ATTENTION: Due to the refurbishment of the regatta grandstand the Grünauer Watersport Museum currently shows an interim exhibition. Explore 130 items from over 180 years of watersport history.
Please note: The current opening and closing hours and special hygiene rules for the Covid-19 are available on this website.
To the south-east of Berlin, on the location of the 1938 Olympic Regatta, is the Grünauer Wassersportmuseum. The museum covers an area of 350 square metres and has 200 exhibits. These exhibits will take you on a journey through time, starting with the first rowing clubs on the Dahme and Spree rivers, through to sporting achievements at the highest level. Exhibits include boats from the 1936 Olympic Games. The exhibition also includes advertising posters and plaques from that time, as well as original medals and sporting badges.
Berlin and its waters: a history of water sports since 1835
The history of water sports in Berlin starts in 1835 when a group of yachtsmen get together. In 1868, the first regatta from Bammelecke to Köpenick is organised. The first rowing club is founded in 1876, and just four years later, Grünau has its own regatta circuit. This place rapidly becomes the centre of rowing in Berlin. In 1925, there are already over 100 rowing clubs. In 1936, Grünau plays host to the rowers of the Olympic Games. After World War II, the East German sporting federations carry on with the tradition of rowing. Towards the end of the GDR era, some of their most famous water sportsmen train here.
Starting in 1980, rower and coach Werner Philipp starts to collect exhibits from which the Grünauer Wassersportmuseum develops. In 1994, the city of Berlin takes over management of the collection. The museum gives an interesting perspective on the development of rowing in Berlin and puts it in political context. The museum explores the importance of Jewish clubs and workshops in the 20th century and aims not only to promote the sport but to highlight its social, political and regional role.
The museum has its home in a clubhouse beneath the stands of the Regatta stadium in Grünau. Your visit leads you through bright exhibition rooms designed to showcase each individual item. There are various canoes, rowing boats, kayaks and dragon boats from previous eras of rowing history. Particularly worth seeing are the rowing boats from the 1936 Olympics, the European and World Championships and GDR national competitions. See what remains of a famous German sporting monument which is inaugurated in honour of Emperor Wilhelm I in 1898 and destroyed by the GDR government in 1973. Items saved from the destruction can be seen here.
Highlights of the Grünauer Wassersportmuseum
- Historic boats from the 1936 Olympics and the GDR.
- Photographs, posters and medals from the time of Emperor Wilhelm I.
- Remains of the German sports memorial.
- Pennants, flags and emblems from local water sports clubs.
- Magazines and information about women's sports, school sports and Jewish societies.
Sights in and around Grünau
We recommend the historic Gaststätte Schmetterlingshorst restaurant on the Dahme river at Köpenick for a great excursion. In the 19th century, water sportsmen were already coming here to recover. Today you'll find an extensive butterfly collection with around 3,500 specimens. Also worth a visit is the Waterworks museum at Müggelsee. The Wasserwerk is the most modern of its type in Europe at the time of its commissioning in 1893. You can see fascinating and well-preserved pumping stations and the original machine hall at the coplex today.
Tips for your visit
Take S-Bahn lines S46, S8 or S85 to Grünau station and walk for around 15 minutes to the Grünauer Wassersportmuseum. Alternatively, take 68 tram. The museum is only open between April and October, and out of season tours are available on request. Small donations are required for guided tours.
Wednesday 10 am - 4 pm
every last Saturday of the month 10 am - 4 pm
Special opening hours on request