Tiergarten - Zoo, Berlin
I usually avoid visiting zoos as I don't like seeing animals locked up in cages. They always seem to look so sad and I start feeling sorry for them. I made an exception in Berlin, and was happy to see that the animals there looked fine and they seemed to have enough space and were taken good care of.
Zoo Berlin is the oldest zoo in Germany and there are over 1300 species there. And, of course, the most famous animal at the moment is Knut, the polar bear. I didn't see him during my visit, but I did see many other adorable animals. I especially enjoyed watching the orangutangs! Please see my Berlin zoo travelogue for pictures.
The Berlin zoo is located in the middle of the city, near Ku'damm and it's easy to reach with public transport. Tickets cost 12 € for adults and 6 € for children (March 2008).
In the middle of Berlin lies a large green park, called Tiergarten. In the 1600s, it was the hunting ground of the Great Elector. Now it is a nice park where you will find the Victory Column (Siegessäule).
This walk guides you from Zoo Station to Brandenburg Gate via Tiergarten Park, Victory Column and the Sovjet Monument. Length is approx. 2.5 miles or 4 km.
Alternatively, you can replace the Sovjet monument with Bellevue Palace and Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures), which would add another 200 yards or meters.
Start at Zoologischer Garten station. Zoo Station was West-Berlin's central station and made it into a variety of literature (Christiane F. - We Children from Bahnhof Zoo), rock songs (U2 - Zoo Station) and - mostly - sociological studies.
Cross Hardenbergplatz and turn left. At the end of Hardenberg Platz, there's a somewhat narrow way which will take you to Landwehrkanal, the canal, where Rosa Luxemburg was killed.
Turn right into Gartenufer and follow the canal. On the right hand side, you'll see a couple of the Zoo's enclosures, so this part of your walk will be accompanied by the twitter of some exotic birds (pic #1).
After maybe 200 yards/meters, there's a bridge that takes you across Landwehrkanal and into Tiergarten. There's a beer garden (with lousy service) at a nice pond if you already need a beer.
When you now stroll through Tiergarten, it's a good idea to choose smaller, narrower ways than the one I marked in pic#2. It's still pretty easy not to miss Victory Column, build in 1873 to commemorate the successful completion of the Victory Column ;-).
From there, you can turn right into Strasse des 17. Juni which name commemorates the 1953 revolt of East-Berliners against the GDR government.
Albeit you are still in the former western part of Berlin, you'll see the Sovjet Monument on the left.
Alternatively, you can cross the square at Victory Column and go down Spreeweg, which will provide you with a view over Bellevue Palace, the residence of the German President. Turn right into John-Forster-Dulles-Allee to see Haus der Kulturen der Welt (nick-named Pregnant Oyster), the Chancellory and Reichstag Building (pics # 3 & 4).
We had a lot of fun with those Soviet War Memorials. When discussing where to go we could never agree on the itinary – because I spoke about the one in Treptower Park and hubby about the one in Tiergarten, near Brandenburger Tor, and all our travel guides only mentioned one – one or the other LOL Finally we compared the addresses, and when checking which was the correct one a receptionist at the hotel knew of both of them ;-) As we were both fixated on “our” memorials we went to both – and mine, the one in Treptower Park, clearly won the competition LOL
But I do not want to leave the memorial on Straße des 17. Juni, about 500 metres west of Brandenburger Tor, on the way to Siegessäule, without a short description, so you can decide yourself.
This memorial’s subtitle is “Spuren des Krieges” – Traces of the War. It is framed by the first two Russian tanks named Nos 200 and 300 to enter the city in 1945. Centre piece is a big statue of a soldier in arms, and a kind of memorial hall. It was erected in the summer and autumn of 1945 and inaugurated on 11 November 1945. The area includes the graves of 2500 Soviet soldiers who died during the battles in Berlin in April and May 1945. To the Russianss it symbolises the victory over fascism (Hitler’s National Socialism). In December 1990 the USSR handed the monument over to reunited Germany, and the state of Berlin looks after and maintains it.
It is said that the marble used for the monument came from Hitler’s chancellory, and more of it was used for the memorial in Treptower Park.
I have already been to the Zoologischer Garten and decided I would visit Berlins other zoo the Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. The Zoologischer Garten may be the oldest zoo in Germany and may have the largest collections of animals but the Tierpark Friedrichsfelde covers the largest area for a zoo in Europe at 160 hectares. The zoo came into existence because the Zoologischer Garten was in the western part of Berlin. So this zoo in the eastern part of Berlin was opened in the former grounds of the Friedrichsfelde Palace in 1955. The Palace has been renovated and has colourful well laid out gardens. There are spacious enclosures for the animals with a number of different animal houses around the park. After walking around for 5 hours and still not seeing all the exhibits I decided to try and find my way out. This zoo is so large that I spent the next 60 minutes trying to find an exit, so be warned.
