October 13, 2019

Tour Report: East German Border Troops B.

After we had finished exploring the abandoned school hostel, we still had some time to check out at least one other location. On our list we had two possible sites; both of them were former barracks of the East German "Grenztruppen" border troops.
As we arrived at the first location, it became apparent that this particular garrison was still in use - not by the border troops, of course, but by what looked like a scrap trade or something of the sort. So we drove on to the next spot which wasn't too far either.
The weather was still rather bleak, the sky was draped in gray clouds, and a light rain came down from the sky as we arrived at the garrison.
At first look, we were a little surprised not to find the typical standardized prefabricated building made out of concrete slabs, but mostly red brick buildings. Later, I found out that although the concrete buildings were the standard, red brick buildings were in fact common for the border troops as well.
There was a fence around the premises, but this fence didn't really deserve this label - it was full of holes, and some parts were missing entirely. We had parked a little bit down the street to not arise too many suspicions - after all, there were houses right across the street - and walked across a field to enter the place.
As with many abandoned military facilities, this one too has been used for dumping trash by the locals and as a party location for the village teenagers, so the state really was lamentable...
We still took our time and explored every corner - and we did find some nice photo opportunities. In the end, this place was nothing special, but it was one more relic from the not-too-far-away-past in which we didn't live too far away from the border that divided the world into East and West.

To check out all the photos from this place and to find out about its history, click the button below.

October 6, 2019

Tour Report: School Hostel B.

Early in December of 2017, we embarked on a short tour through Northern Germany together with our friend Freddy from Nordgriller Urbex.
The first location that we wanted to explore was an abandoned school hostel. It had been operated by the catholic church until its closure due to investigations into alleged cases of abuse that happened in the 1950s.
The building stood right in a residential area, so we expected difficulties in terms of parking and potentially watchful neighbors, so we first drove by to check if the coast was clear.
It was easier than we had thought. There was a place to park right near the location, and there were no fences around the place. Trails around the building and broken windows told the obvious story of teenagers from the neighborhood using the abandoned building as a playground.
We found an open door around the back and entered.
Our expectations regarding the level of vandalism were met - there was a lot of graffiti of rather low standard, but surprisingly enough, the destruction wasn't too extensive.
There was still a lot of stuff from the hostel's time of operation, so there were a couple of nice details to be seen.
What I liked most about the place was the decay.
Some of the ceiling lights had been thrown in, so ample amounts of rain had made their way into the building and soaked some of the walls and the furniture. The humidity brought some nice and colorful decay - even in the winter time.
After about an hour and a half, we were done exploring all the rooms, so we did one last walkthrough for a short video of the place (link after the photos); then we returned to the car and drove off to the next location we had planned...

To find out more about the history of this place and to check out all the photos, click the button below.

And here's the short video I made towards the end of our explore:

September 29, 2019

Tour Report: Bunker of the Luftwaffe

On the way home from our short vacation in Eastern Germany back in November of 2017, my wife and I decided to make a quick stop to check out one more bunker.
The area is riddled with abandoned facilities from World War II as well as from the time of the Soviet occupation, and there was just enough time for one of those, so we chose the one where we expected the least trouble in terms of getting in.
It's not entirely clear what this bunker was, but it's pretty safe to assume that it was used for maintenance by the "Erprobungsstelle der Luftwaffe" (Luftwaffe Test Area).
We parked by the side of the road and walked don a path that led us into the forest. After a while, we arrived at a gate, There was a sign saying something about hunting season, but we walked past the gate through a hole in the fence and after a few meters, we could see the ruin of the bunker.
Right next to it, the Soviets had built a shelter which had been used as a communications hub for the airfield. Now it looked like it was only used by local farmers.
The ruin of the old bunker was more than impressive. The dimensions of the construction were huge - and since there were a lot of holes in it, you could really well see how massive the walls were.
The combination of the demolished construction from the 1940s, the graffiti of the Soviet soldiers on the walls and nature having reclaimed a lot of the area since the Soviets had left, gave kind of a spooky atmosphere to the place, especially with the bleak light of November...
We took our time and climbed around in the ruins...until...
A deer roared...then we hear a shot!
That sounded pretty close!
We couldn't tell, but we decided that this wasn't a place to stay any longer, and since we were almost done anyway, we left through the gate and got back to the car to drive home.

To find out more about the history of this place and to check out all the photos, click the button below.

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