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A visit to the Spreepark in ruins...


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Since i did my searching first and the only thread about Spreepark i could find holds a lot of pictures but close to none information, i will start with a short history about this park.

 

This history may contain some errors, because some parts of it differ depending on the person who´s telling the story.

 

After the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was reunited the State of Berlin decided to hand over the operation of the former East-German Theme Park "Kulturpark Plänterwald". Seasoned carnie Pia Witte and Lawyer Hans-Ludwig Trümper became the owners of the Spreepark GmbH. But Pias Husband Norbert Witte with his scandalous past (he was indirectly involved in an accident at Hamburg Dom where several people died) became the face of this company.

The first thing they did was changing the very oldfashioned name to a much more modern name: "Spreepark Berlin" (Spree is a river running through Berlin and near the park). After that they started to "terraform" the whole park, using more plants and less Beton and buying some new rides to raise the image of the park. They got one of the biggest loopingcoasters of that time and the wildwater-ride from Mack was also one of the biggest worldwide.

But after a few years a new problem came up, the state of Berlin decided that the small park and forest where Spreepark ist located should become a nature sanctuary, and they closed down most of the parking spots.

So the visitors became less and less with every year and the Wittes had problems to pay the bills and credits. Adding to this trouble was the Berlin Senate and their total lack of support.

 

At the end of 2001 the Wittes abrogated the contracts with the state of Berlin, but the state refused to accept the abrogation.

So they filled in for bancrupty.... and decided to tour through southamerica with some of the leased rides for a few month, to make some money. But this didn´t work out very well. Some of the rides were kept in the customs of Peru and technical problems made it impossible to tour with the rest.

In Germany the newspapers started a witchhunt on Norbert Witte, totaly ignoring, that Pia Witte and a lawyer were the holder of the company....

 

Somehow (i don´t dare to post details here, since that part is the one with the biggest variations ) Norbert Witte came to a deal with some drugdealers in Lima and they promised to pay him for hidding cocaine in one of the rides. Witte was back in germany to undergo surgery when his son was arrested in Lima for drugsmuggling.

Witte was sentenced to 7 years in Prison in Germany and his son Marcel to 20 years in Peru.

 

In 2009 the bancrupty was over (dont get me started on german laws about bancrupty, they don´t make any sense to me ) and the ground with the stationary rides (or what was left of them) was handed back over to Pia Witte

 

There are plans beeing made, to reopen the park this summer with a few traveling rides in the former entrance-area of the park, to get some money first and to be able to repair the old stationary rides and the infrastructure of the park itself.

 

 

Since autumn 2009 there have been a few guided tours through the closed down park, wich were very succesfull.

Me and my husband visited a tour at the end of march and it was a very interessting experience.

 

 

When we reached Plänterwald, where the park is located, we were very early so we took a walk around the park, since we both hadn´t visited Spreepark it was very impressive. At the entrance we saw the last group leaving the park and after paying the fee for the tour (15,- Euro per person) we stood around some fallen down huts and soon the tour started.

 

I won´t repeat everything said, since i couldn´t get it all right from memory. We got a lot of information about the park and the rides, as well as some anecdotes about events in the park (before and after it closed) like a photoshooting for playboy wich drew a lot of attention from the passers by walking outside of the park.

 

Overall i was really impressed by this park.

The paths are mostly still ok (the worst were the bridges leading to the station of the Ferriswheel) and the green spaces are still in good shape too. Of course there needs to be a lot cleaning and refreshing, you can see that they allready started working on it. I could image how it has looked and how it can look again.

 

The rides still remaining on the site were in surprisingly good shape. Of course the time and vandalism left their marks, but as far as i can tell some cleaning, new coloring and some technical works (according to Witte mainly new fuses and controlpanels) and most of them would be able to run again.

