July 10, 2024

Tour Report: Cultural Center "X"

This abandoned socialist event hall, or "Club House", was the final location on our tour through eastern Germany during our vacation in November 2019. We had seen the impressive building a couple of times before, as a highway runs right next to the site.
From the highway, we could already see that the neoclassical building was no longer in good shape - there were no windows to be seen and the building was covered in graffiti. So we didn't have high hopes, but we didn't want to miss the chance to take a look anyway.
We parked our car in a "parking lot" a little way behind the building. Presumably this was the former access road or parking lot of the cultural center - now it was used by a few truck drivers to take a nap. So we parked between a few trucks and didn't attract any attention.
There was no fence around the building, there were no signs warning us not to enter, and we quickly found an open door.
As expected, we were greeted by walls covered in graffiti. Unfortunately, they weren't even particularly artistic, but the typical "teenage graffiti". Nevertheless, we were impressed. The main hall of the former "clubhouse" was huge! There was a revolving stage, and in the early 2000s, various levels of concrete were added when plans were made to convert the building into a large disco - a plan that was never finally realized.
These concrete levels gave the main room (and other areas) a very modern and, in combination with the graffiti, somehow surreal appearance.
We climbed the many stairs to take photos from different angles. I admit: I got a little queasy when I moved around on the concrete floors built high up in the room - without railings...
But in the end, everything went well and we were able to complete our exploration without any casualties ;)

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

June 30, 2024

Tour Report: Sugar Factory R.

After spending two days in a row at a former Soviet military site, it was time to explore something non-military again. Not far from the Huskyhof where we were staying was a former sugar factory. Not far away, a promising location and good weather - so we set off. It was the ninth of a total of ten excursions we made during our vacation in November 2019.
There weren't really any decent parking spaces nearby, so we simply parked between a few cars that apparently belonged to workers from the surrounding businesses. We just pretended to be one of them. The way into the old factory building was easy - the factory grounds and buildings were wide open. We could see relatively early on that truck drivers and other people were apparently using the sugar factory site as a toilet, so we could assume that it wouldn't be a problem if we moved around there.
The factory building had undergone various uses in the decades following the Second World War, so it was no longer recognizable as a sugar factory. Nevertheless, there were many beautiful motifs - from dark cellar vaults to rooms with lattice windows and beautiful incidence of light to beautiful natural decay. There really was a lot to see!
I estimate that we spent around three hours in the building before we had seen everything - with the exception of the area that had already been converted into apartments, of course.
After we had left the building and the grounds, I wanted to try and find out more about its history.
So I simply went to the neighboring active factory site and asked one of the workers if he could tell me something about the old factory. He himself had moved in, so he had no information - but he called the foreman to him, who knew the building and its former uses. He told us a lot so that we could get a good idea of how the rooms we had explored just a few minutes earlier had been used.
So the excursion was really a well-rounded affair - in addition to the photos, there was also a little history lesson, which is always good to get the overall picture of a location.

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

June 22, 2024

Tour Report: Ammunition Factory K.

After leaving the aqua park, we made our way to our friends at the "Huskyhof", where we wanted to spend the last few days of our November 2019 vacation. On the way, we took a small detour to scout out a place we'd been eyeing for a trip for a while.
It is a large ammunition factory that was built in the 1930s, initially to produce ammunition for large-caliber guns. It later began producing chemical weapons in the form of grenades and aerial bombs. After the end of the war, part of the site continued to be used for the production of armaments such as hand grenades, fuses and landmines, including the PPM-2 infantry mine and the SM-70 automatic firing system.
Another part of the site was later used by the Red Army as a garrison base.

It was already early afternoon when we arrived, so we only had time for a short exploration tour. We found a parking spot right next to the road that bordered the site.  There is an industrial area on the other side, so another car didn't really stand out. To our surprise, access to the site was not sealed off - the only sign we saw told us not to dump any garbage. But that wasn't our plan...
We had to climb over a few tree trunks that had fallen onto the paths, then we reached the first buildings relatively quickly.
We had no idea what to expect, so we were all the more surprised at what we found.
Most of the buildings we found were from the time of the war - recognizable by the large windows, which ensured that the detonation energy was dissipated to the outside in the event of an explosion - and only windows and personnel had to be replaced, but the building itself suffered as little damage as possible.
Ammunition factories built in this way remind me again and again of the cruelty and inhumanity of war, and not just on the battlefield.
The part of the site we were looking at belonged to the area that continued to be used for the production of ammunition during the Cold War. One building in particular caught the eye. A meter-high concrete wall had been built on each side at a relatively short distance, again to protect the surrounding area from the effects of an unplanned explosion.
These huge, smooth walls are obviously an invitation to graffiti artists, as they were full of paintings - and some of them were really beautiful! The huge whale in particular really inspired us - for me one of the most beautiful works of art we have ever discovered in an abandoned place.

As it was getting late, we still had a good hour's drive ahead of us and were expected for dinner, we decided to cut our visit short but come back the next day.
This visit should also be very exciting and bring some unexpected surprises..., so stay tuned!

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

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