Enjoying a sunny and warm day in Berlin? Not feeling like visiting another museum? Wide parks, recreation areas and woods are all over Berlin, allowing you to relax after all that sightseeing.
One of the most important in the world, Berlin’s Botanischer Garten –Botanical Garden– hosts 22,000 different plant species from all over the world on its 43 hectares in the Dahlem neighborhood. Its most famous part is the Great Pavilion, the world’s largest glass house that works as a tropical greenhouse and hosts a giant bamboo. There are other 15 conservatories including the Mediterranean, Victoria, Cactus and Orchid houses.
Constructed in the early 20th century to host exotic species from German colonies, the garden is now part of the Free University of Berlin and includes a Botanical Museum with a scientific library and huge herbarium.
The largest urban park of Berlin, the Tiergarten is a popular outdoor oasis for the city’s inhabitants. Its 210 hectares were once the hunting grounds for Prussian princesses. In 1830, the landscape architect Peter Joseph Lenné re-shaped it. Statues were added from 1850, with the Siegessäule in the centre.
Severely damaged during WWII, the area around the park is now home to several embassies, therefore considered the “diplomatic quarters”. The seat of the federal president -Schloss Bellevue-, the House of World Cultures, the Kulturforum, Potsdamer Platz and Zoologic Garden are also in the surroundings.
The largest zoological garden in Europe, Berlin’s Tierpark Friedrichsfelde hosts about 8000 animals from 950 species on its 160 hectares. Founded in 1955, the zoo is located on the historic parklands that were once the grounds of the Friedrichsfelde Palace. Check more information about Tierpark Friedrichsfelde.
Created in 1876, the Treptower Park is a leisure area located in southern Berlin. It is best known for the Soviet Cenotaph War Memorial, a monument showing a Soviet soldier carrying a German child. This monument was dedicated to the 20,000 Soviet soldiers who fell on the 1945’s Battle of Berlin and were buried there in the Niederschönhausen cemetery.
The Treptower Park is also home to the Archenhold Observatory – the country’s oldest and largest, featuring the world’s longer refractor telescope. The Spreepark, an abandoned amusement park that operated until 2001 is also in the Treptower park area.
In 1821, the inauguration of a Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Neoclassical Nationaldenkmal -monument- took place in Tempelhofer Berg, together with the opening of the Viktoriapark on its surroundings. The hill, and later the whole district, adopted the name of Kreuzberg after the iron cross on top of the monument.
With an excellent view to central and southern Berlin, the historic wine-growing area is now an urban park with a small vineyard that produces the local “Kreuz-Neroberger" wine. An artificial 24-meters-tall waterfall arises at the foot of Schinkel’s monument every summer, leading to a small pool with a bronze sculpture of a mermaid and a fisherman.
Gardens of the World
A project at Marzahn Recreational Park, “Gardens of the world” offers visitors a chance to discover garden art from around the world. It includes Chinese, Balinese, Japanese, Korean, Oriental, Italian Renaissance and English maze landscaped gardens.
The project started in year 2000 with the opening of the Chinese Garden, the largest of its kind in Europe. The German Garden design of the 20th century is represented in the Karl-Foerster-Staudengarten, opened in 2008.
The oldest and second largest park in the city of Berlin, the 52-hectare Volkspark Friedrichshain was first planned in 1840 as a leisure area in the densely populated eastern side of the city.
It opened in 1848 and it soon conceded some hectares to a new city hospital, only to regain space with the addition of Mont Klamott -rubble mountains- and the German "Interbrigadists” memorial after WWII. The fairy tale fountain is all children’s favorite. In addition, an open air cinema hosts movies every summer.
Created for the 1985’s Bundesgartenschau -national horticultural show--, the Britzer Garden was sought as a new landscape park for citizens of the southeast of West Berlin. Its 90 hectares are home to woods, lakes, hills, playgrounds and colorful flower patches matching each season.
The spring trail opens the season in March. By mid-April the tulips are the special show. Then in June and September the rose garden is the main star. The “Major Dahlia Show” takes place in late August, by the end of the summer. The Summer Solstice Festival, Air and Dragon Festival and the summertime Sunday concert series on the Fairground Stage are other popular events of the Britzer Garden.
The greatest lake in Berlin, the Müggelsee is located at the end of a very big recreational space that goes from Treptower Park over Plänterwald till the Müggelberge. Visitors choose this place for bathing, walking or going on biking trips.
Other parks not to be missed are Schlosspark Charlottenburg, Nature Park, Grunewald and Graveyards.
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