January 15, 2022

Tour Report: Sanatorium A.

It was still our late fall vacation in 2018. After exploring the abandoned railyard, we drove to the Harz mountains to visit with our dear friend Jens and to spend three nights at his place on top of the mountain. We didn't have a barbecue over the campfire as we'd thought - but Jens had installed an old kitchen wood stove in "our" room for heating and cooking, so we made a pot of stew for dinner and sat and talked with Jens for a few hours before going to bed.

The next morning, we had a nice long breakfast with fresh coffee, and the weather was beautiful, so we decided to go for a short tour to an abandoned sanatorium. We had seen this place in 2014 - but only from a distance, so to speak, since only a few weeks before, there had been a big fire, and the place was pretty well secured at the time. Looking at the maps, we saw that there were some more buildings than just the scorched main building, so it did seem to be worth a visit.

About 30 minutes after leaving, we arrived at our destination. There was a public parking spot nearby, so we were able to park our car and look like normal hikers heading into the woods. The premises of the sanatorium aren't really off limits; only the main building is surrounded by a fence.

First, we headed deeper into the woods to check out the three buildings standing a little further away. The first building we explored was originally the part of the hospital where children were treated. The building was beautiful - autumnal colors dominated the place. The wind had blown in large amounts of fall leaves through the windows, and the combination of yellow walls and blue tiles added a few spots of color.

The next two buildings that we checked out, were two smaller houses that looked more or less like residences. They may have been used by specialized doctors for private patients, but I'm not sure about that. These two buildings were even more decayed than the first one, and they looked pretty dangerous to enter. One of them had collapsed to the point that entering wasn't even possible. The second of the two houses looked pretty unspectacular - right up to the point when we went into the basement and discovered a bathtub full of old x-ray photos. These photos were from the 1960s and older. Some of them still had the patient's names on them, but most of them were illegible. It was still fascinating to find these "hands on" relics from the hospital past after so many years.

Towards the end of our exploration, we even took some time to check out the sanatorium's main building, and in spite of the massive destruction due to the fire, we did take a couple of shots there as well.

After finishing our exploration, we decided to call it a day, shop some drinks and groceries for the barbecue - and we also still had to chop some wood for the oven, so we wouldn't freeze at night. After all, it was November on top of the mountain, and the nights can get pretty cold up there...

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

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