The chance to live in a land of childhood nightmares only comes around once in a lifetime. Spreepark, an amusement park in Berlin that's been closed for over a decade, could now be yours. The property was recently listed on eBay for a cool €1.62 million (£1.33 million).
Built by the East German government in 1969, Spreepark was originally known as Kulturpark Plänterwald, named for its south-east Berlin neighbourhood. At the time, it was the only permanent amusement park in both East and West Germany and featured a towering ferris wheel that dominated the skyline.
After reunification, a man named Norbert Witte began managing the park, sprucing the place up and renaming it Spreepark. He also added his own diversions, according to Atlas Obscura:
During the time Witte controlled the park, he changed the scenery multiple times, even adding an English village and water landscape. Unbeknownst to police and Berliners, Witte had also become involved in cocaine smuggling in pieces of ride equipment between Peru and Germany during his time as park administrator.
Witte was eventually caught and tried on drug smuggling charges, and the park has been closed since 2002. After that, he tried—unsuccessfully—to open an amusement park in Lima (CocaineWorld?), and now apparently lives on the property in a trailer.
Even though the park was closed, it's apparently pretty easy to jump the fence, which explains the treasure troves of ruin porn depicting the park that you'll find online. Limited official tours have also been offered over the last few years, and now the park's train even runs occasionally through the overgrown complex.
The property was for sale last year, even receiving a bid from a concert promoter, but the sale was withdrawn due to a stipulation that the land must remain as an amusement park until 2061.
What would it take to bring Spreepark back to life? Will some enterprising young team take it back to its family-friendly roots, or keep it as-is and make millions renting it out to the producers of Saw XXIV? I can't imagine the costs of bringing all these rides back up to code, but the arcade seems like it's in pretty good shape. [eBay via @andberlinblog]
Photos by Chris Grabert