In May 2013 we went on a 12 Day road trip around the former Eastern Bloc for my commissioned book Soviet Ghosts, myself, Danny and Ian flew to Berlin where we meet Michael for 5 days exploring in Eastern Germany, we then drove to Poland where we meet Kwolas and Muzica. We drove to Hungry, Slovakia, Austria and then to Czech republic where we explored the abandoned town of Milovice with Jakob. Finally we drove back to Berlin to finish the trip. This was the longest Ive ever been exploring and we had some amazing memories along the way. We did manage to completely wreck our hire car on day two, on our way to the amazing Beelitz hospital, but we all live to tell the tale and it didn’t stop us.
A large hospital was constructed in the town of Beelitz Heilstätten in 1898. With over 60 buildings, it was originally designed as a sanatorium, but was later used as a military hospital throughout both World Wars. Hitler himself was a patient here when he wounded his leg at the Battle of the Somme.After the war, Beelitz Heilstätten was absorbed by the Soviet zone of occupation, remaining in use to become the largest military hospital outside of the USSR. Former GDR leader, Erich Honecker himself, was treated here for liver cancer in 1990. The last Russians left in 1994, following the reunification of Germany; since then, and despite numerous attempts to restore the site, the hospital has fallen into a state of severe disrepair.
Despite our accident before arriving at the hospital, it was an amazing explore, I had wanted to visit this hospital for a long time and was happy to finally be walking its corridors. I love to explore abandoned hospitals as they are so unlike thing I encounter in every day life, its weird to think about the history and what happened in the place during when it was a working place. There was something very poetic in the way nature had been claiming it back for so long, on one building trees grew on the roof as the bricks crumbled below. In this one building we heard another group, it was clear that tours of the hospital were happening so we quietly made our way away from them, to look at some of the other buildings.