Administrative district (Bezirk) in southern Berlin, resulting from the union of four communities (Lichtenrade, Marienfelde, Mariendorf and Tempelhof) during the
creation of Greater Berlin in 1920; population ca. 189000 (June 2000). The original commune of the same name is believed to have been founded by the Knights Templar in the early 13th century. The first mention of a name resembling "Tempelhof" occurs in documents dating back to 1290.
Tempelhof is perhapd best known for being the site of Tempelhof airport (THF), in the northern part of the district, which was used to supply the city during the Berlin Airlift. The Tempelhof field, an exercise field for the Prussian military since 1720, was used in aviation as early as the 1870s and in 1909 was the stage for one of Orville Wright's record setting flights.
On 1923-10-08 Tempelhof became a commercial airport and, by the the time it was rebuilt and taken into service as Berlin's main airport in 1939, it was a major European traffic hub. In 1948-9 it was the focal point of the Airlift and, until it was superseded by Tegel on 1975-09-01, was the main civilian airport for Berlin, as well as a US Air Force base. From 1982-1991 it served only as a command centre for US military operations. In 1998 it celebrated its 75th anniversary, by then being the world's oldest airport in continuous service.
In April 2008, a referendum failed to gather enough votes to warrant reconsidering a redevelopment proposal. The airport saw the last two flights--a Ju-52 and a DC-3, take off late on October 30, 2008, ending 85 years of service for an airport that was as iconic as an airport can be. Some of the airport buildings are designated historical landmarks and will be preserved.