Photo credit: Chris Grabert

Spreepark was an entertainment park in the north of the Planterwald in the Berlin district Treptow-Kopenick (formerly part of the GDR-controlled East Berlin). It’s been closed for over a decade and was previously listed on eBay for a cool €1.62-million, before it burned down this week. The entertainment park was opened in 1969 as Kulturpark Planterwald, covering an area of 29.5 hectares. The area is situated in the north of the Planterwald, next to the river Spree. It was the only constant entertainment park in the GDR, and the only such park in either East or West Berlin. Continue reading for an in-depth 20-minute look inside.

Under the Spreepark GmbH some new attractions were added and visitor numbers reached 1.5 million per annum. Later the concept was changed and the park was gradually transformed into a more Western-style amusement park. An entrance fee (adults: 29 DM, children: 27 DM) covering all individual attractions was now charged, instead of visitors paying for each individual ride, as had previously been the case.

The asphalted surface around the Ferris wheel was taken up and converted into a water landscape. Roller coasters, two game water courses, a stage, a Western town and an English village were later added to the park.

Since 1999 the park has had to cope with large debts. The increase in the admission fee to 30 DM per person and a lack of parking space contributed to a drop in visitor numbers until in 2001 only 400,000 visitors entered the park.[citation needed]In 2001 Spreepark GmbH announced that they were insolvent.