The heart of Berlin is made of the huge Tiergarten, but its residential districts are rather dense. Treptower Park makes a green oasis situated on the river Spree in south-eastern suburbs of Berlin and is very popular among those looking for some nature and escape from the urban environment.
This large park was created in the 19th Century and features huge meadows, natural wooden areas and some restaurants and cafes situated close to the water. There are some boats to rent here as well, and nearby Spreepark is a nostalgic amusement park built during the GDR era. But the main feature of the Treptower park is huge Soviet Memorial commemorating some 300,000 causalties on the Soviet side during the battle for Berlin in WWII.
S-bahn station Treptower Park
A huge sculpture at the "Treptowers" at the Spree.
This substantial sculpture, created by the renowned American artist Jonathan Borofsky thirty meters high, weigthing some forty-five tons, yet transparent and light, has been on display in Berlin since may 1999. The three aluminium figures, which unite to form a whole, are meant by the artist to remind the viewer "that both man and molecules exit in a world of probability and that finding wholness and unity within this world remains the aim of any create and spiritual tradition". Treptow's special location, with the river spree at hand and the metropolis Berlin just beyond was predestined for this purpose.
The three aluminum men symbolize the crossing of three town districts: Kreuzberg, Treptow and Friedrichshain whose borders meet here. From here one can also see very nicely the towers of the "Oberbaumbrücke".
The Soviet Army Memorial in Treptower park towards the sout of Berlin is where 5000 of the troops who fought for Berlin are buried. It is constructed on a very large scale with marble slabs bearing the wise words of Stalin in Russian and English.
Soviet War Memorial, Treptower Park
Although some people do make the trek over to Treptower Park, many people still seem to confuse this memorial with the far less impressive one in the Tiergarten.
The war memorial is a massive exercise in Soviet visual propaganda, and is also a grave for 5,000 Soviet soldiers who helped to liberate Berlin (as a consequence, it's also a solemn place; keep the raucous picnics for other parts of the very large park, closer to the river).
At one end stands a statue representing Mother Russia, at the other a heroic Soviet soldier carrying a child, and trampling on a swastika. Even if you're turned off by the many quotes from Stalin that adorn the friezes on either side of the memorial, in Russian and German, this memorial is a very powerful reminder of the tragedy, suffering and heroism of very ordinary people, in this case young Soviet soldiers, that have so marked Berlin.
Perhaps understandably, the memorial seems at its most impressive in the dead of winter, the trees bare and a sprinkling of snow on the ground. Once, while we were visiting, a fox darted out from one side of the park, leaving tracks in the snow and disappearing through the railings at the other side.
We drove in from Dresden so the first thing I saw was this bizarre bridge in a park. It was gorgeous out but we had left later than we had planned. I would have normally asked to stop for a photo but I knew Doreen was tired and figured we could come back. It turned out to be Treptower Park and not exactly all that close to the city. After exploring town, I asked to go back out there our last day in town. It took a while to get there by mass transit and it was a gloomy day. It was a dirty rundown park but certainly a place for locals. The bridge itself was disappointing and showed me once again how bit a part expectations play in liking something. I hadn't expected anything when I first saw it, and it seemed amazing. After waiting a few days to get back there, it was really nothing special. Still, it offers a weird glimpse into a part of the city I imagine the tourist board would rather you not visit. lol
Take the S-Bahn to Treptower Park, go along the Spree for a few 100 mtrs and turn right. You'll feel like being in Moscow, there's a huge monument built on a mausoleum. A lot of Soviet soldiers who fought in Berlin at the end of WWII are buried there.