Say what you will about Berlin, but you can’t deny the fact that there are havens of tranquility scattered all over the city. Recreational parks — from fancy to rather interesting — can be found in pretty much every district. Lush greens, spontaneous BBQs and ever so many options to chose from. On FindingBerlin we’ve covered many of them before. There’s our summer living room Görlitzer Park, not exactly the most charming but it works for people-watching and proximity. And of course the massive Tempelhofer Feld which in only a few months has become the most popular outdoor activity place. Furthermore, there’s Gleisdreieck Park, a thoroughly planned and executed use of decayed train tracks.
However, for some of the pearls among Berlin’s recreational parks you have to travel further. In case of Erholungspark Marzahn it’s a trip to the eastern periphery, near the border to Brandenburg, where a park is located that overtops the most. After I went back to visit my home district, take shots of the place where I grew up and documented it here on FindingBerlin, many friends and acquaintances asked me to show them around. Yesterday, we teamed up for a bike tour; designation: Erholungspark Marzahn and its famous “Gärten der Welt”, or Gardens of the World.
At the entrance a sign informed us: “No dogs, no bikes allowed”. Astonished at first, we would soon understand what a relief this would prove to be. Since Erholungspark Marzahn is part of an ambitious city-wide cluster of exceptionally well designed and cultivated parks, we happily paid the small admission fee (three bucks and you’re in!) and entered into one of the most lovely and well kept parks I knew to date.
The “Erholungspark” lives up to its name: it is truly a recreational place where one can forget about the roaring city. Well kept meadows invite to lie down, all sorts of trees provide shadow and a quiet rustling to lull one into sweet slumber. However, this wouldn’t be enough to make this park stand out from others.
Marzahn’s Erholungspark, which startet in 1987 as a horticultural show, had a complete makeover in the new millennium. The managers invited landscape architects and gardening experts from all over the world, starting with China. The Beijing Institute for Classic Landscape Architecture sent two landscape architects and 18 gardeners, a shipment of twenty containers with construction parts, furniture and even Chinese rocks and other things needed to build a Chinese Garden. When it was completed, it consisted of a vast area surrounding a fish pond complete with pagodas, a teahouse, bridges, ambulatories, waterfalls, bamboo groves and anything you can vividly remember from classic Kung Fu movies.
It that wasn’t enough, additions were made one by one: a wonderful Japanese garden followed in 2003, in the same year a Balinese garden was opened, soon an Oriental and a Korean garden, a maze, a Renaissance and a Christian garden were added. Until today, these isolated theme gardens, which were all designed by professionals (from the corresponding countries), form the “Gärten der Welt”.
For me, it was a trip back home. The others were simply amazed by the beauty and calmness, felt like they travelled to the Far East, even were eager to book flights immediately or at least buy an annual ticket for the park. For the rest of you, take my advice: Enjoy these pictures and discover the park on your own!
The park is opened from 9 AM to 8 PM (in October til 6 PM) and can best be reached if you take S-Bahn S7 (direction Ahrensfelde) to Marzahn station, change to Bus 195 and ride to “Gärten der Welt”.