April 27, 2016

The Forbidden City

For my birthday last year, I got the coolest present from my brother. He invited my wife and me to a tour of the School for Infantry at Wünsdorf.
Next to Beelitz, the infantry school is probabyl one of the most beautiful locations you can visit in Germany. The various uses by German and Soviet military have left a unique combination of styles in the old buildings, so even if the "thrill of entering" and the process of scouting, sneaking etc. is not there, a visit here is a great experience.
Since this was a legal visit, this time there will not be a great story about how we got in. We got to the city of Wünsdorf by train really early and had to walk a while before we reached the meeting point.
The organizers checked off the lists, and while they were still waiting for some other people to arrive, one of them started the historical lecture about the place. Because we already had been waiting for some time, I asked him if we could skip the lecture and just head on to the premises. There were some other guys who shared my eagerness to get going and not waste precious time. So we were allowed to go ahead. Because most of the people headed for the Officer's Hosue first, we diceded to head for the "Forbidden City" and explore it with as little disturbance as possible.
We managed to see only a little part. There are so many buildings, so many rooms to explore, so many photos to take, that I don't think it's possible to see it all in one day.
So we explored the Forbidden City for about five hours before we headed over to the Officer's House.
The heat was almost unbearable, just like the days before. Well around 35°C or higher, we were glad to have brought a lot of water with us.

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

April 21, 2016

French Shopping Center B.

I had heard about this location on a lot of occasions. It was clear that it wasn't going to be especially spectacula, but since we were relatively close, my wife and I thought, "Why not add this as the third spot for the day.".
So we started walking.
And we walked.
And walked.

You know the situation when you think you should have taken the bus or a cab or something? And at that point you check your maps and you say "It's not that far anymore, I think we're almost there.".
But you're not almost there.
Not even close.

That happened to us a couple of times on the way from the Doctor's Villa to the next spot.
But we eventually got there, and from what I'd heard, getting in should be a piece of cake!
Well....no. Against all odds, we appeared to have chosen the day after all possible entries had been sealed. So we walked around the huge building and checked out ecvery window, every door and every possibility to climb up somewhere to find a way in, but there was nothing.
Just as we were both getting really frustrated from the heat, I found a small window that had obviously been boarded shut, but the boards had been removed. So I slipped in and checked out if there was a possibility to gain furhter access.
Finally a success! I called my wife and she climbed in. We had to climb across a lot of trash to get into the next room, but we were in.
As expected, the location itself has been completely trashed. Even the escalators havebeen removed, there are graffiti everywhere, and at least at the time we were there, not all parts were accessible.

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

April 16, 2016

The Doctor's Villa

The second location that my wife and I visited on this particularly hot day was - conveniently enough - only about a hundred meters down the street from "The Projectionist's House", so we didn't really have to move around a lot in the heat.
A problem was that the fence around the Doctor's Villa was in significantly better shape than the one before...
There was only one small hole at ground level facing the main street going past the house. There was a lot of traffic and many people walking past, so we were a little undecided if we should risk the entry.
When the traffic had calmed down and there were no people for a short moment, I slipped through (not without getting a couple of scratches from the fence) and checked out if there was a way into the house at all. I walked around the villa and spotted an open window. It was a little high, but there was a small edge on the wall below, so it was possible to get in.
I went back to the hole in the fence and told my wife to follow me. She didn't really likes to be crawling through the dirt (I think I mentioned that already), but she elegantly dove down and through the hole in the fence without any trouble.
I climbed through the window and helped her climb up.
Inside, we found out why we had been warned about the condition of the house. Years of decay and vandalism have left it in miserable shape.
Furniture has been taken apart, and there are huge holes in the floor of the upper floors. We found newspapers from the 1960s and patient files dating from the 1960s all the way to the 1960s.
After about an hour and a half, we made our way back out.
Since the hole in the fence is hidden between bushes, I imagine that it looked really weird for people that there was no one on the sidewalk in one moment and two dirty people patting the dust from their clothes in the next.

