From the Series: Europe is Hot, Berlin is on Fire!!!
Görlitzer Park, in East Kreuzberg, Berlin has fast become a tourist attraction as well as a local favourite. The abundant green area (14 hectares, 34.5 acres) features cafes, a restaurant, night clubs, sports fields, sunbathing, picnic areas, childrens play grounds, a petting farm, an indoor swimming pool, ponds, fountains, traditional art as well as graffiti art, walking and cycling paths!
Locally nicknamed Görli (Girly rhymes with early), Görlitzer Park never closes. People can be seen hanging out on the grassy knolls and fields, chatting, sunbathing, barbecuing, studying, exercising and relaxing. Cement paths are busy with people out for a stroll, cyclers and skateboarders. The atmosphere is extremely relaxed, possibly due to the quietly ignored marijuana consumption.?
On the east side of the park lies the Landwehrkanal, a canal built in 1845 with the intention of bypassing the busy Spree river. It veers off of the Spree and runs parallel for approximately 10 km before rejoining. Two meters deep and twenty meters wide, the canal in now mostly frequented by tourist boat tours (I recommend doing some boat tours!) and personal water craft. A footbridge crosses the canal so you can easily go directly from Görlitzer Park in Kreuzberg to Treptower Park in Friedrichshain!
As you head west along one of the many walking paths, you pass a children’s water slide, a pond with fountain, cloaked with trees and plants (great for meditation!) a petting farm with a variety of friendly animals, and a children’s playground. Wide open spaces are used for frisbee games, soccer, study groups, discussion groups, sunbathing and couples enjoying each others company. Folks enjoy precious family time while barbecuing, picnicking and playing.
Remnants of the Görlitzer Tunnel are evident as you enter the park centre. The tunnels, built in 1910 went under the railway train tracks, giving people easier access between neighbourhoods. The tunnel no longer exists, but remains are still there. Perched in the distance, reaching towards the clouds stands the Schreitender Mensch, loosely translated meaning People in Motion. Created by the artist Rüdiger Preisler, it is made from the steel rails of train tracks and stands a whopping 14 meters high!
Approaching the west side of the park lies the Pamukkale Fountain ruins. The terraces are well used as a preferred seating area, lending a feeling of a colosseum. Originally built out of Portuguese limestone by artist Wigand Witting, it was meant to be reminiscent of the famous Pamukkale hot spring terraces in Turkey, constructed with the thought of tribute to the Turkish communities living in Kreuzberg. Unfortunately, the weak limestone was not able to stand up to Berlin weather conditions and crumbled into disrepair within the first year! Oops! Mr. Witting has been ordered by the court to pay over One Million Euro in damages, but I could not find any record of him fulfilling his sentence.
Across from the Pamukkale Fountain is a Restaurant, Patio, and 2 Night Clubs for the thirsty, hungry, adventurous people and party goers alike. At the far west side is the popular Spreewaldbad swim complex offering an indoor swimming pool, sauna and cafeteria. I have not had the time to go yet, but it is on the agenda.
A day in Kreuzberg’s Görlitzer Park in Berlin can keep you as busy or as relaxed as you choose. Whether you arrive with your bicycle, take a walk, soak in the sun, spin a frisbee with friends, make a swimming and sauna day, plan a picnic barbecue or take the kids to the playgrounds or petting farm, there is something for everyone. Don’t forget to admire the artistic, colourful graffiti. And remember: Europe is Hot, Berlin is on Fire!
Please note: It is probably better to avoid this park at night due to drug trafficking and consumption.
Görlitzer Park – Photo Album
Edelweiss – Patio, Restaurant, Club – Website
Wellenbad am Spreewaldplatz (Spreewaldbad) – Pool, Sauna, Cafeteria – Website
Stern und Kreisschiffahrt, Boat Tours Berlin – Website
Foreign Travel Advice – UK Government
Alerts and Warnings – USA Government