Caribbean? Kalberwerder! : these are the ten most beautiful islands in berlin

Berlin has more than 50 islands. The team from the Tagesspiegel newsletter "Checkpoint" has visited them all. We present the most exciting ones here.

Caribbean? Kalberwerder! Berlin is also built close to the water

Who needs the Caribbean, when he has the Wannsee? Berlin’s waters are home to more than 50 islands. The Checkpoint team has visited them all, the ten most exciting islands present the colleagues to you here:

1. Scharfenberg

Attention, ferry! Anyone passing by the northwestern tip of Scharfenberg Island must always keep an eye on the car ferry that takes students to school from the mainland, just a few meters away. School? Since 1921, students have been educated on the largest island in Lake Tegel. Today, the "Schulfarm Insel Scharfenberg" is a state-run high school and boarding school. Water sports are an integral part of the curriculum here, the motto: "Good sailors are usually good students, too".

The people of Scharfenberg are proud of the resistance fighters of the Red Chapel, who stood up to the National Socialists and paid for it with their lives. In the noughties, there was once again a great uproar because it turned out that a convicted murderer had been sweeping leaves in the school as a freedman.

Scharfenberg Island in Lake Tegel

All old stories. While children romp in the north of the island today, raccoon and wild boar retreat to the wildly overgrown south of the islet. The latter can be observed by recreational captains with a little luck while island hopping, every now and then a whole pack swims from the island towards Tegeler Forst.

There, stressed city dwellers find the best short holiday flair on the small sandy beach right next to the ferry pier. Only rarely do tourists stray into this remote place. Visitors can reach it most comfortably with a short hike from Alt-Tegel. Even on hot summer days, there’s still a shady spot here. If the wagon ferry breaks down (as it often does), you can watch the students row to the island from the beach. Who needs the Prinzenbad? Julius Betschka

Size: 20 hectares
Accessibility: Ferry
Protection factor: 2 out of 3 points
Settlement: flower, bird, mammal, human being
JWD Factor: 4 out of 5 points

View of the Wannsee from Max Liebermann's villa

2. Wannsee Island

"Pack your bathing suit, take your little sister, and then let’s go to Wannsee!" Conny Froboess, 1951. Classic, everybody knows. What many people don’t know: Wannsee is also an island – which is significantly larger than the water body that gives it its name.

Wannsee becomes an island through an accumulation of lakes around it: Griebnitzsee, Stolpchensee, Pohlesee, Havel and small and large Wannsee. But the island is not only captivating because of its nature (Berlin’s only herd of mouflon can be found here)!), but above all by its villas in the colony Alsen. This was created in the middle of the 19th century. The lake was built at the end of the nineteenth century and quickly became the place to be for the Berlin bourgeoisie.

[50 islands and much more: every morning from 6 a.m., editor-in-chief Lorenz Maroldt and his team report on the latest developments in Berlin in the Tagesspiegel newsletter Checkpoint. Register now for free:]

Among others, the painter Max Liebermann, the chemist Franz Oppenheim and the publishing family Langenscheidt settled here between Berlin and Potsdam.

To this day, a historical shadow lies over the island: After the National Socialists seized power in 1933, Jewish citizens were expropriated and deported, their property "Aryanized" or acquired far below value. In January 1942, representatives of the National Socialist Reich government and SS authorities met at Villa Marlier to organize and coordinate the systematic holocaust.

Today the memorial "House of the Wannsee Conference" reminds of it. Those who visit Wannsee Island should not only pack their swimming trunks, but also bring some time for a painful history lesson. Felix Hackenbruch

Size: unknown
Accessibility: Road
Protection factor: 2 of 3 points
Colonization: Flower, bird, mammal, human being
JWD factor: 2 out of 5 points

Peacock Island in the southwest of Berlin

3. Peacock Island

If Peacock Island were a person, it would be the old grandpa who has experienced oodles and has far too many stories to tell.

In a nutshell, they sound like this: In the 17. In the nineteenth century rabbits were bred on the island (then called "Kaninchenwerder"). Also, an alchemist tried to make gold (spoiler: He failed and destroyed his experimental hut in a fire). Friedrich Wilhelm II. discovered the island as a love nest and had a castle, a dairy and an English landscape garden built for himself and his lady of the heart Wilhelmine.