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

April 10, 2016

The Projectionist's House

Only a couple of days after our family reunion in Denmark, my wife and I set out on our next tour. My brother had arranged for us to go on a tour of "The Forbidden City" and the "Officers' House" near Berlin. We took the opportunity and got there a couple of days early to do some more exploring in the area.
On our first day, we had three locations planned, so we left relatively early.
We arrived at our destination at around 10:30, and it was already really hot outside. Temperatures were well on their way to 30°C.
Our first location was an old theater. Well, the theater itself collapsed years ago, but the residence of the owner is still left.
Getting on the premises was pretty simple. We walked along the fence and found a hole that we could get through. Once near the building, we started checking for a way in. Our fist way led us up the main stairs - there was a hole in the door! We thought we had made it, but realized that we were only standing in a small entrance room and every way further in had been walled shut.
So we went back out and kept looking. All the windows at ground level were boarded shut, all doors were walled up.
We had almost made it once around the entire building without finding a way in, when I discovered a small hole in the ground that led straight into the basement.
My wife really wasn't thrilled by the idea of crawling in the dirt into a dark basement, but after I had climbed down and verified that this in fact was the way in, she climbed in after me.
Through the cellar rooms we made our way to the stairs that brought us up. What we found was a typical residential house which had been visited and decorated by various "urbexers" and probably more than a couple of teenagers over the past years. There were still some nice scenes to be found and photographed.
All in all, a nice little spot - and the next one is only a few meters down the street......

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

April 8, 2016

The Hotel by the Road

This location too was a tip I got from an urbex colleague in Denmark. My wife and I drove there on the way back from the steel company. Just to check it out.
It looked really cool from the outside. It used to be a "Kro", a Danish inn. Almost every small town in the Danish countryside has one of those, and it usually sits right at the main road. this was also the case here. We parked around the corner and walked around the premises. There was the road on one side (we saw an open widow, but it was facing straight at the road), bushes on the other, a street on the third and neighbours on the fourth side.
This didn't look too easy in terms of getting in without being seen.
So our initial check was done, and we went back to the family reunion.
That night, the husband of my wife's cousin (who is a lawyer in Denmark) told us that for trespassing in Denmark you can get up to one and a half years in prison. I asked him what's normal for trespassing if you get caught, and he said normally the police ask you nicely to leave.
This gave us a little more confidence to risk an entry the next day.

After the family reunion was over at around ten, we left and drove back to the old inn. We parked a little futher away that the day before and started a more through walk around the building. There really was no way in except the window facing the street. And lots of cars passing all the time.
After a while of thinking back and forth, curiosity took over, and I ran up the stairs, climbed on the railing, stepped over to the window and leaped inside.
This kind of forced my wife to come after me, and she made it in just as quick.
It wasn't spectacular, but it was a nice little explore.
And we dind't get caught.

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

April 3, 2016

Steel Company R.

In August of last year, my wife and I went to Denmark for her family's biennial reunuion. Last year, it took place on the island of Fyn.
Before we made our way up there, I contacted an urbex colleague in Denmark if he had an idea where in the region I could find some worthwile spots.
Normally I don't ask other people for locations, because the searching (and the finding!) of the spots to me are an important part of the hobby. But in this case, the language barrier is too high for me to do any successful searching over the usual channels, because the usual translation tools are really having a hard time with the Danish language...
Anyway, the guy in Denmark was really nice and gave me a couple of tips, and this was one of them.
It was only about twenty or thirty kilometers from the place of the familiy meeting, so on the second afternoon, my wife and I took the chance and got away from the family for a while. The factory buildings are in the middle of a small rural settlement with a couple of homes around. It was the weekend, so we parked a little hidden on the driveway of another company nearby and walked the rest of the way. We had checked for an appropriate entry route in advance, but that led us right past one of the neighboring houses. So we ducked and snuck past the shrubs in front of the house and dove through the gate on the steel company's premises.
We made our way through the high grass along the building walls until we found a way into an adjacent hall. The only door into the factory had been walled shut, but there was a hole in the wall - something like a service hatch - through which we finally got in...
On one of my later explorations there, a friend of mine found out that the front door was open...but that's another story for another post...
I cant't be sure when this company was abandoned. Some files in the offices that I discovered later date back to 2009, but some of the calendars and other stuff in the actual production halls suggest that the production seized as early as 1999.
The shape this place was in is amazing. There is no vandalism whatsoever (although we learned on a later expedition that there are some teenagers in the area that are slowly starting to discover the place as a party spot...), no graffiti and no metal thieves.
Highlight in this first exploration of this place was of course the dusty Porsche 944 that we discovered. It probably belonged to the owner and became part of the insolvency estate.
Well, after about one and a half hours we had to go on back to the family reunion, but this short excursion was a nice diversion from the usual family "routine" :)

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

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