Karte Treptower Park


Walkabout: A true urban jungle

by Julia Cornelius / translation by Rachel Marks

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Welcome to a world where dinosaurs, plastic swans, and dilapidated rollercoasters peek out from an overgrown wilderness, where a traditional watering hole shares space with a burger chain, where the sarcophagi of a Soviet memorial are inscribed with Stalin's words. The road into this manmade nature leads you south from Treptower Park station into the park, which follows the flow of the Spree. At the port you can find many of the boats in Berlin's Weiße Flotte [1], which offers city tours from the water. Those on foot can sustain themselves at the numerous small cafes and snack joints. The waterside promenade [2] meanders past large fields of sunbathers and groupings of mature tree. Beyond the river's bend you'll note the very traditional watering hole Zennerhaus [3] with its inviting beer garden; not one to fall behind the times, it now also houses a modern American fast-food chain. Passing the boat rental [4] you will see a bridge with historicized gatehouses from 1915 and perhaps never realize that it was Germany's first steel bridge. Anchored on either end by Fachwerk stairwells, it crosses to the Insel der Jungend [5], or Island of Youth, which is well worth the detour. Also don't miss the house-smoked fish on the floating Segelschiffrestaurant Klipper [6]. Back on terra firma, walk away from the water and around the Spreepark [7], formerly the VEB Kulturpark Plänterwald, for glimpses of the eerily beautiful abandoned amusement park. Headless, toppled plaster dinosaurs are relics of an earlier era when tens of thousands of visitors would come here for the rides and fun. Continue into the dark depths of the woods along Poetensteig to find the romantically fading Eierhäuschen [8]. The path curves to the left and onto Kiehnwerder Allee back toward the Spree, past the Insel der Jugend to Puschkinallee. On the opposite side of the street the Archenhold Observatory [9] stretches its "cannon of the heavens" - in fact the world's longest moveable telescope - up toward the sky. It was here in 1915 that Albert Einstein held his first public lecture in Berlin on his theory of relativity. Continuing up Puschkinallee an imposing entryway becomes visible on the side of the road. The triumphal arch marks the formal entrance to the Soviet War Memorial [10], the monumental resting place of five thousand Soviet soldiers felled in World War II. A clearing at the end of the tree-lined path opens up on two towering, stylized flags of red granite, behind which a wide case of stairs leads down to the grove of honor with its burial grounds. Sixteen large marble sarcophagi bear Stalin quotations and reliefs depicting the battles of the Red Army in the "Great Patriotic War." The equally monumental bronze figure atop the raised-earth mausoleum with its very martial appearance somehow looks as ancient and out of place as the dinosaurs. The primary perpendicular axis leads back out to Puschkinallee and to the Ringbahn station at Treptower Park [11], where you can kick up your feet before traveling onward.


1. Treptower Hafen | The Weiße Flotte offers boat tours through Berlin's eastern lakes and launches here from the quay | Puschkinallee 15

2. Promenade | Allows for a wonderful view of the river and the green jut of land, the Straulauer peninsula

3. Eierschale Zenner | Beer garden, restaurant, disco, and Burger King all in one, overlooking the Spree | Alt Treptow 14-17 | www.eierschale-zenner.de

4. Ruder- und Tretbootverleih | All aboard (on rented paddle boats) for a lap around the Liebesinsel, which doesn't bear the name "Island of Love" for nothing | At the Abteibrücke

5. Insel der Jugend (Youth Island) | Park with its own logo, café, restaurant, bar, and the firework show "Treptow in Flames" (since 1825) | Alt Treptow 14 | www.berlins-gruene-seiten.de/Gaerten-und-Parks/Insel-der-Jugend-Treptower-Park

6. Segelschiffrestaurant Klipper | Whether on the deck or in the wood-paneled hold, enjoy some house-smoked fish on this old-timey boat from 1890 | At the end of Bulgarischen Straße

7. Spreepark | Falling apart and corroding, the Flying Carpet, the Loop-de-Loop, Canale Grande, and Las Vegas County still hold some of their allure. But avoid the temptation to get an even closer look: huge unleashed dogs roam the grounds to discourage trespassing | Kiehnwerderallee 1-3 | www.spreepark.de

8. Eierhäuschen | Built in 1892, this now romantically overgrown Sleeping Beauty was in its heyday a famous restaurant for day-trippers | On the southeast corner of the Spreepark grounds

9. Archenholdsternwarte | The lone testament to Berlin's 1896 trade exhibition built along the Spree. It was in this observatory that Einstein first explained his theory of relativity to Berlin | Alt-Treptow 1 | www.sdtb.de/English.217.0.html

10. Sowjetisches Ehrenmal | A special place of remembrance for former GDR citizens - school trips in East Germany were often conducted to this memorial grove | At Treptower Park and Puschkinallee | www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de/umwelt/stadtgruen/.../treptowerpark

11. Treptower Park | The broad meadow punctuated by large shady trees takes on the air of an open-air stage on warm summer evenings | Puschkinallee

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