Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


Did you know that between 1903 and 1933 Berlin could pride itself on being home to the biggest and most exquisite amusement park on the continent?

Lunapark Halensee at the eastern shore of the Halensee lake – today Berlin-Halensee is the second smallest district in the city of Berlin after Hansaviertel – was opened in 1903 by August Aschinger and the former head cook of the Kempinski hotels, Bernd Hoffmann. Originally called “Terrassen am Halensee”, it had its name changed in 1909.

Lunaparkterrassen 1904

The amusement park was built next to the very popular Freibad Halensee, open-air bath whose visitor numbers could and did compete with those of the similar (and still open today) establishment in Wannsee.

The place quickly became famous for its numerous attractions: Wellenbad  or a swimming-pool with a wave machine, gingerly re-named “Nuttenaquarium” (a slut aquarium) because of the large numbers of lovely ladies sitting on its edges presenting their charms to the wave-riding men; Wackeltreppe or Shimmy-Stairs, trembling and shaking as one climbed up them to the top where a wind machine was waiting for the female visitors to lift up their skirts; Gebirgsbahn, a little train carrying its passengers through a mountainous landscape that the Germans are still so very much fond of; the first escalator (Rolltreppe) in Berlin; a Bavarian Village where beer was flowing day in, day out; a restaurant sitting 16,000, as well as theatres, cabarets, revues, jazz concerts and boxing matches (it was in 1926 at Lunapark Halensee that Max Schmeling won his first boxing title).

wellenbad walensee 1929

The fireworks show ending the day each evening was just an explosive cherry on top of this highly entertaining dessert.

No wonder that the amusement park attracted 50,000 visitors per day and that at the weekends the numbers went even higher.

Berlin-Halensee, Lunapark

All this came to an end in 1933 when the new NSDAP government decided that Lunapark Halensee was a Schandefleck (a disgrace, a mark of shame) on the new German nation´s pure, healthy and well-trained body. Plus it was in the way of a big project that Hitler was extremely keen on seeing finished: the construction of Halenseestrasse, the new thoroughfare needed to facilitate the traffic between the Olympia Stadion and other important venues for the Olympic Games of 1936.

Closed down in 1933, Lunapark Halensee was demolished in 1935.



  2. berlioz1935
    July 10, 2014

    Of course, I knew that. It was the year of my birth and naturally I never experienced it. But in the very same year they opened up a Luna Park in Sydney, Australia.
    There is another Lunar Park in Melbourne which opened in 1912,_Melbourne
    I have been to both of them. Both parks a at beautiful spots.
    The Nazis never considered that they could be a “Schandfleck”.

    • notmsparker
      July 10, 2014

      The Nazis seemed to have rather interesting criteria of judgement ad to whether sth was acceptable as entertainment or not. Probably too decadent, too “frolicky”. Not even the Bavarian village or the Gebirgsbahn convinced them.

      • berlioz1935
        July 11, 2014

        Later, during the war years, there was a large ‘Rummel’ at Treptow. The main attraction was a giant Alpine train which needed a brake man. All was dismantled when the Russian build their War Memorial.


Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,783 other followers


%d bloggers like this: