Blub Waterpark in Berlin: What Happened Here?

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Looking at Blub Berlin today, it’s hard to imagine that this place was ever filled with laughter and happiness. Blub Berlin paints a sad and ugly picture today. Pools stand painfully dry; layers of grimy dust cover the floor. Walls have been vandalized with bright graffiti – ironically bringing a pop of color to the otherwise gloomy space. Random pieces of metal and props litter the grounds, left at the mercy of the elements and time.

Wandering about the vacant, abandoned space, you might be led to believe you’re alone.

You’re not.

Take note of the surroundings and you’ll soon notice that Blub Berlin is infested. With rats, specifically. Peek into a random empty pool when you pass one – do you spot some questionable dirty stains there? Yeap, probably rat poop. Quieten your breathing and focus on what you hear. Do you hear some scuttling noises? Yeap, probably just ‘em rats making their way around the place which they conquered. In fact, this small, furry animal played a pivotal role in why Blub Berlin became the deserted waterpark that it is today.

Interested to know exactly what led to Blub Berlin’s tragic downfall and abandonment? Read on as we spill all the tea that we know.

A Fantastic Start To Blub Berlin

Blub waterpark in Berlin
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Blub Berlin opened with much fanfare in 1985. Costing a whopping 44 million, Blub Berlin was hailed to be a premier waterpark. Furthermore, situated at a prime location in Britz, beside the Teltow Canal, Blub Berlin had all the makings of a legendary waterpark. And indeed, before misfortune struck, it was an absolute hit with the locals.

Back in its heyday, Blub Berlin was the epitome of popular. Almost 600,000 eager visitors flocked to the waterpark daily. Yes, you read that right. No, that was not a typo. More than half a million people in the 40, 000 square meters space of fun – all in one day. Imagine that!

Blub Berlin was full of amazing facilities. There were pools – both outdoors and indoors. It had hot whirlpools and rivers, gushing fountains and pristine gardens, saunas and fitness centers, and water playgrounds for screaming children to frolic in. It had crazy waterslides – including one that launched excited riders down a 120-meter long drop, and pretty scenic canals that snaked around the entire waterpark. Heck, it even had geysers.

Basically, whatever you could imagine in a waterpark, Blub Berlin had it. To say that Blub Berlin was super popular back then would be a painful underestimation. Blub Berlin was the place to be: to cool off during the sweltering summer, to bond with friends and family, to just let loose and have a good time.

Sadly, good times don’t last forever. And for Blub Berlin, its period of success was tragically short-lived.

A Stark Drop in Popularity

Blub waterpark in Berlin
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Some argue that the gradual demise of Blub Berlin may have had some relation to Germany’s history. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany’s reunification, Blub Berlin experienced a stark drop in visitors. No one really knows why and we can never claim a causal link between this historical event and the associated drop in popularity. Nonetheless, this correlation is still an interesting point of argument for aspiring conspiracy theorists.

Attracting Visitors of Another Kind

Blub waterpark in Berlin
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

While the number of human visitors decreased over the years, Blub Berlin must still have retained some of its charms and magic. Despite the dwindling popularity, the waterpark remained immensely attractive – only this time its visitors were smaller, dirtier, and furrier.

Yeap. The park became the entertainment grounds for rats.

These furry creatures must have somehow gotten wind of this amazing place that was under-rated and under-utilized, cos boy, did they show up. Throngs of ugly, filthy rats plunged into the pools. They turned the luxurious pools into revolting rat baths. They scuttled into the baby pools, leaving behind disgusting pellets of feces as proof of their exploration. This abomination was enough for the health authorities to intervene. Blub Berlin was closed down with immediate effect in 2002.

Blub Berlin’s boss (bless his soul) took great pains to restore his waterpark to its former glory. He tried various methods to keep out the rats. He placed rat traps all over Blub Berlin, hired a pest control company that was scheduled to check the area every few weeks, and even put a wire mesh fence to keep rats out. Alas, his efforts were for naught. Like the plague, the rats returned again and again. And each time, their furry army seemed to only grow stronger with might.

