So this morning I attempted to break into a crumbling communist theme park in the suburbs of Berlin, with much less success than I’d hoped for.
I’d been planning on doing it since I got to Berlin, but the wuss in me was frightened of the law breaking involved, so i kept putting it off. But the clock is ticking, so I got up around the time I’ve normally been going to bed here and headed down to Treptower Park, where somewhere in the middle I knew there was the abandoned Spreepark, a GDR amusement center, which opened in 1969 and was best known as ‘Cultural Park Plenterwald.’ It was once East Berlin’s only amusement center until 1989, when the wall fell and the park underwent “a process of reorganization” where someone named Norbert Witte from Berlin GmBH attained the contract over the property and was opened to the public from 1989 to 2001. But this Witte guy was corrupt, and the park was declared insolvent in 2001 and in debt of over 11 million Euros.
Ever since, its been a haven for people hungry for interesting photo shoots. The attractions are all still there in some form, from a giant ferris wheel to tea cups to dozens of giant dinosaur statues that are now missing limbs and heads. The grounds are patrolled by German police, but its a big place… so I figured I might make it in and out with a few photos. So I found this horribly tiny hole under the fence, climbed under – which resulted in bleeding elbows and knees – and tried to find my way through this marsh like area to where all the old rides were.
The only two half-decent photos I managed to take before the security guards (and their scary dogs!) figured me out:
I tried to run, but the dogs barking freaked me out so I just turned around and tried to play ignorant tourist. It worked (the bleeding knees helped, I think)… and it was clear on the security guard’s tired face that he’d been in this scenario 10,000 times before. So he simply escorted me off the property, and told me to mind the German law. I walked home defeated, only having two good photos, blood stained clothing and the theme from “Jurassic Park” in my head to show for my troubles.
But I found some photos online that are better than I could ever took anyway, and a little youtube video. Enjoy: