Matthias once already described the history and relaxing pace at Pfaueninsel in autumn. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a melancholic writer, really, November is your time to go. But the Pfaueninsel is also a beautiful place to visit in the summertime.
When we visited the quaint island it was hot, and we took a rather stuffy bus ride from Ernst-Reuter-Platz to the Havel (beyond Wannsee). It’s usually a very nice bus ride through the Grunewald.
About the ‘castle of lust’ on Peacock Island
There are free-roaming peacocks on the eponymous island. If you’ve ever wanted to take a beautiful walk, maybe with a picnic and some champagne to celebrate the occasion, Pfaueninsel is indeed an ideal escape from the overheated city center. Cars aren’t allowed. There are no stores (except for a small kiosk) either, so prepare yourself accordingly.
The history and the landmarks of the Pfaueninsel are quite captivating as well. To keep it short: the Kaiser Friedrich Willhelm II decided he needed to charter a whole island to meet his mistress. He built her a castle and aptly called it Lustschlösschen (literal translation: little castle of lust), although the official name is Schloss Pfaueninsel. Royal architect Brendel erected a half-timbered artificial ruin designed to recall a “decaying Roman country house.” It looks a lot like a forgotten monastery.
You will find that many young couples come in the summer to take long walks and picnics. I think the Kaiser would have liked that.
The peacock farms on Pfaueninsel
I didn’t know that before our trip, but the Pfaueninsel was apparently modeled after islands of the South Pacific, and so became home to many exotic plants and pets. That’s why the peacocks – maybe only challenged by flamingos in terms of flamboyancy – were brought in. There used to be many more animals on Pfaueninsel, but they were given to the Berlin Zoo at some point. Only the peacocks remain.
I didn’t know that before our trip, but the Pfaueninsel was apparently modeled after islands of the South Pacific, and so became home to many exotic plants and concepts.
Today, the island is a charming park and a popular summer destination. It’s also part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and a great trip from Berlin. We had initially wanted to combine our Spaziergang with a jump into the nearby Wannsee, but then decided to simply enjoy the day in the park instead.