 

 

A gallery with more and bigger pictures can be found here: http://www.coastertalk.de/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=114

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The entrance area from outside

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The fallen huts at the entrance

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According to the plans for a reopening this place would hold the flatrides

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An icecreamshop... a very sad view :(

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The cup and the plate are still from the last season! Everything else in there was trashed...

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The logflume ride looked really great.

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The station and the boats from the logflume

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The powered coaster (Mack)

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Funny cars from france...

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An old sticker from spreepark

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The boat was the stage for pirate stunt show, the swan belongs to another ride

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An army of swans guarding the brigde to the ferriswheel... this sounds scary...

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The station of the ferris wheel with the collapsed bridge

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The ferris wheel in all its beauty

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A burned down shop

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The station of the ferris wheel located in a sea

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A horse ride with no theming at all

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A playground and the station of the powered coaster in the background

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The teacups where a lot of fun, even without any electric power :D

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A baseplate from the loopingcoaster

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An old parkmap

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The station from the parktrain

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This darkride ran exactly one time before the park was closed

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and that was the testrun for the TÜV...

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This old restaurant outside of the park belongs to the park as well

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Awesome and sad, i always hate to see great parks in this kind of condition. I remember when i was a kid there used to be a small amusement area in the park, just a few rides, some games and a carousel, i don't know why, but it closed and everything sat for years before it was finally completely tore out. Of course a lot of things were vandalized and stolen, and the covered areas, even the carousel became homeless camps. Eventually the carousel got a new home in Illinois, which was nice to see that it was restored. Anyway, looks like it would have been an great park, any way you could get more of that dark ride. Please keep us up to date on the progress getting it up and running again, i imagine it will look pretty incredible all cleaned up.

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Sadly the Dark Ride was in an area unaccessable to the group. The pictures where taking from outside the fence so i couldn´t get any closer.

 

I don´t know about the type. As far as i know it was bought from the Mirabolis Park in France, where it was themed after the figure of "Gargantua". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirapolis the guy on the picture is the darkride.

I found an pov-video from the Gargantua ride.

 

From what i could see the system reminded me of the one used in droomvlucht in Efteling.

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  • 1 year later...

i use this thread to share some news on the abandoned ThemePark "SpreePark" in Berlin... A Group of german and american students started a Kickstarter-Project to get this park to new life:

 

 

In the Treptower Park forest in East Berlin, along the Spreeriver, there is an abandoned amusement park. The park, originally called Kulturpark Planterwald, was built in 1969 by the GDR and was a rare site for Soviet amusement and attraction. After the fall of the wall, the park became the family-owned Spreepark and suffered challenges of access, attendance, and economy. In 2001, the park closed from capital collapse. Ever since, visitors have regularly traversed the fence to explore this jungle of broken thrill machines.

 

In June 2012, Kulturpark will explore the poetics and potential of these recent ruins, building upon the unique energy of Berlin’s urban, social, cultural, and political landscapes.

 

Kulturpark will:

- Investigate these lands as a site for cultural imagination.

- Connect communities to explore possibilities for shared stories, memories, and ideas.

- Instigate physical, social, and collaborative movement.

- Model responsible forms for creative life and ecology for the 21st Century.

- Propose possibilities for the park as an evolving constellation of our shared past, presence, and future.

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This park, if I recall correctly, was used in the finale of the movie Hannah right?

 

The log flume structure must be in decent condition because they shot the finale sequence at the top of the big drop out of the mountain. They also had one of the actors (or stuntmen) fall down the drop backwards.

 

It would be very cool to see this park brought back to life.

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Hmm--I completely missed this report when it was first posted. The ruins of this park would make a great setting for a horror flick--anyone for "Carnevil: The Movie"?

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Great report...always interesting to see abandoned parks.

 

Also liked the sticker picture of the older guy carrying the younger guy through the park! I asked my BF if he would do that for me at Cedar Point when my feet get tired...he didn't think that was a very good idea for some reason!

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  • 1 year later...

Those photos are so sad, even though the park seemed weird! It's just sad to see an abandoned theme park when it could be in use.

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