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Berlin in Neuseeland
Akaroa County, Buller District Berlin,
Zeit: +12h MEZ
Währung: Neuseeländische Dollar
John Berlin aus Göteborg gründete diesen Ort im Jahre 1874 und betrieb hier neben der einzigen Post auch das einzige Hotel. 1940 und 1967 wurde die Siedlung von zwei schweren Erdbeben heimgesucht die den Ort fast vollständig zerstörten. Nur das Hotel Berlin überstand die Katastrophe. Die Mauern wurden abgetragen und das Gebäude an seinem heutigen Standort wieder aufgebaut. Direkt am Highway No. 6, zwischen der Hafenstadt Westport und Christchurch.
Aus Neuseeland erreichte uns eine E-Mail von Familie Reynolds mit weiteren Hinweisen zur Geschichte des wohl kleinsten Berlin auf diesem Planeten:
“Berlins was settled in the early 1900’s by a man called John Berlin, he had immigrated from Sweden in search of Gold in the rich Buller River. He owned the first “Berlins” which was in fact the postal agency, and later to become a Hotel.
The building was then known as the “Old Diggings” and the area surrounding was known as Berlins. It was a popular stopping point for stage coaches etc during the long trek to the West Coast of the South Island.
During World War II, the “Old Diggings” was destroyed by fire. At one time, the population of the area was around 400 people, all chasing Gold, and later milling native timber.
Following the war, the top storey of the Welcome Inn at the Lyell Settlement some 80 kilometres away was relocated to the site. It is popular belief that the building was barged down the Buller River and reassembled here. It was at that time owned by Lance Heaphy, and known as the Heaphy Hotel. This is the same building that stands today. The Hotel has been known as Berlins for some 50 years now.
In late 2004, it was completely renovated by Steve and Donna Reynolds to include a licensed cafe and lodgings. During the renovation a huge 52kg live artillery shell was dug up from the old steps. It was investigated, and dated back to the 1890’s, New Zealand Maori war times. The mystery remains today as to how it came to be there. It was deactivated, and is now on display in the Cafe.
Berlins is located on many New Zealand maps. Its current permanent population is 6! We have many visitors from Berlin, Germany asking about our history, and leaving us with gifts from Berlin, we proudly display the Berlin Flag, along with several Berlins Bears.
The history of Berlins, New Zealand spans 100 years, if only the walls could talk…”