July 28, 2023

Tour Report: Recreation Home "Mountain View"

Somewhere in the Saxon hill country near the Czech border rises a mountain on which a remarkable building between tradition and modernity was erected. It was built in the late 1920s and served first as a recreation home for the workers' youth, later as a camp for the "Bund Deutscher M├Ądel" and in GDR times as an SED party school.
We had decided to pay a visit to the building during our summer vacation 2019 because of its striking architecture.
However, getting there was not as easy as we had imagined. A lot of construction sites and closed roads and paths prevented us from taking the direct route to the site, so we ended up taking almost an hour longer than planned.
Eventually we did arrive, and in the absence of a normal parking space, we parked the car at the edge of the field next door.
The grounds and buildings were wide open, so we didn't have to overcome any other obstacles as we explored.
Even though there was no longer any furnishings and the building looked as if it had been at least partially gutted in the course of construction preparations, we could sense its former glory: The main entrance is reminiscent of a festival hall, there is a high, impressive festival room with a stage, and large panoramic windows and other elements have a strong reference to the surrounding landscape.
After exploring all the rooms, we went back to the car, packed up our gear, and discussed which way back would be best given the problems on the way there.
The end of the story was that Birthe uttered the magic words "Then I'm a construction vehicle!" and took the short route directly across the construction site. Luckily it was the weekend and there were no construction workers on the road :)

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

July 16, 2023

Tour Report: Rest Home "Wasted Years" [Revisit]

The day after our trip to the abandoned sanatorium at Lake Grabow, we stopped at a former Luftwaffe barracks, which was used as a nursing home in GDR times.
As on my first visit there about half a year earlier, we parked in the public parking lot directly across from the entrance. From there, we first walked across the grounds and began our exploration in the facility's heating plant.
A single sprayer took advantage of the good weather to immortalize himself on one of the walls. It was still quite early in the day, which explains why there wasn't that much activity yet.

After the heating plant, we looked at the drywall houses. In contrast to February, a great green decay had spread over spring and summer - a sight enhanced by the green light reflecting from the plants outside to the inside.
Even the city reliefs in the entrance areas were still there - by now they are said to have been removed.
After the pavilions, we took a closer look at the social building. Last time, there was a family with several children in the large hall, which had prevented us from taking pictures - this time, there was not a soul on site, so we were able to explore the building at our leisure.

In the building with the small swimming pool, we then also discovered the air-raid shelter, which, however, offered no real motifs photographically.
Apparently, the cellar was also used as a bar - at least that's what the humorous murals suggested to us, which have adorned the walls there probably since the 1930s.
It's lucky that graffiti "artists" don't usually do their work in dark basements - otherwise these little works of art would probably have been irretrievably lost long ago.
After several hours on the site, we finally headed back to our car, because we still had quite a long way to go.

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

July 2, 2023

Tour Report: Sanatorium G.

As the second location in our summer vacation 2019 we had decided to visit the abandoned former sanatorium at the Grabowsee. It was conveniently located on the way between our first two accommodations, and we had planned to meet up with our friend Toeppi, who had also never visited the old sanatorium.
Toeppi had made an appointment with the sanatorium's leaseholder - a spontaneous visit is possible, but it can happen that one is then turned away - so we would not travel there for nothing.
We met at the appointed time at the entrance to the site and went in search of the overseer. A short phone call later he appeared to briefly explain to us which areas we were allowed to enter and which not - and so that we could pay the obligatory contribution. 

It is often a matter of principle - some people from the so-called "Urbex Scene" are convinced that only illegal entering is "real" Urbexing. I, on the other hand, enjoy the opportunity to explore a place undisturbed and with unlimited time and not having to worry about a security guard escorting me off the premises or being reported to the police.
It was a little weird in this case, because the area is partly inhabited by a kind of artist commune. There were "strange" people wandering around everywhere, sneaking through the buildings. We tried to avoid them as much as possible, and for the most part we succeeded.
The weather was moderate. It was a fairly warm day, but the sky was cloudy and it rained at times. Not heavily, but there were a few annoying little showers.
However, you don't let a little rain get in the way of an excursion - we took plenty of time to explore all areas as much as we could. The cellar was unfortunately not accessible due to work that was going on, but the rest of the facility was already worth the visit due to the great architecture. It took us several hours to see and photograph everything.
Afterwards, Toeppi went home, while we drove on to Potsdam to meet up with a couple of friends for a feudal dinner.

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

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