The Grünau Riviera is a historic ballroom and leisure complex that was built in 1888 and left for nature to reclaim it since 1991. Deep red curtains still drape from the ceiling and a solitary piano stands in the centre of the room. It is hard to imagine this place full of life at one time, the perfect location facing the river.
After the founding of the German Reich, the Berlin population grew and with that, there was more call for leisure activities. The centrepiece of the Riviera was the Restaurant Bellevue and as the enterprise grew it also became a hotel as well as adding a dance hall. Old postcards show beautiful gardens and even palm trees, the staff had apartments down below the complex and the building featured a sun room and winery.
The state of disrepair is heartbreaking, I was not even the slightest bit scared but rather sad about the neglect of this once fabulous ballroom. The fence had been knocked down and the chipboard kicked in which made it very easy to get into each of the buildings however the stability of them is very questionable. We went when it was pouring down and there was a lot of ceiling falling through and soft unstable floors.
In 2006, a Turkish entrepreneur purchased the building complex with the intention to build a seven-story hotel on the site as well as a housing estate. Their requested demolition permit was refused due to the need to protect the historic building and the owner was requested to take measures to protect the buildings from further deterioration. After many court dates and talks, the owner introduced emergency measures to prevent further decay and vandalism. The demolished windows and doors were sealed with chipboard however as you can see from the pictures the building is regularly broken into. The estimated cost for the redevelopment of the building is about 15 million Euros.
A new investor has now acquired this property and the new plan is for a senior citizens’ home however the ballroom of the Riviera is to be renovated to use it as an event space however as of last month renovation start dates have not yet been announced.
Thank you for stopping by and reading about my latest urban exploration adventure. There will be plenty more to come as I spend more time in Berlin, I also now, in the classic Berlin style, have a taste for unusual activities.
Take the S8 to Berlin-Grünau station (the last stop) and enter onto Wassersport Allee, continue walking until you can take a right at Regattastraße. It is a huge property and easy to find, standing out like a sore thumb on the quaint street. The best spot to enter is on the left of the building down by the water. The fence has fallen down and it’s the best spot away from your typical Berlin nosey neighbour.
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