Beelitz-Heilstätten, just south of Berlin, was a large hospital complex that has its beginnings in 1898.
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.
The suitably freezing, misty day only emphasised the eeriness of the vast hospital complex, which consists of at least 60 buildings.
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.
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.
Eventually we gained access through a broken basement window, spending the next several hours exploring the derelict hospital…
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.
Our exploration was finally interrupted when a team of men in hi-visibility jackets arrived on the scene.
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…