Friedrich Wilhelm III. liked it wilder and had a palm garden including menagerie built. Several hundred animals, including llamas, lions and kangaroos, moved to the supposed South Sea paradise in the middle of Wannsee – and from there, eventually back to what is now the Berlin Zoo. Only the peacocks have remained.

They have been joined by the animals native to the area: Mice, birds, foxes, wild boars, black kites, white-tailed eagles, cormorants, beavers and five species of woodpeckers (many small and spotted woodpeckers, rarer are the middle, green and black woodpeckers). "An ornithological paradise," comments Senate wildlife expert Derk Ehlert. In addition 400 old oaks and the oldest rose garden of Berlin.

Officially, the island has the title of "Unesco World Heritage Site". We award the unofficial prize as Berlin’s most romantic kitsch island at this point. Lovers and those who want to become lovers can reach the island in just a few minutes by ferry – and can lose themselves for hours in the magic of the old stories and walls, as the mood takes them. This was just the short version. Ann-Kathrin Hipp

Size: 67 hectares
Accessibility: Ferry
Protection Factor: 3 out of 3 points
Settlement: flower, bird, mammal, human being
JWD Factor: 3 out of 5 points

Kalberwerder Island in the Havel River, Berlin-Zehlendorf

4. Kalberwerder

The island of Kalberwerder almost went under. Due to the increasing shipping traffic on the Havel River, first the reed belt was destroyed in the 1970s, then more and more of the 5,000 square meter small island on the Havel eroded away.

But the environmental administration saved Kalberwerder by fortifying the embankment with stones. Pig had! Not only for the Wannsee Rowing Club, to which the island was bequeathed by an aged member in 1920 at a friendship price, but also for the wild sows of Zehlendorf.

The swim for years in the spring in the finest guinea pig manner to the safe island to throw their freshlings. And to dig up the island a bit – mess. With their offspring they spend about a week island vacation, then it goes back to the mainland.

Other visitors can get to the island dry-footed only with a boat and an explicit permission of the rowing club. By the way, the island was already a beastly place: from the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century, the residents of Kladow. to the beginning of the 20. At the end of the 19th century, the people of Kalberwerder grazed their cattle – hence the name Kalberwerder. Today, gray geese breed here among the more than 150 trees of all species planted by the rowing club. Among them is an oak tree that club member Dieter Arend received for his Olympic victory in 1936. Small island, big story. Felix Hackenbruch

Size: 0,5 hectare
Accessibility: Private boat
Protection factor: None
Settlement: Flower, bird, mammal, human being
JWD factor: 4 out of 5 points

The island of Kleiner Wall in Lake Spandau

5. Small rampart

From a distance, it looks like there are more weekend domiciles than square feet on Kleine Wall: The entire northeast shore of the tiny island is packed with arbors and colorful cottages. A firmly anchored sign in the water advertises "Breakfast", but the lower part ("open from 10am") is boldly pasted over with the with notice: "Private property – no trespassing". The restaurant "Zur Liebesinsel" has not been welcoming guests for a long time now.

Until 2008, breakfast lovers could reach it with their own ferry, which had to be called from the banks of the Havel River. Now one remains here obviously rather among themselves, the island is in private property. Located in the middle of Lake Spandau south of the Wasserstadt, there is quite a bit of traffic here – above and below.
Motorized visitors are eyed suspiciously from the tiny terraces at the colorful dachas. And even a small family of swans does not seem very hospitable here.

[You want current news directly to your cell phone? Then we recommend our rejuvenated app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]

On the sister island Grober Wall, located a little further north, Kreuzberg youths were sent to camp during the Wall era, which is why the larger of the two islands was still rather reluctantly administered by the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg until 2018. In terms of natural history, there’s a lot more going on there than on the Kleiner Wall, says wildlife expert Derk Ehlert.

The last tent camp took place in the 90s, now the Great Wall is a protected landscape area and may not be entered. Applies also to the Small Wall, if you will, only because of other species.

Cormorants and all kinds of gulls nest on the dolphins around the 0.2-hectare island. A pair of storm-petrels breeds here every year, according to Ehlert. The nickname "Love Island" (not to be confused with Love Island in Rummelsburg Bay) is not due to the mating animals, but to the soldiers who retreated here around 1900. Whether there was breakfast at that time? Anke Myrrhe/Nadine Vob

greatness: 0,2 hectare
Accessibility: Private boat
Protection factor: none
Settlement: Flower, bird, mammal, human being
JWD Factor: 2 of 5 points

6. Valentinswerder

"Hamptons, wa!"This was once the headline of the "Suddeutsche Zeitung" about Valentinswerder. Romantic bays, dense reeds, dreamy summer residences. 26 people live on the island today, twelve houses stand on 13 hectares of land in the very south of Lake Tegel, and there are also a few small vacation cabins, a place for permanent campers and an anglers’ club.

