September 27, 2023

Tour Report: Knight's Manor "Blue Sky"

In August 2019, we visited an object that we had long had on our list, but never had the opportunity to visit until this point. It is an old manor whose history goes back a long way. The villa, to which the title "manor" has passed, was built in the late 19th century.
Initially used as an industrialist's villa, over time the building underwent many new uses - as a planned mothers' recreation home, as a Reich Labor Service camp, as a Red Army military hospital, as a school for judges, as a school for the FDJ travel agency, and as a pioneer leadership school.
After a fire devastated the attic in the summer of 2018 and the firefighting efforts caused further damage, we knew that the days of this beautiful building were numbered and included it in our plan for the next summer vacation.
It was a warm day and the journey was uneventful. However, finding a decent parking spot not too far from the property was significantly more difficult. We ended up parking somewhat awkwardly on the edge of an allotment. There were already a few other cars parked there, so we could hope not to attract further attention.
From there we walked along the road until we reached the wooded area that was once part of the magnificent park that surrounded the manor. Through this now very dense forest we crept up to the building from the back. We could hear that the farmed part of the estate was busy, so we kept extremely quiet as we searched for an entrance into the building. Fortunately, there was an open door that was out of sight and hidden by trees.
When we entered the building, we were on the one hand impressed by the princely looking rooms, but on the other hand a little disappointed, because due to the fire many rooms did not look like we had seen in older photos.
The main subject, however - the staircase - was still in quite good condition despite the fire and the extinguishing work. For this, the trip had been more than worth it! Even the ceiling painting, a blue sky with a stylized sun in the center, was still there apart from some damage.
In other rooms, the extinguishing water had caused quite nice decay, so that we could make our way to the next locaton with a good yield of pictures in our luggage.

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

September 1, 2023

Tour Report: Ballroom "Wintergarten"

It's one of those abandoned buildings that I've seen photos of over the years, and although it doesn't really look spectacular in the end, I've long harbored a desire to visit and photograph this old ballroom.
So when the opportunity presented itself, I took it. 
It was also the last opportunity, because just a year or so after our visit, the roof collapsed and demolition followed just a few months later.
We were on our way from one overnight stop to another during our 2019 summer vacation, and the old social hall was very conveniently located on the way for a quick stop. There was even a public parking lot almost directly in front of it.
Finding an entrance was very easy - there wasn't really any fencing, so we could easily find an open door.
We were first in a long corridor, and there was a strong smell of smoke - probably a relic of one of the many larger and smaller fires that have raged in the old building over the years.
Starting from this corridor, we found some rooms that were long past their prime - you could see through the ceilings into the ballroom one floor up, the walls were covered in graffiti, and the floors were full of rubble and trash.
We reached the ballroom via the staircase. Although it was already more than broken, we were amazed at its former splendor. The metal columns, the high, vaulted ceiling, the railings decorated with wooden elements and the large, framed stage - grand celebrations certainly took place here!
At the time of our visit, the last sounds of the orchestra had long faded away, and the ravages of time have gnawed deep holes in the floor and ceiling.
We dared to take only a few steps into the room to take a few pictures. The floor was so precarious that we quickly retreated back to the more "solid" area of the building.
We found the collapsed ceiling in the dressing room area particularly impressive - the broken wooden beams formed a strange structure that seemed almost surreal.
All in all, the visit was worthwhile, because you could get a good idea of how beautiful the ballroom must have looked in its best days. It is always a pity that such buildings are not preserved and put to a new use - although here the protection of historical monuments and the immense costs of a renovation in keeping with the preservation order often deter potential investors.

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

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