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Relaxing at the Lietzensee © (c) visumate


A tranquil oasis

Lietzenseepark in Charlottenburg is amazingly quiet, even though it is close to Kantstraße, Bismarckstraße and the city motorway – three extremely loud major traffic routes.

But the park shuts out the noise, all you will hear is a modest background hum as you go for a walk or take a break from the hustle and bustle of Charlottenburg.

The history of this park dates back almost 200 years. In 1823, Lieutenant-General Job von Witzleben, who was later to become Prussia’s War Minister, was rewarded 20,000 thalers by the King. He used this money to acquire a large piece of land around  Lietzensee lake where he commissioned Park Witzleben to be built as a summer residence for his wife and eight children. A short time after his death in 1837, the family sold the property. At the turn of the century, a property developer built prestigious residential buildings close to the water and opened Lietzensee and the park to the public. In 1910, the then city of Charlottenburg purchased the new park. It was expanded under an emergency programme.

The area is in fact a double lake and park. The south-west and north-east section of the park resemble the figure 8 which is pulled in tight at the centre by Neue Kantstraße, an embankment road dividing the lake in two. For many years now, the two halves of the lake have been connected by a canal and an underpass. Benedictine monks once fished in this sickle-shaped lake when it was still surrounded by woods. Nobody fishes in the lake anymore which is no deeper than four metres. Swimming is not permitted, except for swans, ducks and grebes.

Dernburgplatz forms the entrance to the quieter lake in the south of the park where there is not much happening. A pretty art-nouveau fountain gradually leads down to the lake. The lawn on  the south-east bank of the lake can be  quite lively in the summer time. The pathway leads us past maple, sycamore and willow trees, which look wonderful in autumn, under Neue Kantstraße and on to the more lively northern part of the lake. Suddenly,  we hear many different languages: English, Spanish, Turkish. Couples lie on the grass, joggers pass by, people sit on the nearby benches and enjoy the view over the water. There is a lot happening at the children’s playground and there’s exercise equipment on grassy patch.

At the end of the pathway, we arrive at »Bootshaus Stella« which tempts  visitors to indulge in cakes, pizza and Bavarian veal sausage on the sun  terrace. After that, you will quickly find yourself back in the hustle and bustle of Charlottenburg.