Abandoned And Historic: Beelitz-Heilstätten

Let’s dive into a tale of history and decay – a place called Beelitz-Heilstätten. This sprawling sanatorium complex sits just south of Berlin, and boy, is it showing its age. Back in the day, between 1898 and 1930, they built a whopping 60 buildings here. The goal? To help the working-class folks of Berlin fight off the fast-spreading TB, which was running wild thanks to the city’s massive growth spurt. But this place had even more stories to tell. During both World Wars, it played a role in healing wounded soldiers. And get this, even Adolf Hitler ended up here to recover after getting hurt in 1916. Talk about history!

But as with many places, time hasn’t been kind. When World War II wrapped up, some of the buildings, like the massive Alpenhaus, took a beating. Fast forward, and now it’s like nature is taking things back. Trees are even growing on the roofs of these buildings!

After the Soviets swooped in and claimed the area in 1945, Beelitz-Heilstätten became their biggest military hospital on foreign turf. Yeah, even Vladimir Putin had some time here as a patient. It stayed in use until 1994, when the Russians finally left East Germany.

And as the Soviets pulled out, a new chapter began. This spot became a hot spot for dark tourism and something called “urbex” (that’s urban exploration, by the way). At one point, it was easy to sneak in and out, which led to a lot of damage and stuff being swiped. But things changed around 2015 – they’ve really upped the security game, complete with warning signs about guard dogs to keep folks out.

Today, you can take guided tours of some of the buildings. Slap on a hard hat, and you’ll get a glimpse into the past as they share stories about the place’s history. These photos were actually snapped during one of those tours in the old Surgical building, also known as the Chirurgie. Quite a journey, right?

Must Read