December 25, 2015

Neo-Classical Castle G.

On a beautiful day in the middly of July, my wife, myself and two urbex colleagues drove east to explore variouis castles and mansions in the eastern part of Germany.
The first spot was this beautiful abandoned neo-classical mansion that was last used as a hotel until about five years ago.
My wife and I were driving togehter with Lichtbeschatter Photography, and we got to the little town just as we had planned. The rain that had been pouring that morning had stopped and the sun had come out.
We got out of the car and while we had to wait for the fourth guy, we took a short walk and did a preliminary exploration of the park around the mansion, but we didn't see a way in.
When the last guy arrived, we started walking around the building again. During our second round, I noticed a basement window which seemed to be accessible. I pushed the wooden board aside that had been leaning against the window from the inside and squeezed myself through the tiny hole in the window.
The others didn't want to go in that way at first, so I walked around the ground floor inside the building quickly to see if there was another option to get in, but there was none, so the others had to squeeze in as well.

The place was everything we had hoped for - almost no vandalism, beautiful staircases and great light. It was a great place and a great exploration.
When we were finished, we climbed out of the basement window and were waiting for the last guy who was taking a little longer with his photos. While we were waiting, sitting on the steps in front of the main entrance, the gardener drove by on his little tractor and we got to meet him and his dog Helga.
We had a nice little chat with him. I think he knew exactly what we were up to. He told us about some guys from Leipzig who had been there the weekend before and who were caught unscrewing one of the front windows in an attempt to get inside...
We weren't caught, and I think he apprecuiated the respect with which we were talking about the beautiful mansion, so he left again and we were able to continue our tour...

To find out more about the history of this castle and to check out all photos from this beautiful place, click the button below!

December 20, 2015

Hotel on the Hill

For the third location on our short tour at the end of June, Nordgriller Urbex and I had decided rather spontaneously on an abandoned hotel that was just outside of the small town that was home to the other two spots we had visited that day.
We didn't expect very much since the history of the place suggested that there wouldn't be much left to admire. And we weren't disappointed. In being disappointed, I mean.
Driving up the hill, we could already see that the once beautiful hotel had been taken apart thoroughly.
We still parked the car and checked it out for a while. The security measures are non-existent, so entering was as easy as walking down the street to the supermarket.
There literally is nothing left. Everything that could be moved out has been moved out.
After about 30 minutes, we left and drove home.

To find out more about the history of this hotel and to check out all photos from this interesting spot, click the button below!

To find out more about the history of this hotel and to check out all photos from this interesting spot, click the button below!

December 16, 2015

Retirement Home I. [Revisit]

The second spot on our tour at the end of June took Nordgriller Urbex and me to an abandoned retirement home that I had visited about two months before.
All the locations we had picked for the day are in the same town, so it was only a short ride.
On our first way around the building, we met a lady who was walking her dog. We greeted her friendly, and we continued or preliminary scouting.
I couldn't exactly remember where the way in had been - it was a lucky find the first time around, and as opposed to the first visit, the bushes really had grown, so it was almost impossible to recognize which way we had taken.
So we kept walking around the building when the lady we met on our way in came towards us, this time accompanied by another lady. They had the dog with them and asked us what we were doing. We told them that we were on a photographic exploration of the area and how much we enjoyed the horse range just a couple of meters away...
Of course we also mentioned the abandoned retirement home, and we talked about it for about fifteen minutes before they left us alone again and we took up our search again.
We were just about to give up when I finally found the  open door that we had taken the last time. It was still open and we started taking pictures right away.

To find out more about the history of this place and to check out all photos from this interesting spot, click the button below!

December 4, 2015

The House of the Hunter

After the three-spot-tour at the end of May, it was four weeks of cold turkey for me. No tours for an entire month, and it took some effort to convince my friend Nordgriller Urbex to join me on a short trip that even allowed us to stay in our home state.
It was a short ride of only about 60 kilometers, so we were there rather quickly and headed for the first location, an abandoned mansion that used to be an old farm house but was then expanded to a pretty large estate house.
First we did our usual drive-by to check out the area. Then we found a spot to park, got our stuff and walked along the fence.
The house is right in the middle of a residential area near a lake with a recreational area and the weather was pretty good, so there were alot of people passing us. We waited for the right moment and squeezed through a hole in the fence.
After that, it was only a short walk through the park surrounding the main house, and the only task left was to find a way in. After a couple of minutes, we had found a window which wasn't as firmly shut as the other, and we made our way in.
The house itself isn't really spectacular. The last owner seems to have been a hunter or taxidermist (more likely hunter) because there were a lot of stuffed animals, antlers and bones lying around in one of the rooms. Another room was full of oriental rugs, si I think that at some point in the past 20 years, someone wanted to renovate the house and started by putting things of a kind together in rooms...and then stopped.
After about an hour and a half, we left for the next spot.

To find out more about the history of this mansion and to check out all photos from this interesting spot, click the button below!

November 26, 2015

Estate House R.

This abandoned mansion was the third spot on my tour with two girls who I'd originally made contact with in an urban exploration forum. On that particular tour we had visited a hospital and an underground bunker, so it felt logical to choose something residential for our third location.
It was a pretty short drive from the bunker, but once we got there, my worst fears came true - although the building itself looked accessible, there were far too many people around for us to just slip in.
The area right next to the mansion belongs to a farm with riding stables and the riding arena facing the main door.
The building is also pretty much at the center of this part of the village and there are lots of neighbors around. The only possible parking place that wasn't outside the city limits happened to be right in front of the building. Very inconspicuous to be parking there...

