New Clear Fun

One of the most bizarre amusement parks on the planet (besides the one in Chernobyl and "Funland" in Drumheller, Canada) has to be
Wunderland Kalkar (formerly: "Kernwasser Wunderland") in Kalkar, Germany.

It started its life as a breeder-reactor! Shortly before its completion it became one of the most expensive ruins when numerous protests, the Chernobyl disaster and political queeries made it difficult to justify its existence.

Enter Dutch businessman Hennie van der Most: He bought the whole ruin (minus the nuclear stuff) for just € 2.5 Million and converted into a hotel and fun-park.
His early plans of building a rollercoaster-dark-ride through the spooky, labyrinthine hallways of the reactor came to a halt when he was confronted with the insane building-requirements in Germany.

Poor Henny was close to call it a day, when he famously gave an interview in which he nagged about the German bureaucrazy. Apparantly placing some flower-pots on a 3 meter (10 ft.) thick concrete-slab required permission from various building-authorities!

Of course Henny was also aware that the ambience of his artificial paradise left something to be desired. Despite being beautifully located at the edge of the Rhine-River, the massive cryptic architecture of the plant overshadowed virtually any idea of family-fun.

With all-inclusive offerings (all-inclusive means: food and especially alcohol) he somehow managed to fill his bunker-hotel with groups of low-level business travellers. I remember reading great articles about the drinking binges that apparently happened there. It seems that people had to get drunk incredibly fast to withstand the feeling of opression and eeriness that "radiated" from the whole place.

The park is now in its 13th year of operation, catering to families who can´t afford a day at one of the upscale German and Dutch amusement-parks in the area. Looking at new pictures, it seems that they somehow manage to blend out the buildings by simply throwing lots of paint on them.
Besides, after a place has been used for a different purpose long enough, the "old ghosts" seem to vanish.

Still, the idea of putting an amusement-park into an atomic powerplant is awesome, even if the outcome is a bit underwhelming.

In case you didn´t notice already: Every first picture is from the park, contrasted with a still-shot from Terry Gilliam´s "Brazil" (Click to enlarge).

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