February 28, 2016

Villa Wonka

For those of you who don't know the Villa Wonka: This abandoned villa used to be the home to the owner of a large chocolate factory in Eastern Germany - hence the name for the location.
The villa actually stands on the premises of the chocolate factory, but is to be looked at seperately since the accessibility of both spots differ a lot.
My wife and I went to the chocolate factory two days in a row, and on both days, there were people on the premises that were apparently renting space to use as a sort of auto repair shop.
On the first day, on which we had planned to visit the villa, we saw a couple of people at the gate of the villa as we were driving around the street corner. These people were using a rock to hit on the lock that was on the gate.
After we'd observed that, we first started our first (usnuccaessful) attempt at the chocolate factory, after which I went to the gate of the villa to find it open.
I went through the yard and into the villa. Since I didn't see anybody, I yelled "Hello!", and someone yelled "Hello!" back. A man came from one of the rooms and greeted me. I introduced myself and my wife and told them we were here to check out the villa and maybe take some photos and asked if he was the man to talk to.
He introduced himself - surprise! - as the new owner of the villa. The lady that was with him was his wife and there were two other men with him, one of which was introduced to us as "the architect".
The amn that had greeted us at the door said that he and his wife had bought the place and were aiming to renovate the whole thing and that it was totally okay if we took photos of the place.
As we were walking through the house, we overheard a lot of stuff they were planning to do, and they told us how much money they were planning to invest and that one of the reasons they were doing it was to send a signal for other people to invest in the city.

The villa itself was in a desolate state. In this hobby, you read and hear a lot about what people are planning to do with certain places, and then nothing happens.
But in this case, I am optimistic, because last I heard, the roof had been fixed, which was the most important thing, since the weather had done significant damage to the villa.
I am curious to see what happens in the future.

To find out more about the history of this abandoned villa and to check out all the photos from this great little spot, click the button below.

February 22, 2016

Stroller Factory Z.

After we had left the church, we went back to the car to smoke a cigarette and check if everything was alright despite our unorthodox parking space.
It was, so we went around the corner, because right across the church was the way in to the stroller factory. I knew about this place and had checked it out during the planning phase for the tour, but it had never struck me as especially interesting, but as we were standing in front of the two large old buildings, the desire grew to explore this once very successful company.
So we hopped over a small fence, squeezed through an opening in a construction fence and through a couple of bushes and we were on the premises.
We quickly found an open door into the first building and started our exploration. As expected, it was nothing much interesting, but with a nice staircase and some areas of beautiful decay.
The second building was unique for its huge halls with tall concrete pillars that were lit quite beautifully by the sun that was oozing in from the outside...

To find out more about the history of this abandoned church and to check out all the photos from this great little spot, click the button below.

February 15, 2016

St. Nicholas Church Z.

The next day, my wife and I had a couple of locations planned in a city that was so full of lost places that we eventually decided to return the next day to do some more eploring.
There was one thing about this small city, however, that nearly drove us mad. Almost every road in the town center was closed for construction. The damn GPS didn't know that, so we were desperate to find our way around and get to where we wanted to be.
We finally found our first spot, an abandoned church. But there was no place to park. So we drove around again through more construction sites until we had found...nothing. We decided to play it not safe and just parked right around the corner in front of the second location (which was across the street from the church).
Next to the church is a senior citizens home, and senior citizens are always vigilant, so when we saw an old lady sitting on a wall near the hole in the fence that was to be our way in, we hesitated at first.
But after watching her for a couple of minutes, we began to suspect that she was either suffering from dementia or drunk. Maybe both.
Anyway, we walked past her a couple of times and when there was no apparent reaction, we quickly jumped through the hole in the fence, made our way along the trees and through the bushes that surround the old church, and we were in.
The rain started shortly after we entered. It was only short showers, but the fast-moving clouds were a little annoying when it came to taking photos, because the light was constantly changing.
After we were done, we slipped out the same way that we had gotten in. The lady was still sitting there...

To find out more about the history of this abandoned church and to check out all the photos from this great little spot, click the button below.

February 10, 2016

Sheet Music Printing Factory L.

This abandoned printing factory that was built around 1900 and was actually the first building in Germany with a structure entirely constructed out of reinforced concrete.
It was a nice short solo exploration for me as the finale of the third day of our summer vacation last year.
The location was right across from the hotel that kind of served as our base camp for our explorations. The building looked abandoned, but a huge sign on the side said that it was being refurbished into luxury apartments. But it really didn't look like much was happening there. So after we had parked the car, my wife wanted to go get some drinks and snacks for after dinner. I quickly went to check out the outside of the building. All the windows of the ground floor were boarded, but there was a small gap between the boards that I thought I might fit through. I went back to my wife, but she wanted to go on get the drinks anyway and told me to go right ahead. So I grabbed the gear, went across the (very busy) street and tried to wait for an opportune moment to slip behind the breaker box and through the gap in the door. Got a nasty scratch from a rusty nail on the way in and very probably I did NOT look inconspicuous AT ALL.
But I was in and no one seemed to care.

The preparations for the renovation obviously had begun at some point. Debris and trash had been cleaned and packed into platic bags, fuse panels had been stripped away and piled on the floors and it even looked like someone had tried to sweep the dust...
I did a quick walkthrough and took a couple of photos for about 30 or 40 minutes before I slipped out the same way I got in (and I keep telling myself that I looked more elegant the second time) and met my wife back at the car.

To find out more about the history of this architecturally interesting site and to check out all the photos from this neat little spot, click the button below.

February 6, 2016

Toy Factory T.

The weather did hold for the next location. Mostly.
The next spot on our list was an abandoned toy factory in a small city only about 20 kilometers from the Soviet airbase, so iti didn't take us long to get there.
We found a place to park a few streets away and decided to walk around the location for a while to see if we could find an easy way in. From the look of the place on Google Earth, we couldn't make out a good place to enter and as we were sneaking around the place, it turned out that there really wasn't one. We had hoped to be able to enter from the back side, so we couldn't be spotted too easily, but there was another business and there workers on the premises.
On the other sides, the location is surrounded by a wall that was too high for us to climb.
The only way in appears to be climbing over the gate right at the street that was fairly populated by passing cars...
So we did that. I climbed over first and disappeared between the bushes on the abandoned factory premises. When the next opportunity came, my wife followed and we were in.

The place itself wasn't too spectacular. It appears that it has been used as an illegal dump for some time, and it's also been pretty much vandalized.

As we were leaving again after about two hours the rain had set in, but it was only a quick showe, and by the time we got to the third location, the sun was back out again.

To find out more about the history of the toy factory and to check out all the photos from this neat little spot, click the button below.

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