One of the most iconic cold war era buildings in Europe, Berlin Tempelhof airport waved farewell to eighty five years of aviation history with a final departure in 2008. Replaced as the German capital’s primary air transport hub by the more up to date Schönefeld, Tempelhof has avoided the bulldozer due to listed building status.
While the impressive terminal building remains intact and providing space for many new projects, town planners were sensible enough to open the sprawling airstrip as a public park. Following 60m worth of investment, the Tempelhofer Feld opened in 2009 and welcomed more than 200,000 visitors in its opening weekend. While the park remains a vast oasis of tranquility in the city, what’s really notable is the development of football within its confines.
With dozens of free to use large and small pitches available to all comers, the park has become a magnet for hundreds of locals to take part in ready to go 5, 7 and 11 a side matches. With a large immigrant community in the area, the universal language of football has spoken and led to integration between many different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.