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Eagle and lion barracks

​​ Everyone who leaves Berlin-Spandau on the four-lane B5 drives past this striking barracks complex, which is opposite the Olympic village. I checked out the site before the Erdbeerhof started building apartments there over the next few years. The buildings had already been gutted at the end of 2020 and many non-listed buildings were demolished. Even so, the remaining buildings were architecturally interesting. The many ornate archways, the pillared buildings and the multi-story lion tower are still worth seeing.

The two-part complex was built in 1935/36, the last tracts were completed in 1939/40. Both barracks got their name from the large animal sculptures that stood at the entrance area - the lion and the eagle. While the Löwen-Kaserne originally served the infantry training regiment, horse-drawn units were housed in the Adler-Kaserne. As early as 1910, the Döberitz airfield with a flying school was laid out on the neighboring area, which was to become important for the first military flight use in Germany. Döberitz is thus the place of origin of the German air force. The air base was part of the military training area. The airfield was used for training pilots and paratroopers.

Up until 1945, modern combat units were trained on the military training area and set up in units. Above all, the sandy, dry soil of the heathland made the military training area ideal for testing armored weapons.

After the Second World War, it was used as a refugee camp for a short time and the Red Army took over the area in 1947. Up to 20,000 soldiers were housed there until 1992 and continued to use the training area. Flight operations were stopped in 1960 due to technical problems and relocated to Oranienburg.

The demolished former airfield and part of the military training area are managed by the Heinz Sielmann Foundation as a game reserve or nature reserve. The barracks was the end of 2018 to the adjacent strawberry Erlebnishof sold , intending to build a theme park here.

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