Beelitz-Heilstätten

Beelitz-Heilstätten, just south of Berlin, was a large hospital complex that has its beginnings in 1898.

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Originally designed as a sanatorium – with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, it was converted into a military hospital for the German Army.

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The suitably freezing, misty day only emphasised the eeriness of the vast hospital complex, which consists of at least 60 buildings.

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As we wandered around trying to find a way inside, it was strange to think that a gammy-legged Hitler may have once walked these very same steps almost a century ago.

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During the months of October and November of 1916, a young Adolf Hitler recuperated here (unfortunately) after being wounded in the leg at the Battle of the Somme.

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Eventually we gained access through a broken basement window, spending the next several hours exploring the derelict hospital…

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At the close of World War II in 1945, Beelitz-Heilstätten was occupied by Soviet forces – remaining a Soviet military hospital up until 1995, well after German reunification. Since the late 1990’s however, the complex has been left mostly abandoned and become a favourite playground for urbex in Germany.

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Our exploration was finally interrupted when a team of men in hi-visibility jackets arrived on the scene.

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As night was descending, we felt it was about time to leave anyway – only wishing we’d taken some better photos before our hasty exit…

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