Last Thursday I made a second visit to the Beelitz sanatorium. I read in the papers that a somewhat trustworthy speculant has recently (finally) bought the sanatorium complex. It's a firm that has previously successfully renovated many properties in Potsdam. Until now, all potential Beelitz developers had gone bankrupt before having gotten anything done. Here's hoping that the old buildings will be restored with respect and love and put to new use in a constructive way that will be rewarding for the whole community.
Since the area will be off-limits once the restauration begins at some point in the future, I wanted to make sure that the first time I went there wasn't the last time. There were some buildings that we didn't visit back in January, and though we explored the surgery building, we somehow managed to miss the perhaps most interesting part - the operation rooms.
The hallway that leads to the operation rooms.
Abandoned places visited
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Maybe I, too, should have made a self portrait seated on that sofa.
The sanatorium had a pretty self-sufficient food supply within the complex. They raised cattle and poultry and grew vegetables in greenhouses. This is most likely inside the pig death row ...
I didn't notice the number '3' when I took the photo, so I don't know if it was painted there, or if the paint has peeled in a funny way. In the original photo it looks more like it's peeled like that, but the glare makes it hard to tell for sure. Oh well.
When entering, you soon realise that during the Soviet period, not only some Kazakhs, but many more of the soldiers and others stationed here left their greetings or "Kilroy was here"-marks in this building. This is a common tradition among Soviet Army soldiers - to write their names on some structure before they are demobilized.
This is outside the one of the women's sanatorium buildings that has been heavily damaged since WWII. Already during the times as a Soviet military hospital, entry was forbidden (but technically not now, as there are no warning signs in German).
In black, it says "The building is heavily damaged - entry forbidden". In white, below, it says "Greetings to the countrymen from Kazakhstan - '76-'78".
Again, "Entry forbidden" in black, and in white, "Nurlan Kurlantai - Kaz. SSR"
Did I climb it? Sure I did.
But going into abandoned buildings is potentially very dangerous. There are serious risks of falling through floors, cutting yourself up on broken glass, having pieces of the roof fall on your head, stabbing yourself with rusty metal, etc. No one is keeping an eye on the state of the buildings and the things that are inside them, so you're entirely at your own risk. This particular building is very damaged, and when I looked at the roofs from the lower floors I wasn't sure if I wanted to go up there at all. But I was careful to stay close to the walls and tread very lightly.
So, do not attempt this. Let crazy (and lightweight) daredevils like myself bring you these views on photographs, and enjoy them safely at home.
I left my tripod downstairs and climbed up those scary stairs, and on the roof, there is this water tank.
My common sense (albeit limited) kept me from going up the ladders to check out if you could see what is inside the tank, although now that I think about it, it might have been interesting. (*remembers the "Dark Water" comic book ...*)