After walking through a forested trail on the edge of the Spree River, visitors were greeted by a giant brontosaurus and triceratops, which have survived the years with only a few marks from vandals. Situated in a welcoming courtyard, visitors can see the nearly empty stands where Soviet-occupied East Berliners once paid admission to the country’s only amusement park of the time. Several other rides flank the welcoming area, in addition to three café stalls, which have been reopened specifically for the summer by the park’s owners.
For two euros, visitors can board the vintage train, which takes guests into the depths of the park. Here, it is evident that nature rules, with thick greenery overtaking everything. Tree branches cover the former haunted house, dense green algae grows in the still waters of the log flume ride, and vines intertwine themselves in mustachioed track cars that German children once pretended they were driving.
The giant Ferris wheel can be seen from all points of the park, frozen forever, but reminding visitors of Spreepark even at a great distance away. At the base of the Ferris wheel, giant plaster dinosaurs lay on their sides, the tyrannosaurus rex looking almost as if dying in agony.
For ambitious curators Anthony Spinello, George Scheer, Stephanie Sherman and Agustina Woodgate (an Inhabitat favorite) were stationed at Kulturpark for the summer, organizing site-specific installations around the park, as well as artistic programming to engage the community once again with this abandoned place. With help from the curators, the fate of the park, which would go up for auction the following year, may veer toward a place for public consumption, and hopefully create a place for the public to enjoy the grounds and non-profits to conduct cultural programming for the community.