Photos by Arthur Yatsenko
Pfauen Insel, or Peacock Island is one unique island that is located on the Havel river within Berlin’s border and hence is easily reachable within one day and adored by day-trippers. The island covers a surface of 67 hectares in Wansee-Berlin, southwestern Berlin, and is only reachable by ferry.
In the end of 17th century the island beared a name of Rabbit Island, as a rabbit breeding station was set up here by Elector Frederick William I of Brandenburg. The story of the island is also related with an alchemist Johann Kunckel, who was working for the elector and discovered the production of red glass. The island was relinquished to him for the lenght of his lifetime.
After William’s I death the island was unattended for over 100 years, and in 1821-1834 the park was redesigned by Frederick William III, who built menagerie to demonstrate exotic animals on the island. It contained over 100 different species and more than 900 animals that lived on the island. The demand on seeing the exotic animals was so huge, that special trains to Island were overcrowded with people, willing to see exotic animals. In 1842, Friedrich’s son moved animals to newly built Berlin Zoo, which became the first and largest of its kind in Germany.
The closing of Olympic Summer ceremony of 1936 was celebrated on the island on 15 August with a big Italian Night party involving thousand invited guests.
Your trip will start at Wansee S-bahn station, where you should take a bus towards Pfauen Insel no. 218. It rides directly to the square where a restaurant and moorages are located.
Alternatively you can walk about 3 km. following concrete road – it takes about 35 min. with a fast pace.
Once you there – take a ferry to the other side. It will cost you 4 EUR forth and back (the price includes the entrance fee on an island)
The island’s inhabitant itself — some of the peacocks are wandering around the island unattended, some are located in voliere. Children’s reaction to a peacock is priceless.
So-called a Pfauen Schloss, or palace used to be the summer house for elector on the island.
Some other photos from the island
The island is a great destination for day-travelers, romantic couples and families. The best season to come over is when everything is blooming, as they have The Lenne Rose Garden and the island is getting much greener and vivid. A great place for a small picnic though. Watch out for peacocks — they might steal your food! 🙂