An abandoned spy station where secret agents eavesdropped on the Soviet Union has now become a gigantic canvas for street artists.
Those brave enough to climb the “Teufelsberg” in Berlin have added a splash of color to the crumbling concrete structure.
It’s hard to believe that Teufelsberg was once home to American and British secret service agents snooping behind the Iron Curtain.
At the height of the Cold War, the 80-meter-high artificial hill served as an ideal vantage point for monitoring Soviet communications.
State-of-the-art listening towers stood on a pile of World War II rubble that was transported from the German capital to Grunewald.
An unfinished Nazi military-technical college is buried beneath the unnatural hill, which only adds to the horror in the region.
The US National Security Agency built one of its largest listening stations on the Teufelsberg in 1963.
Rotating antenna domes, called “Berlin’s spheres” by locals because of their shape, picked up even the quietest Soviet whispers.
The bulbous white spheres, thanks to their incredible design, helped reveal the secrets of the Communist bloc to US and British spies.
The ominous spheres were a complex puzzle of Teflon triangles, each carefully arranged to create the perfect shape.
The golf ball-like domes were inflated by internal air compressors to counteract the strong winds that plague Teufelsberg.
Signals between East Berlin and the Soviets were intercepted, transcribed and translated by spies at the historic headquarters.
Christopher McLarren, a U.S. Army veteran turned Devil’s Mountain tour guide, described the site as “kind of a warning post.”
He explained: “We had to gather as much information as possible to find out whether the Soviets or the Warsaw Pact were plotting against us.”
Their efforts were aided by an unlikely ally – a Ferris wheel built each year as part of the annual German-American Festival.
The fairground ride strangely helped relay signals and improve the quality of their interception efforts, prompting the U.S. to ask whether it could stay around for a while after the festivities ended.
Although Teufelsberg is a top secret spy base, this did not stop the Germans from making the most of the steep slopes.
A huge ski jump with a capacity for 5,000 spectators was built there in 1962 and it became a renowned recreational area.
A million trees have been planted at Devil’s Mountain, providing privacy for ghosts while bringing some life to the area.
But after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Teufelsberg once again became an abandoned ghost town.
The NSA got rid of all of the listening station’s equipment and cleared out the key spy point, leaving only the building and Berlin’s balls.
Investors talked about turning the base into a spy museum, but the plans never came to fruition.
Instead, it fell into disrepair and was ravaged by the elements for decades – until a new generation gave it a new purpose.
Although the headquarters is privately owned and isolated from the surrounding forest, it is now one of the largest graffiti galleries in Europe.
Inspired by the colorful history, street artists have created a series of colorful murals, political cartoons and colorful doodles.
The listening towers, left to decay, have become a never-ending art project for spray painters from all over the world.
The walls, full of Cold War secrets, are now defaced with scribbles, while the radomes, which had enviable acoustics, are missing more than a few of their Teflon triangles.
However, it is still an incredible place to enjoy the views of the Berlin skyline.
The Teufelsberg has now become a tourist attraction for history buffs with a penchant for art.