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Report - Return to Beelitz - Feb 08

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by paulo999, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. paulo999

    paulo999 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Feb 7, 2006
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    On our first trip, coinciding with OT & DK, we were blown away. So we had to go back. One and half days just wasn't enough.

    This time, we were solely going for Beelitz - a solid three days to see everything we'd not already seen. After a succession of S-Bahns, and some confusion at the Berlin Zoo station (with only minutes to spare, Payno spots the entirely seperate D-Bahn station), we finally arrive at Beelitz' dedicated railway station, some time after midnight.

    A lone member of staff lets us into the hotel - itself a converted sanitorium building. Upstairs on a mezzanine balcony, overlooking the lobby, is a vast mural - showing every single building. We'd geeked up on it so much, we even managed to find a mistake. :)

    We spend the next three days methodically working through every building on site, and working our way around some of the tunnel system, which is a whole explore on it's own.

    The onsite bar - the converted gatehouse - sees me become a regular. Coffee to warm up in the sub zero temperatures... lunch... beers in the evening. The owner's English was better than my German, but that's not saying much. By the time he left I couldn't work out if he was glad to be rid of me, or worrying about a sharp dip in his takings.

    The bizarre thing about going to Beelitz is that noone is too surprised you are there just to photograph it. Many come just to walk the grounds, but as many more go inside. The curious joes far outnumber the explorers. At one point we had multiple families, with kids in tow, come past us in the buildings.

    But despite this - it almost being too easy by UK standards - it's the most gobsmackingly beautiful and fascinating place I've ever seen above ground. My #2 explore, after Paris.

    One tip: If you go, don't order the pancakes in the bar, but do order the 'dark' beer. :)

    The Ruin

    The one that is tumbling down. On the upper floors, it gets a bit sketchy - masonry falls from the ceiling. On the roof, it gets weird - there is a small 'wood' growing on the top. I didn't get photos... the height (4-5 storey) and flakiness was weirding me out.

    Ground Floor


    Central Stairwell


    Upper stairwell


    Various Buildings

    Typical Beelitz Kitchen

    One of probably four - one for each quarter. All roughly the same scale.


    No expense spared.

    Beelitz was the flagship, in what was Europe's biggest hospital programme. Everything has way more detail and quality than you'd expect.


    Another very very cold day!


    Gymasium Building, Entrance


    One of the lofts... there could be fifty of them.


    Still those hexagonal tiles...


    Self piccy:



    Although, on the face of it, Beelitz is not unlike some British sites, in that it was mostly self sufficient - the real difference is the scale. The Bakery is a standalone three storey building, rather than say a single room in hospital complex.



    Upstairs, Downstairs:


    Grain Sack





    Meat Rendering

    This room had 6" insulated doors, so we presume it worked as a 'cold room' for meat processing. 5 cattle per week, and many more pigs, were processed here.



    Treachorous floor holes just to the left. Whilst we were shooting here, a dodgy bunch with a ropey van nearby buggered off. Germany seemed a very civilised place, much more than the UK, but the thieves are a common baseline.


    Theatre / Pathology



    Pathology (Mortuary)


    "Whitney" Building:

    Access here was more difficult. The building had been used as an art project, we assumed student art. Almost all of it was quite good. Silhouttes painted on walls, odd little motifs, an upside down railway track - painted on the ceiling. Almost every room had something fun to look at. None of them were the next Banksy, but it makes a change from graff.

    Classic Beelitz corridor, with 'those' hex tiles.


    Stairwell artwork, from corridor:


    Stairwell artwork:


    And why I call it 'The Whitney Building' (another thing from the art students, we suspect)


    Beelitz is an epic feast. See it.
    #1 paulo999, Mar 11, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008

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