The "Zoo" lies right in the center of Berlin, by the Zoological Gardens Station. Its equivalent in the east of the city is the Tierpark. Following their destruction during the Second World War, the Zoo and the associated Aquarium have been reconstructed on the most modern principles so as to display the animals in their natural environment. The success achieved in breeding animals, including some rare species, demonstrates the efficiency of the new methods.
Mar 1 to Mar 29: 9am-5:30pm
Mar 30 to Sep 28: 9am-6:30pm
Sep 29 to Oct 26: 9am-6pm
Oct 27 to Feb 28: 9am-5pm
Entrance fee in EUR:
Adult €9.00, Students €7.00, Child 15 & under €3.50
A visit to the Zoo and the Aquarium (at least half a day is required) should therefore be included in every visitor's program. The history of the Zoo began in 1841, when King Frederick William IV presented to the city of Berlin his pheasantry in the Tiergarten and all the animals on the Pfaueninsel, together with their cages and animal houses, as the basis of a municipal zoo. The Zoo - the first in Germany - was opened in August, 1844. A full-time professional Director was not appointed until 1869, in the person of Heinrich Bodinus. Finance was raised by the issue of shares, and a period of active development began. Bodinus died in 1884 and was succeeded as Director by Max Schmidt, who died after only four years' service and was in turn succeeded by Ludwig Heck. Under Heck's direction, the development of the Zoo continued. The Elephant Gate in Budapester Strasse was among the buildings erected during this period. The Aquarium, designed by Oskar Heinroth, was opened in 1913. Heck devoted much effort to increasing the number of species represented, making the Zoo one of the richest in the world. Retiring after 44 years as Director, he was succeeded by his son Lutz Heck (died 1983), who sought to modernize the Zoo, introducing the first large open enclosures with no bars between the animals and spectators. By 1939 the Zoo had more than 4,000 mammals and birds of some 1,400 species. After the war, Katharina Heinroth became Director, and in 1956 she was succeeded by Heinz-Georg Klös. Reconstruction continued, a notable development in 1975 being the house for nocturnal animals in the basement of the new Predator House, followed by the Tropical House in 1977. In 1987 the land on the far side of the Landwehrkanal was opened up to the public. The Aquarium was enlarged and a new extension to the original building was opened at the end of 1980. The Elephant Gate in Budapester Strasse was originally built in 1899. After being destroyed in the last war it has now been restored.
Today there are some 15,400 animals in the Zoo, covering 1,670 different species. Favorites are the panda bears and apes in their large open-air enclosures, and people love to watch the seals being fed, when they also perform with plastic balls and other objects.
Zoological Gardens Highlight
The Aquarium in the Berlin Zoological Gardens has one of the largest collections of the kind in the world: its three stories house some 6,500 animals in 500 species. There are marine and fresh-water sections, a Crocodile Hall and an Insectarium, in which many of the animals are able to live in their natural environment.
Hardenberplatz 8, Budapesterstrasse 34, D-10787 Berlin, Germany