By all accounts, however, artists and creative types are more likely to be working on their dream huts here than stressed-out New York managers on their stock funds. If you pass the island by boat, you can discover the colorfully designed cottages, a rusty camper or a tired hammock dangling between the densely growing trees. In early summer, with a little luck, you can hear the bittern at the northeastern tip of the island.

They nest in the reeds, their singing sounds like blowing into an empty beer bottle. At the other pole of the island the first Berlin beaver castles were discovered in the 90s. If you believe a resident, there is also an old raccoon roaming around on Valentinswerder.

Despite its wild beauty, the island has not always brought good fortune to everyone: it is said of the island’s namesake, the farmer’s son Valentin Lemke, that one evening at the end of the 18th. In the early twentieth century, the beaver enjoyed his homemade schnapps so much that he fell into the water and drowned, he says. His son met the same fate.

Did the bittern’s beer song lead them astray? If you want to visit the island today, you can do so until sunset with a small private ferry. Boat tourists should head for the south side of the island, it is sheltered from the wind and offers the best conditions for a strong jump into the clear waters of Lake Tegel. Julius Betschka

Size: 13 hectares
Accessibility: Ferry
Protection Factor: 2 out of 3 points
Settlement: Flower, bird, mammal, human
JWD Factor: 4 out of 5 points

The island of the youth in the Spree, Treptow-Kopenick

7. Island of youth

The saddest fact first: The Island of Youth is actually not an island at all, but only a sandbank, which was heaped up and developed for the preparation of the Berlin trade exhibition in 1896.

But what do the old tales of yesterday matter: it has just become one, and an extraordinarily popular one at that! After years with an abbey inn (which burned down in 1914), girls’ dormitory and youth clubhouse (in GDR times), the island, which is about two soccer fields in size, now serves big-city dwellers as an all-around carefree package: within walking distance through Treptower Park, spacious enough to marvel at a bit of flora and fauna as well, catered to with excellent gastronomy.

At the club-run, beer-garden-style "Kulturhaus Insel Berlin" (to the right of the bridge), you can eat, drink and be sprinkled with open-air cinema films, poetry slams, concerts, family parties and theater performances. The rule is: What brings joy, may be on stage. And for even greater pleasure, you can rent the whole location right away.

On the other side of the island is a small footbridge – mostly occupied by people – which has ambitions to be listed in the top 10 sunset spots in Berlin. Many young people – you have to live up to the name of the island – and some old people drink their after-work beer here, while the barn swallows breed below them and the city slowly turns pink.

Alternatively, if you visit in the morning, you will have more peace and quiet and can listen to the call of the yellow warbler, which imitates dozens of bird species during courtship (the best singer has the best chances). At sunrise, the peeps are most active. Ann-Kathrin Hipp/Nadine Vob

size: 1.8 hectares
Accessibility: Bridge
Protection Factor: no one
Settlement: Flower, bird, mammal, human being
JWD Factor: 1 point out of 5

8. Baumgarten Island

Baumgarteninsel is located right next to Kopenick’s old town and is connected to the mainland on two sides by a bridge. So it couldn’t be more central, but that still doesn’t help people without a boat or swimsuit.

For the bridge, which was cut across the island almost 20 years ago as a shortcut for pedestrians and cyclists, stands with only one foot on the island, but has no access to it. Connoisseurs of Berlin’s authorities might think this is the logical continuation of those unfortunate administrative capers that, a few meters away from the island, were able to produce a figure like the "Captain of Kopenick," of whom they are quite proud here for some inexplicable reason.

But that’s deceptive: It was the islanders who prevented access by land. They would then no longer have been among themselves.

[Read what moves people in your Berlin neighborhood in our Tagesspiegel district newsletters. Free and compact: people.daily mirror.en.]

