Tempelhof Airport was designated as an airport in 1923, but it is well known for its significance in post-World War II Berlin. In 1948, Soviet authorities halted all traffic by land and water in and out of West Berlin and because West Berlin was surrounded by East Berlin and East Germany, residents needed another way to get food and other essential supplies. This was the start of the Berlin Airlift. For 11 months, a staggering number of flights flew in and out of the airport to bring food and necessities to West Berlin.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the city began using the airport with less frequency. Eventually it was closed and all aviation operations ceased in 2008. Today it functions as a huge park with the runways still in place, adding character. Locals come here to relax, have fun and exercise. There is a 3.7-mile (6 km) cycling, skating and jogging trail, as well as plenty of space for people to picnic and barbecue on sunny days. There’s a fenced-in area for dogs to play and an urban gardening section where people can grow their own vegetables and plants.
Tempelhof Airport is located in the south-central neighborhood of Tempelhof-Schöneberg in Berlin. The three entrances (Columbiadamm, Tempelhofer Damm and Oderstrasse) are open from sunrise to sunset. Tours of the airport buildings are available for a fee.