The former airfield is an extraordinary combination of nature reserve, hiking trail and exercise park as well as an attraction for nature lovers and history buffs.
Aircraft were once built at Johannisthal, the European centre for aviation in the early 20th century. Ernst Grade, Melli Beese, Anthony Fokker, the Wright brothers and other pioneers designed and tested their innovative aircraft here. After civil aviation was moved to Tempelhof in 1923, Johannisthal was used during the Third Reich to build military equipment. It continued to be used for military purposes until the 1980s.
From military base to place for relaxation
You can barely recognize the park’s past in today’s nature reserve. Planes no longer land here. Instead, the flight and ground personnel are butterflies, bees, plants and many other species of flora and fauna worthy of protection.
Varied landscape design
Surrounded by stone walls, the almost 26 hectares of the former airfield form the nature reserve at the core of the park. A partially elevated trail goes around the nature reserve. It provides a view of the green zone and uses displays to teach about the history of the place and the animal and plant world, including articles on “botanical immigrants” such as Russian chamomile. The nature reserve is also one of the three main lark breeding areas in inner-city Berlin, which was a reason for its establishment as a nature reserve. Around the nature reserve are 30 “city zones” which make up the exercise park. Here are numerous green spaces for sport, play and leisure, including a skate park, a beach volleyball court, playgrounds and lawns. Some of the zones are dedicated to relaxing and discovering nature.