Berlin’s Tiergarten is the German capitol’s version of New York City’s Central Park. (All Photos: Robbie Lawrence/VSCO)
While New York is known for Central Park and London boasts Regent’s Park and Hyde Park, Berlin has the Tiergarten.
Sure, it might be a little less manicured than its Anglo-American cousins, but this is easily as magnificent and beautiful a place to spend a day. This is where visitors come for the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate and where Berliners stay for the secluded walkways and the lush greenery.
Founded as a private hunting ground for the German king, it has gone through various iterations – think Baroque promenade and mock English country garden – and opened to the public in the 18th century. Though, like much of Berlin, it underwent some of its most significant changes in the 20th century.
Hitler’s plan for the space was terrifying. Tiergarten was to be at the center of the Welthauptstadt Germania, in which Berlin would become the capital of a global Germanic empire.
This was the time when the now-famous Berlin Victory Column was moved from outside the Reichstag to the center of the park and during which scores of statues were destroyed in bombing raids. By the mid 1940s, the place was unrecognizable. Luckily, it was reforested after the war and reclaimed its former glory.
Though one of the most interesting post-war developments is usually overlooked by tourists: welcome to Hansaviertel, an expansive housing scheme in which famous architects like Walter Gropius and Alvar Aalto let rip with some of their most ambitious designs.
Situated on the park’s northwestern edge, it was here that West Berlin sought to compete with East Berlin and to show the politburo that it could do large-scale projects with finesse.
Today, properties in the area are among Berlin’s most sought after, but the cafés nestled under its towering edifices are always worth a visit. And if you don’t want to walk that far, you can pretty much see the entire development from atop the nearby Victory Column.
Marriott Hotels explored the Tiergarten as part of a collaboration with VSCO’s photographers to create city guides for Paris; Berlin; Cairo; Taipei; and Portland, Ore. Check out: A Full Guide on How to Travel Brilliantly in Berlin.
Where to Find the Tiergarten
- Address: Strasse Des 17. Juni, Berlin
- Hours: Open 24 hours