Quarter of Berlin
|o Total||12.2 km2 (4.7 sq mi)|
|Elevation||50 m (160 ft)|
|o Density||4,500/km2 (12,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
(nr. 0703) 12101, 12103, 12105, 12109, 12099, 12279
Tempelhof (help·info) is a locality of Berlin within the borough of Tempelhof-Schöneberg. It is the location of the former Tempelhof Airport, one of the earliest commercial airports in the world. It is now deserted and shows as a blank spot on maps of Berlin. Attempts are being made to save the still-existing buildings.
The Tempelhof locality is located in the south-central part of the city. Before Berlin's 2001 administrative reform, the area of Tempelhof, together with the localities of Mariendorf, Marienfelde, and Lichtenrade, constituted a borough of its own, also called Tempelhof. These localities grew from historic villages on the Teltow plateau founded in the early 13th century in the course of the German Ostsiedlung.
Tempelhove was first mentioned in a 1247 deed issued at the Walkenried Abbey as a Komturhof (commander's court, the smallest holding entity of a military order) of the Knights Templar whose leadership and many fellow knights had been expelled from the Kingdom of Jerusalem on its downfall in 1291. The centre of the settlement, consisting of the church and the original estate, was fortified and originally completely surrounded by water. The Templars were joined by fifteen families of landless farmers' sons from the Rhine, who could not inherit any estate from their parents because of over-fragmentation of those estates. Legates of the Templars offered them fertile soil and the protection of Tempelhove's stronghold.
After Pope Clement V officially abolished the Order of the Temple in 1312, the knights of Saint John (the Johanniter), backed by Margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg, took over the villages of Tempelhof, Mariendorf, and Marienfelde. In 1435, they sold their estates to the city of Berlin.
In the early nineteenth century, Tempelhof was still a village outside Berlin proper and was the site of country excursions for the citizens of Berlin. The northern parts of Tempelhof were incorporated as Berlin's Tempelhofer Vorstadt in 1861 and in 1920 became part of the Kreuzberg borough.
Today, the former commandry (German: Komturei) is a chain of parks, called Bosepark, Kleiner Park, Alter Park, and Franckepark. Some of them still have ponds that were part of the artificial moat surrounding the village's center. One, the Krummer Pfuhl, located in the Franckepark, after being turned into public swimming baths in the nineteenth century, has completely dried out and is now an enclosed deer park.
The Tempelhof Studios were established in 1912 and functioned as film and later television studios.