Another fascinating tour we enjoyed thanks to the group leaders of Wilkommen in Berlin’s UKNOWN BERLIN group leaders, Karla and Sonny! We had a special tour of one of the 3 antiaircraft or “Flak” towers Hitler ordered to be constructed in 1940 to defend Berlin from enemy aircrafts. The tower we visited in Humbolthain Park in Gesundbrunnen is the only remaining tower that is not completely destroyed because after the war the rest were razed to the ground. This is an underground tour because the tower was covered up in soil. We were lucky to be the first group to be led to the 3rd floor which was newly cleared up. Photoblog of the group and the few photos that I could take inside (with special permission from the conservation group, Berliner Ulterwelten E.V.) in a tour of one of the biggest blunkers in the city after the jump!
We met bright and early in the U-Bahn Station near the booth for the Berliner Unterwelten. Everyone was asked to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes that are made for walking. I definitely recommend hiking boots because there is a lot of rubble and climbing that you go through. And don’t wear shoes that you don’t want scuffed and dirty. Ballet flats and other impractical shoes aren’t allowed inside for safety reasons.
Once we paid for the tour we walked up the artificial hill. The autumn scenery was breathtaking.
The entrance is on a higher floor of the bunker because the bunker was buried in tons of dirt and rubble. They explained that for safety reasons we needed to wear safety helmets and also provided were covering for the head for sanitary reasons.
How convenient! Picture taking inside is strictly prohibited because it’s entirely possible for someone to fall and get hurt because they are too busy taking pictures to look at where they are stepping. This tour can be dangerous (it’s a long fall down) if the necessary precautions, like proper attire and no-picture-taking guidelines aren’t followed. The President of the Berlin Underground group was nice enough to grant us special permission to take a photo by the stairs to the third floor, which had just opened. In the past only 2 floors were open for tours because their conservation group is slowly clearing the rubble and securing the areas to be safe enough for people to enjoy tours.
I highly recommend this underground tour. It was very interesting and the tour guide had a wealth of information to share. The Underground Berlin group had very little to work with because many of the documentation related to the construction and destruction of these towers were burned. However they travelled far and wide to obtain the information their share on the tour. The members of this conservation group are very passionate about uncovering, conserving and learning as much as they can about these historical underground sites. You can tell just by listening to the guide talk. I most definitely want to take TD when the tours for the Flak Towers restart again next year, because during winter this tower is a protected sanctuary for different species of bats.
Outside the structure, wall climbing Berliner buffs have found a way to challenge themselves! Cool!
On the way back down, we couldn’t help but take pictures with the gorgeous autumn scenery.
I also purchase a book on the Underground Tour for only 5 €. This and the tour fees help this wonderful group in their efforts to restore these historical sites.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures!
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