Missile Hill Revisited, now with bonus pumpkins

Back in 2012, I posted about a place near the town of Syke colloquially known as Missile Hill, an abandoned US Army installation turned nature preserve with look-out tower. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any photos from the top of the look-out tower back then, because the battery of my camera died.

Last week, I drove out to Gessen-Leerßen, a village near Syke again, to buy pumpkins, since those in my own garden did not bear fruit this year. And since it was a clear and sunny day, I took the opportunity to take a stroll around the “Hoher Berg” (high mountain, since it’s the highest elevation in the area. High means 65 meters above sea level in this case – North Germany is flat) and climb the look-out tower. And unlike last time, I made sure that my camera battery was fully charged.

So here are some photos of Syke’s own high mountain as well as of the farm where I bought the pumpkins:

Pumpkins and Gourds

A colourful display of pumpkins and gourds at Hof Klocke in Gessel-Leerßen

Pumpkins and gourds

A selection of pumpkins and decorative gourds for sale at Hof Klocke in Leerßen. The sign indicates that they also sell fresh eggs.


An old potato crate holds several decorated pumpkins.

Pumpkins flower

Squashes and pumpkins are laid out in the shape of a flower.

Hoher Berg wilderness

The first thing you see when you climb the “Hoher Berg” is wilderness, since the area is now a nature preserve.

Syke Hoher Berg

A glimpse of the remaining buildings of the abandoned US military base “Hoher Berg”, seen through the shrubbery that has since grown here.

Syke Hoher Berg

The remnants of the old US military basis “Hoher Berg”. The plattform in front used to hold the radar dome, which was visible from afar.

Syke Hoher Berg

An apple tree grows defiantly next to the radar plattform.

Syke Hoher Berg

An overview of the remains of the military base on Hoher Berg, shot from the top of the look-out tower.

For more information about the former US Army base on “Hoher Berg” and photos of what it used to look like, check out this detailed site. During the Cold War, the base housed Nike Hercules air defence missiles, including some equipped with nuclear warheads, which confirms the suspicions many people in the area had.

Hoher Berg look-out tower

This 13-meter-tall look-out tower overlooks the Weser glacial valley.

Hoher Berg look-out tower

Another view of the look-out tower. The Aeolian harps visible in the 2012 photos are gone by now.

Hoher Berg look-out tower

And yet another view of the look-out tower, seen through some trees.

Hoher Berg view

A view across the Weser glacial valley from the top of the look-out tower.

Hoher Berg view

A view with a zoom from the top of the look-out tower. On the horizon you can see the high rise buildings of the Bremen suburb of Osterholz-Tenever as well as the Weserwehr power station.

Hoher Berg view

Another zoomed in view from the look-out tower. On the horizon, you can see Bremen city center as well as the harbour.

Hoher Berg wind turbines

Wind turbines are abaundant throughout North Germany. The four smaller wind turbines in front were among the first built in our area in the early 1990s. On the horizon, you can see a lot more wind turbines.

Hoher Berg view

A look in the other direction, towards the village of Leerßen. The paved area in front is part of the old army base. Note the many con trails caused by airplanes starting and landing at Bremen Airport.

Hoher Berg playground

There’s also a playgournd on the “Hoher Berg”, which is frequented by local children.

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9 Responses to Missile Hill Revisited, now with bonus pumpkins

  1. That’s just too cool, Cora. Thanks for sharing.

    • Cora says:

      Glad you enjoyed the photos. “Hoher Berg” really is a pretty cool place. It would also make a nice place to hole up during a zombie apocalypse.

  2. Great pictures. I miss Germany. I was stationed in Baden-Wuerttemberg in the 80s and 90s (twice), and then visited from Belgium in the 2000s. I hope to visit again.

    • Cora says:

      I’m exactly on the opposite side of the country in Niedersachsen, but we had several US bases in the area.

      Whereabouts in Baden-Württemberg were you stationed?

      • I was in Schwaebisch-Hall in 1983-85 (technically the tiny town of Hessental) at Dolan Barracks, a helicopter airfield. Before the Americans took it over, it was Fligerhorst Hessental, one of the bases from which the Luftwaffe flew the ME-262 jet fighter, and has an underground assembly plant nearby. Fascinating stuff.

        Here’s a link to a nice site about its history. http://www.erwinschumacher.de/dolanbarracks.htm I believe in the picture of the uniform jackets the third from the left might me mine, the one with the sergeant’s 3 stripes on the sleeve. I donated my old jacket to the city museum ten years later, when I was stationed at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart and had been commissioned as an officer, and though I can’t see the name tag, the jump wings and the blue circle behind the infantry insignia on the collar mean it must have come from one of the few infantry soldiers on the base, of which I was one.

        Here’s another site, auf Deutsch. http://www.fliegerhorste.de/swh.htm I couldn’t find much on the internet that showed the story of the ME-262 there; you may have to visit to see the pictures and display, or maybe you can do a better search of the .de sites.

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