Spreepark – Berlin, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Berlin, Germany

Spreepark

An eerie dinosaur amusement park sits abandoned outside of Berlin.  

It’s tough to know the intentions of theme park creators. Their strange creations leave us only making a few educated guesses. Walt Disney wanted to make Epcot a self-sustaining community and model for the world. Argus Wynne— the man who built Six Flags—wanted to see people throwing up. The people who made Spreepark in Berlin were probably just insane.

The Spreepark in southeastern Berlin has been abandoned for the last 10years, and it looks like it. Each part of the park is scattered with remnants from the previous three decades, making a hodgepodge of bizarre entertainment, children’s rides, and life-size dinosaur statues.

Originally constructed by the communist government in East Germany in 1969, the park stood until the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years later. It thrived throughout the communist era but fell on hard times when it was taken over by Norbert Witte in 1991.

During the time Witte controlled the park, he changed the scenery multiple times, even adding an English village and water landscape. Unbeknownst to police and Berliners, Witte had also become involved in smuggling cocaine, concealing it in pieces of ride equipment shipped between Peru and Germany during his time as park administrator.

Due partly to his criminal activities and due partly to lackluster visitor numbers, Spreepark was shut down to the public in 2002, and Witte was tried on smuggling charges two years later.

The result of this shutdown is the majestic wonderland Spreepark is today. Among the highlights of the park ruins are life-sized dinosaurs, including a fallen Tyrannosaurus as well as an old roller coaster leading out of a rabid-looking animal’s mouth. The whole park was recently featured in the film “Hanna,” and the main sites are prominent in the film’s climax.

Update September 2018: Security is visible and strong, due to recent vandalism, when someone burned a bridge inside the park. There are now security guards with dogs, barbed wire, and a brand new fence and camera at the main entrance.

Know Before You Go

Many of the major attractions still stand, including the Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and log flume. Tours are offered on weekends through September by the city for five euros. Tickets can be purchased on Ticketscript by going through the Grün Berlin website.  The park is accessible from Berlin city center via S-Bahn (S8 or S9) to Plänterwald station.