Yet they are also quite numerous on the island, as about a hundred gazebos stand on the approximately 84,000 square meters between the old Spreearm and the Katzengraben, which once allegedly could be jumped by any house cat, until it was built at the end of the 19. The river was straightened at the beginning of the 20th century and dredged to form the main Spree – deep and wide enough for excursion steamers, which are particularly numerous here near the confluence of the Dahme and the Spree, as long as no virus stops them.

If you want to go to the island, you have to rent a solar boat at the Schlossplatz or a rowing boat at the Dam Bridge and then see where you can dock – always keeping the story with the bridge in mind. The people of Baumgarten Island are capable people, as was recently noted in a eulogy in the local newspaper: electricity, water, sewage – all dug and built by themselves over the decades. Who manages that, can reach his allotment rowing all the time. Stefan Jacobs

Size: 8.4 hectares
Accessibility: Private boat
Protection Factor: none
Colonization: Flower, bird, mammal, human
JWD factor: 2 out of 5 points

9. Eiswerder

Construction goes wild on Spandau’s only publicly accessible island. Here, it’s not only the rattling traffic that hammers and hums its way across the island from the east and west via the small and large Eiswerder bridges. In the catchment area of the water city of Oberhavel, once infamous as a million-dollar grave of failed real estate projects, project and real estate developers are now bustling about.

Eiswerder is home to endless stories and history: Atze Brauner filmed his Edgar Wallace series here, and the Senate Reserve was hidden in the old military installations during the Berlin Wall era. Today, there’s the typical island life with boat clubs, restaurant Stilbruch, galleries, event agencies and club, pardon: disco (with boat dock!), aptly named JWD.

No wonder that there is not much wildlife here, typical island species are not known to wildlife expert Derk Ehlert. Yet about half of the 600-meter-long island is forested. The red brick buildings to the south were once home to Prussia’s powerful armaments industry, early 19th. At the end of the 19th century, a royal fireworks laboratory was located here, later powder and ammunition factories.

The small neighboring island to the east of Eiswerder may also be of military origin. The tiny pioneer island is not yet visible on aerial photos from 1928; it was probably filled in for military training purposes. The mini pile of trees in the water is lovingly embraced by Eiswerder and captures in terms of natural history what the big island lacks: dense vegetation, an otter swims by regularly, gray herons roost here and there’s a beaver, too.

And because the Kleine Eiswerderbrucke bridge is far too low for large ships, an idyllic bay opens up here in the middle of the busy Havel River, where you can drop anchor and jump into the clear water undisturbed. Anke Myrrhe/Nadine Vob

Size: 14 hectares
Accessibility: Bridge
Protection factor: none
Settlement: Flower, bird, mammal, human being
JWD Factor: 1 out of 5 points

Lake Seddin in the southeast of Berlin

10. Schmockwitz quarry

Among the Berlin islands this is one of the most lonely and mysterious ones. Only a few meters from the city limits, it is located in a corner of Lake Seddin where only connoisseurs and true nature lovers go.

You don’t pass by here by chance, especially since it’s hard to tell where the mainland begins and the water ends. A carpet of water lilies surrounds the island. A break is a marsh, and in this case, the entire hinterland of the island, which consists of wetlands through which no path leads.

They belong to Berlin’s largest nature reserve. Anyone paddling by here in spring can see strictly protected black terns installing their floating nests and great crested grebes bringing freshly picked lily pads as gifts to their female crested grebes.

If you’re very lucky, you might also see Berlin’s only white-tailed eagles, which breed a few kilometers away in a top-secret location, but like to circle here when they hunt. Recognition mark from below is the resemblance to a two-meter-long floating board.

While most water sports enthusiasts carelessly chug along in their motor yachts on their rounds through the Gosener Canal – which on weekends is almost like the city highway – connoisseurs approach from the land side, where there is a somewhat rowdy boat rental shop in Gosen, Oder-Spree district, from where the island paradise can be reached in a few minutes.

If you wonder what to do with the rest of the rental time, just follow the only navigable path between the islands and paddle further into the Gosener Graben, which is closed to motorboats and is practically the only way to get through the Schmockwitzer Bruch.

The tour is not only suitable for nature lovers, but also for hosts. For hardly any visitor can imagine that Berlin can be so idyllic. Stefan Jacobs

More on this topic

Book tip from Berlin You’ve never seen Peacock Island like this before

Size: unknown
Accessibility: Private boat
Protection Factor: 3 out of 3 points
Settlement: Plants, birds, mammals
JWD factor: 5 out of 5 points

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: