The toponym ‘Berlin’ originates from old Slavic and has its genesis in the word ‘swamp’ (Berlo) when the town was founded in the 13th century. Ironically this word stem found its way into the name of the new Berlin Airport BER in memory of the invested sums, one may argue.
It’s all about the money
In 1999, the award for a €2.5billion investment by the first Hochtief-led consortium had been successfully challenged by the competing consortium led by IVG. The second bid in 2001, at the time submitted jointly by Hochtief and IVG, was significantly less advantageous for the airport authority than the original bids from the separate bidders.
Berliners say: “Money alone won’t make one happy – one should also have it”. So, the shareholders—the states of Berlin and Brandenburg and the German State—decided to roll up their sleeves and tackle the project on their own.
Despite costing approximately €7.3billion, the German capital now has one of the most modern and elegant airports in Europe. The long tradition of superlatives in the Berlin airport construction has therefore been preserved, if you think of the ‘mother of all airports’, Berlin-Tempelhof. This was the first major hub airport and is, until now, the longest continuous building in Europe – and possibly the largest historical monument in the world.