of Berlin.

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