Germany’s First Airport – Flugplatz Berlin – Johannisthal

Berlin and Germany’s very first Airport, this was on my list of explores for a long time, such history in this old place, from the old Airship days of the 1900s.

Now all of the old runways have gone and its a very large public park .so there isn’t much left to see of this site before its gone forever, building work is going on all around in the area. Finding the old airfield was very easy after a very long walk, I knew that it was getting close because of some of the old buildings still in use by various companies.

As I got further in to the place there was many old empty buildings, as I walked on came to some big gates that was open,
So I walked in and started looking around for about 10 minutes or so and all of a sudden a white van came flying around the corner, and out jumps one he’ll of a angry security guard, shouting at me forbidden forbidden and to get out in German.

He was not very pleased to see me, so I told him to go and do one and I left the place. this made me more determined to go back there again a few days later.


A few days later I was back to have another crack at getting into the place walking around the place, I found a gap in a fence and squeezed through, I had seen pictures of the old DDR watch tower and wanted to find it, there was many old aircraft hangers and a few trashed buildings to look around.

Walking around looking for the tower, I could not see it anywhere walking around for about 15 minutes, and there it was the old DDR watch tower, looking very much out of place next to a building, I think maybe used to look out for air craft.


The Johannisthal Air Field, located 15┬ákm southeast of Berlin, between Johannisthal and Adlershof, was Germany’s first airfield. It opened on 26 September 1909, a few weeks after the world’s first airfield at Rheims, France.

Known as the birthplace of heavier-than-air flight in Germany, Johannistal was Berlin’s primary airport until the Tempelhofer Field was developed in the 1920s.

Johannistal was the field from which Germany’s first commercial flights took off; and numerous aviation pioneers operated workshops there, including Anthony Fokker.

Later the area became known as Adlershof, and before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, it was closed to the public. The former airport was used by the National People’s Army as a military training ground; while the Academy of Sciences of the GDR (with 14 natural science-technical institutions and six service centres) employed approximately 5,500 scientists and technicians.


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