As common sense would already tell us, nobody likes to go swimming together with a dirty rat carrying God knows how many diseases and parasites. Word spread like flame that Blub Berlin was overrun with rats. Images of rats swimming in the pools, rat poop staining the facilities, rats scuttling around burned into the eyes of would-be visitors.

The once loftily held waterpark paradise had now turned into a sordid rat bath.

People, as expected, stopped coming. In fact, the number of visitors to Blub Berlin was reportedly halved in 2002. And with dwindling numbers of visitors, the rats had more space to have more fun. Blub Berlin was their kingdom, now.

The Final Blow To Blub Berlin

Blub waterpark in Berlin
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Rats weren’t the only reason for Blub Berlin’s downfall. While these creatures contributed a great part to the dwindling popularity, there were two other factors that delivered the fatal blow that led to Blub Berlin’s ultimate demise: Gangs and Debt.

Despite its (pre rat infestation) reputation as a family-friendly destination, Blub Berlin somehow became the center of attraction for a less wholesome group of people. Gangs. Angsty, hormonally-driven youths grouped up in gangs and infiltrated Blub Berlin. This innocent waterpark somehow became a hotbed of vice. They partied in the waterpark, vandalized the walls with outrageous graffiti, made territorial claims to Blub Berlin like they owned the land… Basically, they wreaked havoc and essentially stained the good name of Blub Berlin. Word traveled fast and soon people began to think of Blub Berlin as an unsafe space, overrun with filthy rats and scary gang members. Inevitably, Blub Berlin’s popularity took an even bigger hit.

Thanks to its dying popularity, Blub Berlin was also facing considerable financial problems. With less and less people visiting, profits were dwindling fast. The earnings were not enough to cover the huge costs needed to run and maintain the gigantic waterpark. Soon after, Blub Berlin declared bankruptcy. Its doors folded. It was an undeniably tragic end to the waterpark that no one in the 1980s could have ever imagined.

Present Day

Blub waterpark in Berlin
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Over the years, the owner of Blub Berlin has tried now and then to resuscitate the waterpark. Some attempts include revamping the space to a wellness center. Another plan included turning the space into a relaxing family resort. Sadly, the ambitious plans of revival all fell through. Investors were simply not interested in Blub Berlin anymore. And can you blame them really? A place overrun with rats and gangs: would you invest in it?

So, with no capital and the loss of the public’s faith and interest, there was sadly no other choice than the inevitable. Blub Berlin was left abandoned. And it has remained so since, merciless at the hands of time, the elements, and the kingdom of rats that conquered it.

Over the years of abandonment, the space has been victim to various crimes of vandalism. Stepping into Blub Berlin today, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of graffiti on the walls. It almost seems that every wall has been reclaimed by graffiti. Some of them are admittedly tasteful. Others, not so much.

Debris lie scattered haphazardly in empty pools. You’ll find slabs of concrete on the floor, covered with dust. It almost feels like a hurricane had torn down the place. The floors are grimy with age. Broken floor tiles litter the area as well.  Explore the area further and you’ll even find gaping holes in the wall and ceiling.

Blub Berlin also fell victim to the hands of blazing infernos. Five of them, to be exact. In fact, one of the fires was suspected to be arson. These fires left the place looking more derelict and dilapidated. In fact, the most recent fire left Blub Berlin with a gaping hole in its ceiling.

Final Thoughts On Blub Berlin

With its grand beginnings as a popular waterpark, no one could have predicted the giant misfortune that awaited Blub Berlin.

Who would have known that a furry creature, so much smaller than man, could be the trigger to an entire waterpark’s demise? One would have thought that the problem of a rat infestation would only occur back in the ages of the bubonic plague. It would be almost laughable how this ancient problem returned to cause misery even in modern times, if the consequences were not so severe.

Have you been to Blub Berlin before? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

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