Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

We recently posted about Michigan's Prehistoric Forest, a dilapidated amusement park full of decaying fiberglass dinosaurs. Berlin has its own defunct dinosaur funland - the Spreepark - which fell on hard times after the collapse of communism.

From 1969 to 1989, Cultural Park Plänterwald was East Germany's premiere amusement park. After German reunification, the park was rechristened "Spreepark," saw a precipitous dip in visitors, and closed in 2002, after Norbert Witte - the park's operator - picked up and left for Peru (he ostensibly left the country to open a new theme park in Lima). Witte and his son Marcel were later arrested for trying to smuggle 167 kilograms of cocaine ($14 million worth) back to Germany inside the "Flying Carpet" carousel. Der Spiegel has a fascinatingly depressing write-up of the Wittes' Spreepark saga.

The Spreepark may be closed to the public*, but that doesn't stop intrepid photogs from hopping the fence and exploring Spreepark's derelict, dinosaur-filled grounds. And who knows? Maybe you'll run into Herr Witte, who was released from prison in 2008 and now lives on the park grounds like a Scooby Doo bad guy.

Thanks to io9 reader and Berliner Sebastian for the tip!

*UPDATE 5/1/10: It looks like there are tours offered of the Spreepark (which pay for more security guards), but 15 Euros? That's highway robbery for a bankrupt theme park. You better get to bring home a tetanus-trap bumper car for that price.

[via breakdennis' Flickr and Gonzo Circus. Photo montage via Kriz Mental.]

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS

Berlin's Abandoned Spreepark Is Where Fun Goes To DieS