Berlin is somewhat famous for having several abandoned buildings in and around the city. Until recently, I had never been to any of them, but a few weeks ago I was invited by my friend Nicole to go on a cycling adventure outside of the city and check out the Beelitz-Heilstätten Sanatorium in Brandenburg.
Built at the very end of the 19th century as a sanatorium for workers living nearby, it was one of the largest hospital complexes in the Berlin surroundings with 60 buildings and a total area of 200 hectares.
During the First and Second World Wars, it served as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Among them was Adolf Hitler, who was a patient there from 9th October to 4th December 1916 after being wounded by shrapnel to the thigh during the Battle of the Somme.
After the Second World War, it continued operating as a hospital, and until 1994 was the largest military hospital of the Russian army abroad. It was then slowly renovated, but in 2001 the company that owned the property went insolvent and nothing further has been done since then.
Most of the complex is now officially closed to the public, but there is a part where visiting is permitted. Inside, the extent of decay is shocking, with caved in ceilings, crumbling brickwork and warped walls. But at the same time, it is somehow quite beautiful.
Just beware of the massive holes in the floor and missing steps in stairs and you’ll be fine!
Read more from someone who knows what they’re talking about on how to get there and get in safely over at Abandoned Berlin.