So we decided to be straightforward about it. I got out of the car and walked towards a lady who was walking her dog and was obviously one of the neighbors. I explained to her what we were up to and asked if she knew who we might ask if it was possible to enter the building.
Her answer was priceless. "Oh, you can go right in, the door is open."
She said there is nothing in there but decay and that the door had been kicked in some time ago and that it's never been repaired. I asked her again if it's really okay, and she said there is no one that we could ask, so we should go right ahead.
It almost seemed as if almost everyone in the village had gotten curious at some point and checked the place out.
In any case, this was a delightfully open community that didn't seem to have a problem with us exploring the old place and it was a nice tour through a surprisingly unvandalized place.

To find out more about the history of this mansion and to check out all photos from this interesting spot, click the button below!

November 19, 2015

Secret Bunker of the "Stasi" [Revisit]

After exploring the Clinic for Radiology, I asked the girls if they'd ever seen an underground bunker and suggested that we go check out one that I'd first visited about eight months before.
It was a bunker of the East German Secret Police ("Stasi"), from which the police force would have been controlled in case of a civil uprising.
Due to the secrecy, the bunker had been built right in the middle of the woods, but the access was pretty easy.
In contrast to my first visit, the entrance above the ground was open, so we didn't have to climb down the emergency exit. After we had entered the above-ground building that conceals the bunker entrance, I barred the door to prevent people (especially security guards or other people of the sort) from following us and to give the appearance that the entrance was sealed.
So we went down the stairs to the bunker, and after a while we heard the sheet metal door rattle. I wasn't really sure, the rattling was too loud and too long to just be the wind, but after about ten minutes, it stopped.
I suspect that it was either kids trying to enter or it was in fact someone whose old motor scooter we had seen parked in front of one of the other buildings on the premises...but I can't be sure.
Anyway, the niose stopped, we finished taking our photos, left everything the way we had found it and left the bunker on the same way her had entered it. There was no one to see, so we went back to the car. Shortly after we got there, an old guy passed us on the blue motor scooter that we had seen, but he didn't look particularly angry or anything.
It was a nice part of the tour; I managed to get some shots that I'd missed the first time, and the girls had a sppoky experience.

To find out more about the history of this bunker and to check out all photos from this interesting spot, click the button below!

November 11, 2015

Clinic for Radiology S.

Two weeks after exploring the abandoned retirement home, the girls and I had scheduled the next tour. This time, we had opted for an area a little further to the East.
I had picked a couple of spots along with some alternatives along the way in case one or more obejcts were inaccessible.
Like the last time, I took the train and was picked up at the station. After about an hour, we arrived at the first location - an abandoned clinic for radiology.
I had found this spot listed as "probably for sale" on some website, but hadn't found any other information regarding the owner. The building probably still belongs to the hospital chain that operated the clinic but moved into a bigger building in the mid-2000's.
Anyway, the clinic lies next to a little lake in a residential area, and we had to wait a little before making our way over the fence an onto the premises.
At first, it didn't look too good in terms of a way in. All doors were looked tightly and obviously hadn't been opened for quite some time. The windows were sealed and had stickers with the name of a security firm on them. If a window was opened, the seal broke, so potential security patrols can easily spot if the window had been opened. After what felt like an eternity of wandering around the building, trying to avoid being seen by people walking by, I found a broken seal on one of the basement windows, and the window was in fact still open. We were in!
The security measures seemed to be relativley effective. There was not too much vandalism and only a few graffiti.
On the other hand, there was not too much decay either since it has only been abandoned for a couple of years.
It was a nice spot though, because it was nearly entirely unknown as a location, and of course it's always nice to find a new spot :)

To find out more about the history of the clinic and to check out the full gallery, click the button below.

November 7, 2015

Retirement Home I.

This was a pretty spontaneous tour in early May together with two friends that I'd been to various other locations in the past.
I had gotten a tip about this location and after a short consultation, we had planned a tour. The next day, I took the train, and the girls picked me up with their car at the station.
The location was an abandoned retirement home. Nothing spectacular, just an abandoned building complex hidden right in a suburban residential area.
Within about five minutes, we had arrived at the desired spot, had parked the car and were looking for a way in. This was harder that expected. There was no apparent opening. No shattered windows, open doors or holes of any kind. We had heard about a way in over the roof, but it looked pretty much sealed. Just before we decided to try the roof, I found that one of the terrace doors wasn't closed properly and "locked" from the inside by a clable that had been tied around the doorknob.
I managed to loosen the cable and open the door and we were in.
As expected, there was nothing spectacular to find, but what made this location unique was the remarkable lack of vandalism of any kind. There were no broken windows, no graffiti, no metal thieves at work...this was an untouched location.
Except of course for the police abviously using it as a training area. we found cardboard characters and paint munitions.
But since it was sunday, we were undisturbed and found some nice photos to take...and the old wheelnchair gave me a good opportunity for a gas mask shot!!

To find out more about this place and to check out the full gallery, click the button below!

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