It opened in 1969 as Kulturpark Plänterwald and was the only entertainment park in East and West Berlin. Twenty years later it became Spreepark and new attractions were added. Gradually it became more of a theme park and visitors had to pay an entrance fee rather than pay per ride. As visitor numbers fell, the debts stacked up and in 2002, the owners moved to Peru taking six rides with them. Authorities thought they were being repaired but they were actually being used to open another park. Debts of €1.1 million remained and the park was allowed to fall into disrepair.
Now you can tour the park and see how dilapidated it has become. Stu loves to take photographs of derelict sites so this was a perfect tour for him. We pre-booked the tour on their website (you can’t just turn up, only 50 people are allowed on each tour) and we arrived 20 minutes before it started. We changed our €30 for two passes and the tour started promptly at 1pm.
The guide and security guard took the group around the park talking about the history. The only problem for the majority of the group was that the guide only spoke in German so we couldn’t understand what was being said. It was a real shame because the guide was passionate and a real story teller and I wanted to learn the history of the place. At first it was a little boring because we were stood in the same place for a long time and there wasn’t much around to look at and explore. As we got further into the park it was more interesting because there was so much to see.
It was very eerie wandering around the park and seeing the boats still on the log flume track. The roller coaster car was in its place waiting for people to board so it could start its journey. The most eerie thing of all was the ferris wheel. It was still spinning in the wind and it screeched as it went. The screech of the wheel and the squark of the birds have long replaced the squeal of children’s delight.
Although the tour is only in German the tour was worth doing and it was interesting to walk around the lifeless theme park. Just take a look at the history of the park before you do it so you at least have more of an understanding of the background.