Kulturpark Plänterwald was originally opened in 1969 in the Soviet-controlled East Germany. It was the only amusement park in the entire state. The park ran successfully for decades, and after the reunification in 1991, was expanded and renamed Spreepark Berlin.
The new park experienced popularity, reaching 1.5 million visitors per year at its peak. But due to increasing debt and dropping visitor numbers, the park was insolvent by 2001.
The owner Norbert Witte, along with his family and closest coworkers, moved to Lima in Peru that same year. The told authorities that they were shipping six major attractions out for repair, and actually sent them to Lima to setup a new park.
The park has remained closed since and has fallen into disrepair. Some attractions, such as the Ferris wheel, still stand silently.
Norbert Witte’s Lima amusement park, which he called “Lunapark”, failed.
On May 19th, 2004 he was sentenced to seven years in jail for attempting to smuggle 180 kg of cocaine with a value of £14 million from Peru to Germany in the masts of the Fliegender Teppich (Flying Carpet) ride. His son was sentenced to 20 years October of 2006 for drug smuggling.
In March 2014, the City of Berlin bought the Spreepark, but the future of the park remains unclear.
For now, the colors of the rides have remained amazingly vibrant while they allow nature to retake her place.
This park was once the only one of its kind in the GDR within the Communist Eastern Bloc, serving up joy during grim times. Perhaps one day it will shine brightly again, but for every year that passes, the colors fade a bit more.