Follow Us:


The area of Grunewald forest (32 sq. mi) lies east of the Havel between Heerstrasse and the Wannsee in the Wilmersdorf and Zehlendorf districts of Berlin. The name is derived from a hunting lodge built here in 1542 by Elector Joachim II and named "Zum grünen Wald" (Greenwood). The name of Grunewald came into use only in the 19th C. The earlier name was Spandau Forest (Spandauer Forst). The natural mixed forest of oak and beech has increasingly given way over the last 200 years or so to quick-growing species such as pine and birch, acacia and poplar. In recent years, however, planting has been designed to restore the original pattern. During the severe winters after the last war and during the Soviet blockade (1948/49) 70 per cent of the trees were felled by freezing Berliners, who had no other form of fuel for heating. Since then the woods have been completely replanted, and now house a wide range of birds and other wildlife, including fallow deer, roe deer, wild pigs (in the Saubucht) and moufflon. The Grunewald is traversed by an Ice Age melt-water channel with areas of moor and fen and three little lakes, the Pechsee, Barssee and Teufelssee. The total area of the nature reserves, containing rare species of plants and animals, is 111 hectares/274 acres. The Grunewald, originally a royal hunting reserve, was opened to the public only at the end of the 19th C. In 1915 it was acquired by the city. Numerous lakes in the eastern part (Hundekehlesee, Grunewaldsee, Schlachtensee, Krumme Lanke) and 9km/5.5mi of riverbank along the Havel in the west offer facilities for bathing. Other popular features are the Teufelsberg, the Grunewald Tower, the Schildhorn and Grunewald Hunting Lodge. Between Nikolassee and Grunewald runs the Avus, Germany's first motor-racing circuit, opened in 1921.


From the Königin-Luise-Strasse bus stop it is a 20-minute walk through the Grunewald in Berlin to this hunting lodge on the Grunewaldsee, built by Caspar Theyss for the Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg in 1542. Originally a plain Renaissance-style building, it was frequently altered in later periods. In 1593, during the reign of the Elector John George, an oriel window was added to the rear facade. Under King Frederick I of Prussia (1657-1713) the house was completely renovated and much altered and finally the service courtyard and store-rooms for hunting equipment were added in the reign of Frederick the Great (1712-86). Frederick William II (1744-97) reintroduced the traditional Red Hunt on St Hubert's Day (Nov. 3) - a tradition still maintained by the Berlin riding clubs. The house was the scene of great activity in 1814, when the Quadriga from the Brandenburg Gate, which Napoleon had carried off to France, was brought back to Berlin and stored here before being returned to its original position.
In 1949 the house was reopened as a museum, and in 1963 it was restored to its original form and color. The collection of German and Dutch pictures of the 15th-19th C. includes rare works by Barthel Bryn, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Anton Graff, van Haarlem, Jacob Jordaens, Franz Krüger, Antoine Pesne and other artists.
The old store-rooms now house a small Hunting Museum with a collection of hunting equipment and trophies.
In a nearby building can be seen a very interesting and instructive forestry exhibition by the German Woodland Protection Society (Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald).
Address: Hüttenweg 100, D-14193 Berlin, Germany

Grunewald Tower

The red-brick Grunewald Tower (in Berlin's Grunewald), formerly known as the Emperor William Tower -- more correctly King William Tower, as it was named after the Prussian King (and German Emperor) William I -- is 56 m/184ft high and stands 104 m/342ft above the River Havel, with 205 steps leading to the top. It was built in 1897-98 in memory of William I. It contains a marble statue of the Emperor. From the top of the tower there are fine views of the forest and across the Havel as far as Gatow and the Potsdam region.
In summer there are special excursions to the Grunewald from the Zoo Station, Hardenbergplatz. The steamer landing-stage is on the banks of the Havel below the tower. Nearby is a garden restaurant with a fine view of the Havel.

Devil's Hill

From either of the bus stops or the Grunewald S-Bahn Station in Berlin it is a 20-minute walk to the recreation area at the northern end of the Grunewald. The Teufelsberg is a huge mound, 120 m/394ft high, built up from 25million cu.m/33million cu.yd of rubble from the destroyed buildings of Berlin, on a site formerly occupied by the Faculty of Military Science. The hill is planted with trees of many different species (maple, alder, poplar, robinia, etc.), but the effect is somewhat spoiled by the presence of telephone poles and equipment. A nearby hill serves as a launching area for model gliders.

Sightseeing Nearby:

You may also be interested in:

More on PlanetWare