Reiswerder – Berlin’s island republic
Self-sufficient island people with their own mayor.
Reiswerder in Tegeler See is part of the Berlin district of Reinickendorf, who have leased the small island to an association of nature lovers. It is only reachable from the mainland by a ferry bearing the same name. The island is wholly run by these nature lovers, who maintain allotments there. The island contains the smallest town hall in Europe as well as an island “Baude” (hut) in mainland slang. The inhabitants of the island have a lot of parties and spend many evenings together. In fact there are only two families and a pair of raccoons living permanently on the island, which has no running water or electricity. Imagine that in the middle of Berlin… In summer (between April and the middle of October) the ferry operates every half-hour between 6 am and sunset on a daily basis, but in winter only on Fridays, at weekends and public holidays. It used to be the case that only inhabitants of the island as well as members and guests of the nature lovers’ association were allowed on the ferry, but nowadays any curious person may – as part of a conducted tour – visit the island with its small nature lovers’ “republic”.