I came upon this 42m tower in the Tiergarten and must confess I had no idea at the time what it was. I now know it’s a carillon and the largest musical instrument in Europe. The tower contains 68 bells the largest bell weighing 7.8 tonnes. The Carillonneur sits in cabin between the bells and plays the instrument with his fists and feet on a baton and pedal keyboard. Concerts are held on a regular basis throughout the year regardless of the weather and are free. Tours of the carillon are available after the concerts.
Like so many of the grand parks in European cities, the Tiergarten was laid out (by Elector Friedrich III) as hunting ground, but which was destroyed in 1945 in the Battle of Berlin. Today, it is a vast expanse of woodland and lakes in the centre of the city and which is cut through by a series of major thoroughfares and the Landwehrkanal, an inland waterway off the River Spree.
Once a royal hunting ground, Tiergarten became a park in the 18th century and a very fine park it is indead. Tiergarten is Europe's largest (cosmopolitan) park which cover a vast area from Bahnof Zoo to the Brandenburg Gate.
Strasse des 17 Juni run straight through the Tiergarten. Strasse des 17 Juni is named after the East Berlin workers uprising in 1953.
There are two zoos in Berlin: In the western part of Berlin, the "Zoologischer Garten" (opposite train station Berlin-Zoo), in the eastern part of Berlin the "Tiergarten Berlin Friedrichsfelde". The Tiergarten is less-known but very nice as it has a park-like character and a very diverse animal population.
The main photo shows Knut, the cuddly polar bear of the Berlin Zoo. In spring 2007 one had to be prepared for long queues, as he was very popular then. Knut resides in the "Zoologischer Garten" - he has outgrown his cuddliness though and will soon become a fierce big polar bear. The other photo shows a potential food source in the future.
The Tiergarten is an extensive public parc in the Middle of Berlin, on both sides of the "Strasse des 17. Juni". It is a pleasant place, ideal for walking, jogging or book reading, and it features some interesting historic sculptures, fountains and artificial lakes. Not to be confused with the zoo "Tiergarten" in the eastern part of Berlin.
A recent attraction: A show aquarium with european fish life from sea, rivers and lakes, including (small) sharks and stingrays. The highlight of your visit will be an elevator ride right through an aquarium. Overseas visitors should note though that the bigger species (manta rays, big sharks) are not to be found in the Sealife. It is worth a visit nonetheless.
"Sealife" is not identical with the "Berlin Aquarium" which is part of the (western) zoo and worthwhile as well.
Starting my "Things to do" report on Berlin and ending it, does this mean i loved this part of Berlin ? - Next to the many other impressions of architecture, culture, history and nightlife, not to forget my feelings for Marlene - definately :::: Yes
Some outside pictures of the Zoo
The Zoo is without doubt a frequently visited place for old and young
Founded in 1844 by Prussian King William IV, the Zoologischer Garten is Europes oldest zoo. With 13,000 animals and 1,400 different species, the zoo is also one of the world's most popular. The nearby Aquarium opened in the 1930s.
You can visit both with a combined ticket (Euro 16.5)
Location : next to Zoo Station in the heart of the western city centre. I mentioned this name already a few times in my report : Budapester Strasse - near Tiergarten
Kim and I had a great time here - except the food and drinks, but this is another story, look at my restaurant page
Berlin Zoo is home to Skippy the kangaroo, Pretty Woman the gorilla and Kiri the elephant, to name just a few. Other attractions are the nocturnal animals and a pair of Chinese panda bears, although Yan-Yan's lack of sexual interest in her partner Bao-Bao has been talk of the town for years! During my visit Yan even didn’t show up.
Next to Bahnhof Zoo you will find the oldest zoological garden of Germany (1844)
A gift by Friedrich Wilhelm IV.
The location is in the “Tiergarten” Park ( the names are little bit confusing ) – the greatest green area in the center of Berlin
The surface is about 350.000 square meters – quantity of animals about 20.000
and 1.500 different species
Next to the Zoo is the Aquarium. It will learn you more about the mystery of the waterworld . A colourful world of fish – coral lines and jellyfishes.
On the second floor you will see a world of reptiles – from snakes to crocodiles
On the upper floor – there is a show of insects
The area around Bahnhof Zoo had a bad reputation in the past ( read the book - Christiane F. Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo) but is now a popular spot for everybody.
Berlin actually has two! The main zoo is in the city centre which is quite unusual. This one is the easiest to get to if you are visiting. The other is called the Tiergarten and is in what was formerly east Berlin and not to be mistaken for the area in Berlin called Tiergarten.
Berlin Zoo is spacious and you will need at least half a day to walk around. The animals are kept in nice size enclosures and surrounded by pleasant gardens. There is also a petting zoo for the kids and several reatuarants that are not overpriced. Well worth a visit as the zoo has more variety of species than any other zoo in the world!
Next to the zoo's main entrance is the Aquarium. You can buy seperate tickets for each or it is cheaper to buy for both.
Entry to the zoo is € 11.00 for adults €8.00 for students and €5.50 for children. The aquarium is the same price but if you buy tickets for both adults is €16.50 students €13.00 and children €8.50.
Also are available family day tickets, yearly tickets and family yearly tickets.