Due to traffic jams all over the Ruhr area, we arrived at our hotel rather late - but at least the tour had started with the exploration of an abandoned psychiatric hospital.
We went out for dinner and planned our tour for the next day, and we finished the first day of Operation "Easter Basket" with a couple of beers and shots in our hotel room.
The next morning, we got up relatively early and drove for about 70 kilometers to our first spot. We had decided for a more than a hundred-year-old prison that has been left unused for about 5 years now.
Freddy and I had only been to one other prison before, and I had found that experience pretty cool, and this particular prison is huge compared to the one I'd visited in Denmark, so it seemed like a good idea to check this one out.
When we got to the location, we first drove around the block to check for a good place to park and maybe spot a way in. All you could see from the streets were high walls and the central building of the prison.
So we consulted the map one more time and decided to park in the residential area richt next to the prison. We found a parking place near a little path that looked like it led in the direction of the prison, and I hoped that this was the case.
It had started to rain, so there were no people outside that could keep us from exploring, but I could feel the neighbor's eyes on us through their windows...
Anyway, we walked along the path and it deed in fact lead us right to the prison wall. It was like a deja vu - just like in the Danish prison, someone had broken a hole in the wall, and we could climb through easily. Once we were inside the walls, we started looking for the way into the buildings. It took us some time to find an open door that led us into the newer building and through the basement, we were able to get into the large older part.
In spite of all the graffiti that have been sprayed on the walls over the years, exploring this prison was a unique experience. Seeing the facility from the inside and imagining how the inmates must have lived there set a really strange mood. In a way, the prison was still active, because there was still electricity, and the neon lights were humming their typical 50 Hertz song...
After about three hours, more people came for a photo shoot, and they started being loud and making noises, which kind of ruined the mood, so we finished up our exploration and left the same way we came.
There have been recent developments regarding this prison. About one month after our visit, a fire broke out in the prison chapel, and after that, a security service was tasked with protection of the place 24/7.
Preparations for the demolition of the prison have begun over this month, and the demolition is scheduled to take place from February until November of next year.
To find out more about the history of this old prison and to check out all the photos from this amazing spot, click the button below.