Update Wednesday, 26th of March 2014: The Spreepark Plänterwald has gone back into the hands of the Senate. Promising to keep the area in the spirit of a theme / recreational park, this means that Spreepark will soon be open to the public again! Source: Tagesspiegel.
The story of the Spreepark Plänterwald is one of the most ridiculous around Berlin. It was pretty difficult to find entrance up until a year ago – shut down and watched closely by security, it became every photographers challenge to snap a couple of shots of the decaying, rusty games and rollercoasters.
The entertainment park in Treptow-Köpenick used to be the only one in the former GDR. It opened up in 1969 as “Kulturpark Plänterwald” right by the Spree. From 1989 til 2001 it became the “Spreepark Berlin” with some new attractions for families and their children. But soon enough the park had to close down for the lack of visitors (due to the high entrance prices) and the owner, Norbert Witte, announced the Spreepark was insolvent. He tried to ship his attractions to Lima to counter his debts, but soon it was clear that that was not his only intention. Within the “Flying Carpet” attraction, he had attempted to smuggle 180 kg of cocaine. What a daredevil.
In any case, people ended up in jail and the park was destined to rot away. Nowadays there’s a special initiative trying to make the park a new, lively part of Berlin. From this summer on there’ll be tours around the leftover attractions, including the impressive ferris wheel. The pictures I took are from last year and should give an impression of the ghostly urban atmosphere.