June 25, 2022

Tour Report: Chapel of the Last Rites

It was still morning, when Toeppi from "Fotodokumentationen" and I left the World War II air-raid shelter in Berlin to go check out three more locations - an abandoned chapel, an old retirement home and a field hospital. The two first spots are almost right next to each other; only a few hundred meters separate them from each other. It took us about 45 minutes to get there. There was plenty of parking space, and we decided to check out the chapel first. It was built together with a cemetery during the final days of World War II to bury soldiers and refugees that had died in the nearby military hospital that was operated by the Luftwaffe.
As we walked up to the chapel, the low winter sun painted shadows on the walls. There was no wind, and an eerie silence lay over the place.
The main door was locked, but as we walked around the old building, we found an open door that led into the basement.
It was not just the basement stairs, but also an "coffin elevator" that was used to transport coffins to and from the basement before and after the body had been prepared for laying out. As we went down the stairs and looked around in the rooms below the chapel, we could see that this place was also a place for thanatopraxy. I had seen photos of the rooms before, and obviously, there was much more to see in earlier years, and much stuff had been stolen, but there were still many things to be seen that pointed to the former use of the chapel.
Of course, many people had been here over the years who liked to redecorate rather than just photograph the place in its original state, but there were still a few nice shots to be taken.
All in all, it was a small place, but it was also a place that you don't get to see very often, so it was well worth the trip - and we hadn't even seen the retirement home next door...

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

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