After my visit last year, we had to take another trip! There was so much more to see, and aided by the locals, we managed to cover it all! (well a lot of it) It’s like a small town, impossible to describe the scale of the place. ‘Beelitz-Heilstätten, a district of the town, is home to a large hospital complex of about 60 buildings including a cogeneration plant erected from 1898 on according to plans of architect Heino Schmieden. Originally designed as a sanatorium by the Berlin workers’ health insurance corporation, the complex from the beginning of World War I on was a military hospital of the Imperial German Army. During October and November 1916, Adolf Hitler recuperated at Beelitz-Heilstätten after being wounded in the leg at the Battle of the Somme. In 1945, Beelitz-Heilstätten was occupied by Soviet forces, and the complex remained a Soviet military hospital until 1995, well after the German reunification. In December 1990 Erich Honecker was admitted to Beelitz-Heilstätten after being forced to resign as the head of the East German government. Following the Soviet withdrawal, attempts were made to privatize the complex, but they were not entirely successful. Some sections of the hospital remain in operation as a neurological rehabilitation center and as a center for research and care for victims of Parkinsons disease. The remainder of the complex, including the surgery, the psychiatric ward, and a rifle range, was abandoned in 2000. As of 2007, none of the abandoned hospital buildings or the surrounding area were secured, giving the area the feel of a ghost town. This has made Beelitz-Heilstätten a destination for curious visitors and a film set [...]
Bärenquell-Brauerei is a huggeee brewery in Berlin, never seen anything like it, people having a picnic on the roof, other taking a shortcuts trough the middle, with shopping, just a generally free of all explore, never met so many people in an abandoned building. ‘When the Bärenquell Brauerei closed its doors for the last time on April 1st, 1994, it marked the end of a brewery 112 years old. It first opened as the Borussia Brauerei in 1882, was bought by Schultheiss AG and expanded in 1898. After the war, it came under state control like pretty much everything else did. It was renamed the VEB Bärenquell. VEB stands for Volkseigener Betrieb, people-owned enterprise. Bärenquell proved to be one of Berlin’s most popular beers and was renowned for its good taste. By the time of its closure it was one of the ‘big four’ with Kindl, Berliner Pilsener and Schultheiss.’ Abandoned Berlin
An amusing explore at SpreePark, as the day we picked to go, they had some kind of open day, with only the entrance of the park open to the public. This made for easy access (and the option to buy a beer on the way to the explore) but a high level of security, we got caught and kicked out twice in fact, fun times! 1969-1989 – Kulturpark Plänterwald The entertainment park was opened in 1969 as Kulturpark Plänterwald, covering an area of 29.5 hectares. The area is situated in the north of the Plänterwald, next to the river Spree. It was the only constant entertainment park in the GDR, and the only such park in either East or West Berlin. 1989-2001 – Spreepark Berlin The VEB cultural park Berlin was completed in 1991 by mixed municipal authorities in Berlin. From seven applicants altogether the Spreepark Berlin GmbH company received the contract. Crucially, the references of Norbert Witte of the company were not properly checked. Under the Spreepark GmbH some new attractions were added and visitor numbers reached 1.5 million per annum. Later the concept was changed. The park was transformed gradually to a recreational park on a more western model. From now on an overall fee (adults: 29 DM, children: 27 DM) for admission and for all attractions was charged, instead of visitors paying an individual price at each ride, as had previously been the case. The asphalted surface around the Ferris wheel was taken up and converted into a water landscape. Roller coasters, two game water courses, a stage, a [...]
The start of our Berlin adventure under a new name of (EU-UrbEx), what an experience! What a city! ‘Berliner Eisfabrik. Abandoned ice factory, one of Germany’s oldest, which managed to survive two world wars, several fires and countless parties but is about to meet its fate at the hands of developers to make way for luxury apartments despite being a protected building. There’s a nice view of the river and my beloved Fernsehturm from the roof, and it’s also home to some fine street art.’ – Abandoned Berlin
The US National Security Agency (NSA) built one of its largest listening stations on top of the hill, rumored to be part of the global ECHELON intelligence gathering network. “The Hill”, as it was known colloquially by the many American soldiers who worked there around the clock and who commuted there from their quarters in the American Sector, was located in the British Sector. Prior to establishing the first permanent buildings there in the very late 1950s, Mobile Allied listening units had driven to various other locales throughout West Berlin hoping to gain the best vantage point for listening to Soviet, East German, and other Warsaw Pact nations military traffic. One such unit drove to the top of Teufelsberg and discovered a marked improvement in listening ability. This discovery eventually led to a large structure being built atop the hill, which would come to be run by the NSA (National Security Agency). At the request of US government, the ski lifts were removed because they allegedly disturbed the signals. The station continued to operate until the fall of East Germany and the Berlin Wall, but after that the station was closed and the equipment removed. The buildings and radar domes still remain in place.
Beelitz-Heilstätten, a district of the town, is home to a large hospital complex of about 60 buildings erected in 1898 and deigned by architect Heino Schmieden. Originally designed as a sanatorium, the complex from the beginning of World War I became a military hospital of the Imperial German Army. During October and November 1916, Adolf Hitler was treated at Beelitz-Heilstättenfor a leg wound at the Battle of the Somme. In 1945, Beelitz-Heilstätten was occupied by Soviet forces, and the complex remained a Soviet military hospital until 1995. In December 1990 Erich Honecker was admitted to Beelitz-Heilstätten after being forced to resign as the head of the East German government.