Farewell TXL – So Long Tegel Airport

No more TXL. Ever. Anybody who has ever landed at Tegel Airport will certainly remember. We will miss you with all your glorious hexagonalness and strange 70s charme. “Otto Lilienthal” was Germany’s 4th largest airport and famous for it’s unusual shape.

Walking through an empty airport is certainly an eerie experience. The sonambiente festival enabled a last celebration of a Berlin landmark. Of course, there was some art, too. The public address system with more than 1000 loudspeakers was used to fill the halls with sounds. You could listen to Blixa Bargeld performing his piece hexagon, a mix of strange announcements and boarding calls to imaginary places.

We took the first time slot on a Friday morning, so no artsy hipster crowd just yet and most of the people around us were true Berliners actually saying goodbye. Okay, and some people with rather fancy cameras. (I should book a class with Jürgen Herschelmann to learn how to get the most out of my pictures. So can you!)

If old hospitals hold the energy of people long gone, what lives in the halls of Tegel Airport?

Didn’t part of you always want to stand on the conveyor? Well, I can cross this off my list.

Farewell Tegel. The airport you land, and no steps are ready for the plane. A place where you might not collect your luggage cause you were talking and before you knew it, you were out of the security area. The airport you could rock up 2 and a half hours before your flight, not knowing, if you will actually make it on time. A place where you never knew if you were lining up for the bathroom or the check-in. The airport where I drove a friend nearly crazy with my faux French accent cause we were flying to Brussels, obviously, for New Years Eve, as you did life BC.

TXL, how you made us run in circles! All the hellos and goodbyes. All the tears we’ve cried.

What are your TXL stories?

Flughafen Berlin Tegel

Thanks for flying with be kitschig! Happy online traveling!

Farewell Colosseum

Postcards from Lieberose Heath

Sunrise at the abandoned resort

Colors of Fall

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44 thoughts on “Farewell TXL – So Long Tegel Airport

  1. Great photos / post – thanks for your memories. I never used it… Schönefeld was (or seemed) cheaper..in the early 80s..

  2. Seems so odd to me. Because airports aren’t just buildings, they are runways and flight patterns and so many other things. I am really confused by this. In most places I have been here in the United States the airports are in a constant state of construction. Seriously, I think some have never NOT been having some construction done. It looks like it was a lovely airport.

    1. I’m not sure, but I think the idea may have been that Berlin doesn’t need three airports. So we have one big one now with INTERNATIONAL flights! The old structures are being used or redeveloped, respectively. In a way, that’s kinda the same. Berlin is one big construction site 🙂

      1. Ahhh, so it HAD three and it just closing one. I thought it was closing one and opening a new one and I was amazed that there was runway room elsewhere in the area! Thank you for helping me understand!

    1. It outgrew its purpose. Towards the end, it was so growded you only saw people, not the airport itself.
      Shame that 70s architecture won’t have a revival any time soon …

  3. I’m glad they’re going to repurpose the building. It’s too interesting to tear down.
    Walking through an empty airport, that must have been an experience!

    1. You could really hear your footsteps echo! Very, very strange … Without people you also saw how the hexagonal theme was used for the entire building 🙂

  4. Will it be torn down? It always seems such a waste to me? Can’t they find another use to all the equipment? All well? I hope your summer went well?

    1. The turn it into a technological park with lots of research. Part of the Technical Uni will move there and they plan a big park & appartments (that no one I know will probably be able to afford …) So, a huge project. Let’s see how long they’ll need to finish this 😉
      My summer was fun, thanks! Not the best weather and we made it as far as Dresden (which is a good 3 hours away). But it was fun to live without restrictions for a while! How have you been?

      1. Research and Uni are good. Now overpriced appartments? Universal trend.
        Gald you had a goos summer. A shame about the weather. Paris was lousy weather. very changing.

      2. Trendy? Rent? I always thought paying I’d rather get a credit to buy than pay rent. And fortunately I don’t rent in Berlin, where I understand rent is exploding. (I should have bought a flat in Berlin a few years ago, as I briefly thought about it.) 😉
        Do you rent?

      3. With trendy I meant your market research expertise 🙂
        Of course we’re renting. Since we lived in Australia for a while we’re not proud owners of an old rental contract. Some of our friends live in twice the space for less money … I’ve just talked to a Doctor (!), Kids moved out and he can’t afford a smaller place cause it would be too expensive.
        Damn you should’ve. I’d rent it 🤔

      4. Oh, you should’ve. Certainly still an investment! I’ll spare you the details, cause A really complex and B very likely really subjective 🙂

    1. Ha ha, you would know! I roughly remember flying … There’s nothing like flying Swiss and landing in Tegel. That made TXL look even worse …

  5. I especially like the design in the 5th and6th photos. Funny how they put the big X over the covid test sign. The entire place is spotless! Millions of stories live in the buildings now. Yes, I have always wanted to take a ride on the conveyor belt. 😀

    1. Hi there, those belts are funny. One probably wants to stand on it simply cause the signs tell you not to! It was not moving though 🙁
      It would make for fun installations having people tell their TXL stories!

    1. They will use the buildings for a tech hub (the website is throwing some pretty fancy terms around) but it looks like 200 ha are planned for nature & recreation.
      Ah, Tempelhof was a pretty interesting airport as well. They’ve used it for all sorts of things since it closed. It’s amazing that in a big city like Berlin there are constantly new big spots of land repurposed. Constant change

  6. Oh, no. (I was going to put in some “clever” twist about “Collapsing ‘Old’ Buildings” except I read up on it, and it seems like they are preserving the airport’s iconic structures? Here’s hoping they do/they have!

    1. It seems so strange! Our new airport finally opened but with recent life it’s not like you would get to go … They are turning the old one into some tech center. Come to think of it, the structure would probably survive a nuclear bomb 🙂

      1. I love old buildings and things…new construction here is often very flimsy…so it probably would! (P.S. I figured you got my reference to one of Blixa Bargeld’s music projects back in the day…)

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