Germany is well known for its industrial prowess and cultural affinity to family entertainment; rarely, however, do these two elements coexist in one venue. Sure, the BMW Museum provides a fascinating glimpse of advanced modern engineering and kids delight in the likes of German children's stories such as those by the Brothers Grimm on road trips down the iconic fairytale route. But, surprisingly as it may seem, a lack of attractions combining mechanical majesty with fun for the whole family has left an unfilled niche in the realm of tourism in Germany.
Abandoned Nuclear Reactor: A Great Place to Bring the Kids!
Until now, that is, as an excitingly novel resort has been making media headlines in Western Germany. Built by Dutch businessman Hennie van der Most, the intriguing Wunderland theme park sits just about an hour's drive from Essen near the border with The Netherlands. The complex was originally bought and developed by van der Most as a hotel and leisure center in the early 90s, with the addition of Kernie's Familypark built later in 2001. What sets this park above the rest, though, aren't just its amenities and convenient location.
Engineers had a unique idea when planning construction for the amusement park that was to be Kernie's Familypark; an idea that proved to be both economical and crucial in many ways to the amusement park's ambiance and livelihood. Rather than tearing down a towering decommissioned nuclear reactor on the resort's property, the still structurally-sound relic was integrated into the park's design.
Giving a Bygone Relic a More Playful Purpose
Among the many rides and activities offered at the resourcefully constructed Familypark, those built in and around the reactor remain a highlight to this day. A nearly 200 foot tall vertical swing rises out of the center of the gigantic cooling tower so guests can whirl around the massive circular structure in enraptured glee while others climb the outside perimeter, which was converted into a rock-climbing wall complete with faux alpine scenery. Carousels and carnival games surround the remnant industrial buildings which, thanks to some creative decoration and remodeling, don't even convey a hint of the mechanical purpose for which they we originally constructed.
Safety is of course the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the potential hazards such a drastic industrial conversion could present, but parents can rest assured that Kernie's Familypark is just as harmless an any other children's play place. The reactor and cooling tower, while built to be fully functional in the 1980s, never actually saw any type of unstable or irradiated material and the plant was never put into operation. The result of the abandoned project left an array of harmless structures that happened to be perfect for serving a much more happy function in the modern day.
Planning the Best Family Vacations in Germany
From whimsical resorts like Wunderland theme park to historic medieval villages and beyond, Germany is a great place to vacation with your family and Auto Europe is here to help you get around at the lowest prices available. Major cities and hubs offer excellent venues for enjoying yourself while in the country but you can get unrestricted access to all of the truly authentic wonders waiting for you outside the most popular tourist areas with a rental car in Germany. Bring the whole family along in comfort and style with a van rental in Germany or opt for the ultimate experience and tour Europe in a Germany motorhome! Auto Europe has been serving travelers to Europe for over 60 years with the guaranteed best rates in the industry and we'd love to put our experience to work for you on your next adventure abroad.