Spreepark Berlin—A Tale of an Entertainment Park

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I still miss it. I'm refraining from going through old photos and blog posts because why put salt on the wound? And this one, this wound, guys, is real. What I keep doing, though, is checking prices to Berlin from airports close by... well, yes, 6 hours is close by... sort of. Springs in Berlin are no less than magical and I want to say goodbye before I move overseas—at least a temporary goodbye, because that's one of those love stories that never ends, y'know? Especially because, as a friend put it: "you might find it expensive now but once you start making money at the end of the world it'll seem crazy cheap and you'll regret not having gone". True! So here I am, making plans and lists of things I want to see again and visit again and eat again. (Currywurst and doner kebab, I'm looking at you!) 

Spreepark, though, is one of the places I probably won't visit: I only did it once for all the time I lived back in Berlin, because it's kind of remote and, actually, only interesting to go once. Especially if your time is limited, and mine is likely to be. But this doesn't mean it isn't interesting! I went there with my then-roommate and we had such fun. Once we found the park, that is. Neither of us was (or is!) particularly into breaking any rules, so we did feel a bit anxious as we weren't sure if trespassing was allowed or not. We had found different info all over the Internet: some sources said it was watched by security, others said nobody was there. Well, we didn't get kicked out and met at least a dozen people while there.

This unusual site was an entertainment park from the former GDR, and back then it used to be the only one there. It opened in 1969 as Kulturpark Plänterwald by the Spree, in Tretpow-Köpenick. It actually worked for a decade after the Wall fell down—until 2001—but due to bad managing of the owner and debts, the park was closed down. The owner then tried shipping attractions to Lima to counter his debts by opening a new entertainment park there and settle down. The plan went out of the window. The owner then decided to return the machines to Germany, he attempted to smuggle 180 kilos of cocaine in their insides. Who would have thought this could be another use of entertainment park machines?

Nowadays the owner is the City of Berlin (since the previous one obviously ended up in jail), and its future is unknown. What you can do, though, is visit it in hope there are no guards, and wander around the park, seeing poor swans, dinosaurs, rusty trains and the rollercoaster, left to rot. Of course, the most impressive attraction is the 40-meter high ferris wheel that seems to be moving a bit. Creepy! A strange and sad ending of what used to attract around 1.7 million visitors a year at its peak. 

Where it is

Kiehnwerderallee 1-3, Berlin

How to get there

Get the S-Bahn to Plänterwald (lines  S8, S85 and S9) or Treptower Park (lines S41, S42, S8, S85 and S9) and walk from there, using the map

Have you ever been to a similar place? I'd love to hear! (And pass to my friend who has a thing for abandoned places ;))

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