Tuesday, January 11, 2011

All the fun of the nuclear power station ! Germany

What do you get if you cross an unused nuclear power station with a hotel complex and an amusement park for kids? No, this is isn't a joke - the answer is Wunderland near Kalkar, Germany.
Kalkar is a municipality in the district of Kleve, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located near the Rhine, approx. 10 km south-east of Cleves, Germany.

Wunderland came about thanks to three countries changing their minds and a forward-thinking businessman.
Back in 1972, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany decided to build the Schneller Bruter nuclear plant near the historic town of Kalkar in the Lower Rhine region of Germany. It took 12 years to build and cost €3bn. The plant was finished in 1985 but by 1991, following protests staged by up to 40,000 people at a time, the three countries had decided they didn't want it after all.
Wunderland near Kalkar, Germany

"There was so much protesting about it that the politicians decided not to put it on the network." explains Wunderland's sales manger Tamara Deumers.
So the nuclear plant sat there as a huge white elephant for several years until Dutch businessman Hennie van der Most, a former scrap metal merchant with a penchant for converting unusual buildings, bought the complex for "an apple and egg" as Tamara puts it (ie, not very much) in 1995.
By 1996 there were a few dozen hotel rooms on the site which gradually expanded to several hundred as well as bars and restaurants and in 2002, Kernie's Familiepark 9amusement park) was opened with the old nuclear plant cooling tower as its centerpiece. And as the publicity material states: "Because this nuclear power station has never been put to use, this whole complex is guaranteed free of radiation!"
As you approach the park it looks pretty much like any other nuclear power station with its big gray concrete buildings. It is only the few extra signs and lights and the mountain mural which has been painted on the cooling tower that makes it look a little more cheerful.
Wunderland near Kalkar, Germany
Inside, however, the grounds are quite pretty (complete with chirruping frogs on lily pads) anf Kernie's Familiepark is noisy and colorful almost like any other theme park except for the plant's concrete buildings still looking over it. The old cooling tower has a swing ride built inside it and the outside can be used as a climbing wall - it's 40 meters to the top.
the on-site children's Museum explains something of the workings of a nuclear power plant but other than that the park offers the usual theme park fare of roller coasters, water flumes and other rides, mainly aimed at kids aged three  to 12. Today it is visited by over 500,000 people per year for meetings, sport and hotel breaks as well as for the funfair attractions.
Elaine Wallace-Legg from Northumberland in UK visited Wunderland with three friends as part of a road trip through Belgium and Germany. "You can't miss the fact that you are in an old nuclear power station while you are there, "She says. "The cooling tower is enormous and there are big concrete power-plant buildings everywhere - although a lot of them have been painted with blocks of primary colors.
"The cooling tower is the best rise it's a swing ride which takes you all the way up and out of the top of the tower and then spins you round really exhilarating and there's a fantastic view of the park from up there!

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1 Responses to “All the fun of the nuclear power station ! Germany”

الشبكة الإجتماعية لشباب الخليج ودليل البن كودات said...
April 3, 2014 at 1:33 AM



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