My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.
– Diane Arbus
Let’s not kid ourselves, we all love some good ruin porn. Meaning that I couldn’t resist visiting the early-2000 ruins of the Soviet-era Spreepark while in Berlin. This former East German amusement park opened in 1969 to much fanfare, only to close when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The park was rechristened ‘Spreepark’ when it opened again in 1992, but its doors sadly closed in 2001. Since then, no throngs of excited visitors have graced the park’s grounds, with the exception of the occasional (equally excited) urban explorer. Visiting Spreepark, I was disappointed to see that a tall, secure fence has been erected on the perimeter of the grounds, overgrown foliage and trees had been cleared, and a group of four large security guards walked around inside, so it’s safe to say that I didn’t bother trying to get in. The hen house is covered in scaffolding and obviously being rehabilitated, and the rest of the park... I don’t really know. I unfortunately don’t understand enough German to read the signs, but it seems like something develop-y. Great information and photos (of fun, creepy, retro details that were gone or out of sight by the time I arrived) can be found at thegardian.com, berliner-spreepark.de, and abandonedberlin.com. PS - There’s a nice background on the colorful grounds owners at abandonedberlin.com involving flying carpets, cocaine, and Peru.