Last week, we finally paid a visit to a tourist spot for the locals in Berlin… the UNESCO World Heritage Site — Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island). The island is located in the middle of Havel river in Wannsee, just in the south-west of Berlin and not too far from the L&A headquarters.
In order to get to the island, you have to have to take a bus (or cycle) from Wannsee station to a small jetty where a ferry pops back and forth over the 200m stretch of water between the mainland and island every few minutes. It costs just 4 EUR for a return trip on the ferry, and it is your only choice for getting to the island unless you fancy swimming there!
The island is very appropriately named because from the moment you step foot on land, there are peacocks roaming freely all over the island. The island actually used to be called Kaninchenwerder (Rabbit Island) in the late 17th century after a rabbit breeding station was set up there. This didn’t last too long however as the island went unused for the best part of 100 years until 1793, when the Prussian king Frederick William II acquired the island and had a castle built for himself there as a summer home, which was called the Pfaueninsel Castle. The king’s successor, Frederick William III had a menagerie of exotic animals set up (with alligators, kangaroos as well as… you guessed it… peacocks). He was said to be so fond of all the animals that he would often go about feeding them himself and the menagerie was open to the people of Berlin, which quickly made it a popular sightseeing spot.
The island went through a few different changes since then, most recently being designated as a nature reserve and becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990 along with several other parks and castles in the Berlin/Potsdam area.
Peacock Island is super easy to get to and totally worth visiting. There are stunning gardens, secret fountains and wells, crazy chickens, free-roaming peacocks and all sorts of plants to see! It really did make for a wonderful day out and I can’t recommend it enough. Here are some snapshots we took for your enjoyment!
And of course, this wouldn’t be a Leather & Abel post without a picture of food… This is what we enjoyed at the lovely restaurant, Wirthaus zur Pfaueninsel, located directly at the ferry dock before you cross the water.