So yeah, my brother and I headed out on a UE trip to Berlin on a very early Thursday morning, full of anticipation on going to the epic spots we’d seen so many pictures of. We planned the five+ hour drive to stop at two places on the way; a big abandoned steel factory and a lakeside hotel. To our bad luck the first scheduled stop at the steel works was a swing and miss. Right when we drove around a corner in the big industrial area expecting to see the awesome sight of a massive derelict industrial building, all we saw was construction workers, cranes and whatnot busy building a new structure on top of the old (now torn down) steel factory site. Oh well, you win some you lose some. We’d already learned that your expectations can be ruthlessly shoot down in the art of urban exploration, but it was still an unwelcoming start to the big trip.
Stopping on a gas station in the middle of Germany I realized just how neglected my German actually was, but I saw that more as an opportunity then an obstacle to play the dumb Danish tourist, should we got stopped by security in one of the forthcoming locations. Anyway, we managed to get gas and coffee and headed to the second stop on the way to Berlin.
This time we were in luck. Driving through the little towns main road we saw the the big abandoned hotel through the trees on top of a hill looking out over the lake. Though it had clearly been the victim of vandals and graffiti, we decided to stop and go inside, being eager to visit our first UE spot in Germany.
We parked our car, got our gear and went down to the lake to find a way in the hotel, which was surround by a fence with some gnarly looking spikes on top. Upon getting closer we noticed a few construction workers working on a house on the hill right next to the hotel, so we decided to head through the surround forest and approach the hotel from the other side out of view from the workers. When we finally got up the hill and through the pathless forest to the hotel, we found a big thick branch that was conveniently placed over the fence for us to climb up on and over the fence. From there on it was no problem getting in. All the windows were smashed and with no boards on them we just climbed in. Inside the extensive derelict state of the hotel was definitely something to be aware of. The floor boards on the upper floors were in a bad shape to say the least, big holes and rusty nails meant we needed to be wary of each step we took while in there. Though vandalized and neglected the old hotel still possessed a hint of the grandeur from its days of glory. From the big pillars, ornamented ceilings, patios and room terraces to the location on top of a hill overlooking the big lake you could begin to imagine how it looked when it was still active.
Built in 1909 the hotel soon became a profitable success. With the outbreak of WWI guests became fewer and in this period the hotel served as an artillery depot. After WWI the hotel was taken over by a new owner, who ran the hotel until 1931 when he went bankrupt due to the global financial crisis of the time. Another owner took over, but the hotel hardly made a profit under his ownership. In 1944 it was seized my the German Luftwaffe and made into a hospital. After the war it was used as a retirement home for former KZ prisoners. From the fifties it had a lot of different owners and uses until it was taken over my the state in 2001 and since left abandoned and neglected. The current plans are to turn the hotel into apartments, but the progress is slow and it’s future is uncertain.
Had a great trip to Berlin. Beautiful city, nice people, lovely nightlife; what more can you ask for? Visited some great abandoned places, ran into some other explorers, and got home with 32 GB worth of pictures to tell the tale with.