Berlin 2012: Days 7 & 8 Tierpark and Homeward Bound

As per my re-start post I am going to be re-blogging some of my posts from a site that unfortunately no longer exists in an effort to get working on my blog again. This was the first big blog collection I worked on, wanting to add a bit more substance rather than just a few pictures. As with other posts of old blogs the photos are as taken with the exception of some cropping.

 

Tierpark is a second zoo in Berlin and is the largest landscaped zoo in Europe, found in the former grounds of the Friedrichsfelde Palace which is still within the grounds. The zoo was situated in 1955 in then East Germany as a counterpart to the Berlin Zoological Gardens of West Germany. Home to more than 7500 animals from 950 species and covering 400 acres of land this is another big zoo. As with Berlin Zoo there are a number of successful breeding programmes.

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Beth standing by the statue at the entrance to Tierpark .

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The first thing you see walking in is the Friedrichsfelde Palace, though you actually see it side on. This is looking at the palace from the far side from the zoo. You can already see the day was rather overcast and extremely cold. The palace was built in 1695 by Benjamin Raule, Director-General of the Prussian Royal Navy, who called it Rosenfelde Palace. However, a short time later, Raule lost his fortune, supposedly as the result of fraudulent business practices, and the palace was taken over by the Prussian king. From this point on, it was known as Friedrichsfelde. After several alterations and extensions, its current neo-classical exterior was finally created in 1800.

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These are the fountains at the front of the palace – I’m not entirely sure what Beth was pointing at but it must have been interesting.

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Moving away from the front of the palace towards the animals – you can just about make out the fountains towards each end.

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First stop the pelicans. This are housed inside a building at this time of year but during the summer as with a lot of other creatures I believe are let out during the summer to roam the grounds.

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Several species of deer can be found in the park – this male one seemed to be enjoying getting groomed by about 3 females all at the same of which one can be seen here.

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Amongst the bears were spectacled bears in a thick perspex enclosure – we made the mistake of standing by the door so the bears thought we had come to feed them. Not the best picture of them by any means but I liked the bear standing and you can see Beth’s reflection on the stomach of the bear. If not for the perspex we could have reached out and touched the bear – and probably lost an arm or more.

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There was also a pair of polar bears.

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The next stop was the big cat house – and yes that is a bird and not a big cat. The cat house (which used to also house reptiles before the increase in the number of big cats) also played host to a number of small birds.

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A number of the big cats did seem to be a bit short of space, but the Siberian Tiger was not one of them. As the cat house was not purpose built there were a number of shortfalls but this is one of the on-going building projects at the zoo which like Berlin Zoo is undergoing a number of rejuvenation projects to improve the experience for visitors and inhabitants alike..

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The results of a successful breeding programme.

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Lions also weren’t short of space these two females sharing a large enclosure…

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…with one male

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We had to spend a bit of extra time in the cat house as the heaven’s opened while we were in there and the females were busy roaring away – and so was Beth. Unfortunately I think Beth may have been louder to the amusement of others hiding out in the same place.

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As it was still raining we made a dash to the cafe to get some lunch and while in there it started to hail and then snow. So having eaten we retreated to the palace to look round that.

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The palace now houses a museum. The varied collections include paintings by Anton Graff, Jakob Philipp Hackert, Eduard Gaertner and other artists, as well as sculptures, furniture, clocks, exquisite Berlin silverware, neo-classical earthenware and objects produced by the royal foundry.

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There is also an exhibit about the zoo with some older posters, models of original buildings and so on.

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Small concerts are also regularly held in the palace.

2012-04-08_1689 We even got a dance recital from Beth. 2012-04-08_1690

Which wore her out.

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We then went back out to see a few more animals – rhinos, manatees and a few smaller mammals – no decent pictures of the rhinos or manatees as the rhinos were hiding indoors behind fences and the manatees were awkward to capture because of the glass and lighting – and then on to see the elephants.

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And finally hyenas before getting lost in the zoo trying to find the way out – a very confusing network of paths throughout. We didn’t see anywhere near all of this zoo because of the weather and needing to get back to the hotel for packing and an early night for the flight home.

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In the morning it was back to Schönefeld airport where we saw one of the Berlin Bears – we’d been seeing them all week but this was the first opportunity to get a photo of Beth with one.

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Watching the planes come in to land – apparently this one was ours arriving late – on what was typically probably the sunniest day of the holiday.

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And then we were off back home – looking down from the plane to Potsdam in this photo and enjoying the cloudscapes before we got back home.

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Driving back from the airport we stopped to get some food at which point we were met with…

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“Mummy, Daddy … the holidays over.”

And so comes to an end the Torr family tour of Berlin. I hope that you have enjoyed these views we had of Berlin at least a part of as much as we did. Thank you for sticking with this rather long drawn out view of my holiday. I certainly loved every second of Berlin and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. I would love to go back in a few years time when hopefully a lot of the construction work will be finished to see how things have changed.

 

Links to all days in Berlin:

Berlin 2012: Days 1 & 2 – Wandering and the Aquarium

Berlin 2012: Day 3 – Berlin Zoo

Berlin 2012: Day 4 – Rainy Bus Tour

Berlin 2012: Day 5 – Bus Tour II

Berlin 2012: Day 6 – Potsdam

Berlin 2012: Days 7 & 8 Tierpark & Homeward Bound

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