February 27, 2022

Tour Report: Hotel "Berdux"

Although we'd just spent the final days of our November vacation in 2018 with our friend Jens in the Harz mountains, we had decided to spend the New Year's celebration there as well. We arrived on December 29, and we had planned a few explorations for the following day. However, as we were cooking dinner over the fire that evening, Jens informed us that he had a few tasks for us to perform, since he was going to be on a sleigh tour with some tourists.
So much for our tour the next day. We spent the day up on the mountain and used the extra time in the afternoon to chop some wood for the next couple of days and drive into town to get some groceries and drinks for New Year's Eve. 
The tour had to wait until the next day.
We started the following day with a nice little breakfast, and since we didn't have to drive too far, we were able to take our time getting ready. The day started out beautifully - the sun was shining, and the air was cold and crisp.
We arrived at the first location after about fifteen minutes of driving. There was a public parking lot right next to it, so we didn't have to search for a place to park.
Entering the abandoned hotel was easy - there was an open door.
We came in through the kitchen, a few office rooms and the main dining area - they had fallen victim to the usual vandalism, and so we didn't have high hopes regarding the rest of the place.
We were wrong. Of course, there was vandalism, but less than we thought, and there was a lot of beautiful decay. Even the piano was still in pretty good shape.
We took our time to check out every corner of the old hotel, so we spent about one and a half hours in there, before we got on the way to the next location...

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

February 14, 2022

Tour Report: Sanatorium "Bauhaus"

We had tried to visit this place once before. In Summer of 2014, we drove up the mountain to explore a beautiful abandoned sanatorium that was built in the late 1920s and designed in the style of "Neues Bauen" (Bauhaus).

At the time, however, we met some people on the premises that told us that they were the owners and that we were not welcome there. At the time, ownership of the place wasn't really clear - personally I think that it was "between two owners", so to speak. And I do think that the people we met were in fact copper thieves. So this was our first try at exploring this building.

Before we drove up to the Harz mountains in November of 2018 to visit our friend Jens, I contacted the new owners to see if it was possible for us to take a few photos. It didn't take long, and we got the answer that it was in fact possible and that we should contact them again to set up the time.

We did as we had been told and were greeted friendly upon our arrival. The place is now operated by a group of people with the goal to set up a community on a cooperative basis that combines housing, working and living together. They are living inside the old buildings and are renovating them bit by bit to slow down the decay of the past 20 years.

First, we were told which areas are off limits because they are used as living quarters for the inhabitants or because they might be too dangerous to explore. Then we got a very detailed history about the place by a young man who lived in the community and happened to be an art history major at the university - perfect for showing us through this architectural gem!

Towards the end of the first walkthrough, we were told that we could roam freely from then on and explore on our own - with the exception of the mentioned areas, of course. There was no fixed price for the exploration and the tour, so we gave a little something for the community. It may have been a little more than they'd expected (we thought it was more than adequate for the tour we got and the time they took for us), because they then unlocked another building - which is usually off limits because the community uses it to store their tools - and said that we were allowed to explore this one as well.

So we took a few more hours to explore the place. We checked out every room that we found and managed to get quite a few nice shots.

If you are interested to visit this place, contact the community on their website Freie Feldlage.

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

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