Every crumbling building, creaking floorboard, fluttering curtain and flaking piece of paint has a tale begging to be told. Abandoned Berlin is an attempt to document the past, uncover hidden history and preserve the memory of neglected glories – as they are now.
The buildings may be falling down, vandalized and abused, but they maintain stoic dignity through the dust and decay. They crave visitors! They want to share their memories.
Nothing stays the same, as they know only too well. Even abandonment and neglect are comforting in the face of almost certain development. Bland apartments, generic shopping centers – who knows what perils await? Links to yesteryear are scrubbed clean and sanitized, historical mementos covered in concrete or plaster, everything forgotten under the guise of progress.
Personally, I think this is a shame. I’d much rather see these places preserved as they were. It rarely happens unfortunately. The story of Tacheles is indicative of Berlin falling victim to greed and corporate sway. There are many more. East Side Gallery is another example. They knocked down Palast der Republik! Don’t get me started…
This city cares not for its past. Some say it never did, that that is Berlin, ever changing, never the same, but that’s another discussion, preferably held in the bowels of a ruin.
Time is against us. While these buildings are still standing, while they rot and crumble, there’s the chance to go see them and imagine them as they were in their heyday.
So I’ve put together what I hope are useful guides, to help people reach these places, share some of the stories and detail some of the difficulties/hazards involved. I like the idea that others get the same kick from visiting these places as I do.
There are now many people trying to take advantage, tour companies and opportunists out to make a quick buck from visitors. Erich Honecker would be turning in his grave. But there remain plenty of other places to explore without fear of being ripped off.
Of course the thrill of being caught only adds to the pleasure. People who don’t see that miss the point. “Eintritt Verboten” is an invitation, and it should never be refused.
Some people don’t like that I give addresses to these places. They argue that vandals and even innocent visitors are taking their toll. After weighing up the pros and cons I still think it’s worthwhile to publicize locations so others can find these places and enjoy them too before they’re gone. For their days are numbered in any case. If they’re not earmarked for development (most of them are), they fall victim to weather and natural decay, as well as the vandals who had no problem finding these places before they were identified here.
As I wrote before, I don’t think vandals use the internet to plan their next vandalism – they just vandalize whatever the hell they find, when they find it. Forward planning is not their forte.
Some people get a kick from knowing things others don’t and are annoyed their secrets are revealed to others. But time is against us all. None of these places stay the way they are. Their days are already numbered. They should be enjoyed while it’s still possible.
It goes without saying that you should respect these places. Just because other idiots are thrashing or burning them doesn’t mean you should. If you’re looking for a place to thrash or burn, start with your own. Well, think of the neighbors if you’re intent on burning stuff.
Some of the documented sites are no longer accessible, or may be off-limits from time to time. But there are still plenty of others to see. Check each post’s publication date at the bottom and the comments underneath before venturing on any wasted journeys. Not that any journey is wasted.
Please leave comments of your own! It’s always great to hear of others’ experiences, be they good, bad or indifferent. By sharing, you also help others who may decide to follow in your intrepid footsteps.
You can browse some of the adventures from the last decade of exploring in two books from the local Be.Bra Verlag in the Kulturbrauerei here in Berlin. The books have texts in both English and German.
I don’t like blowing my own trumpet, but the first book won an ITB BuchAward and the second just came out, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time before that gets an award, too.
I know they leave me open to accusations of being a capitalist pig, but as soon as words are formed they aspire for recognition in a book. It’s their ultimate dream, the highest honor for a word. Who am I to deny them?
The books are the physical manifestation of this ongoing project. New undevelopments and freshly abandoned sites will continue to be documented here.
And of course, if you discover another abandoned marvel or derelict wonder please let me know. I’d like to follow in your intrepid footsteps too.
Love this site. Thanks for doing this……wish I was there.
Veri interested, but in German??
The site is all in English, but the books have both German and English texts. Thanks.
is it safe to visit these places ?
Looks like Kladow Casino page is abandoned here:)
I was there last weekend and the place is still pretty damn nice place to visit. Going to the roof of the building and seeing the Wannsee was really an unique experience.
Thanks HJK! Yes, you’re right. There are a couple of places that haven’t made the journey over to the new site yet – the Kladow Casino is one of them! I need to go there myself, get some new photos, and verify its current status and then I’ll resurrect the page here. Thanks again 🙂
I went on the 30.01.2020 to the Kladow Casino and the main hall entry was still open and beautiful. Two more small rooms were accessible but the back entries with the staircase were closed. I could not get to the roof.
I am surprised not to see this place on your map. A hotel for Stasi-agents who’s construction was abruptly ended by the collapse of the GDR.
Thanks! I’ll add it to the list! 🙂
I should have added this:
It is still very open to reach. The street “zur Buchheide” has an open gate to it and I have been there countless times and never met any construction workers or security guards.
It is a fantastic mid-stop when having a day at the lake, through the forest and at the Naturtherme Templin nearby.
what to do when polices catches you while visiting such kind of place? I was in one of your mentioned place (which after police told me it was private and entering was not allowed) so now I am getting fine and having problems with my visa too. is there anything that I can do?
are you aware of the derelict brutalist 70s school in wedding swinemünder straße 79? it’s woth checking it out
Yes! I suspect it’s the same school that an anonymous person was referring to when they sent an email almost exactly a year ago with a “netter Hinweis” to say we were spotted by a security camera at a school in Wedding. They didn’t say which school, and didn’t respond when asked for more information. Of course we weren’t near any schools in Wedding at the time, but I suspect they were referring to this one. It’s apparently hard to get in.
While that school building is very cool to look at from the outside, i highly doubt there’s a way to get in without breaking and entering from a walk around i did with a friend a few weeks ago. One should also note that according to https://modernruins.de/ the place is filled with asbestos, so unless you want an analog simulation of getting Covid while also possibly going to jail I wouldn’t recommend a visit.
Looks like Abandoned Berlin was also Abandoned / Taken over by capitalism 🙁
Save Abandoned Berlin!
hey there 🙂
My friend and I decided to visit Berlin at the beginning of October. We both have seen the german series “Druck” and that’s why we would love to visit “Haus der Offiziere Wünsdorf-Waldstadt” because the old building with the abandoned pool in there is one of the shooting locations. We tried to reach the given contact person from your website (Jürgen Naumann) several times. After two weeks somebody finally picked up the phone and unfortunately the person didn’t know anything about Mr Naumann and was really confused. Now we don’t know what to do. We would appreciate if you have any other tips how to reach out to Mr Naumann and fix a date for our visit!
Best regards, Theresa
Is it possible to book a guided tour with you in one of these abandoned buildings?
Hi Anna, I’m afraid not!
I don’t do guided tours, but try and provide as much information as I can so that you’ll be able to arrange your own personal explorations.
If you’ve any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I found about this website recently and I love it! I still haven’t checked out any abandoned place yet, perhaps because of the winter. Any adventurers here would like to join me to discover some places? Feel free to write me an email
Hi, i will be in Berlin next week and i would be happy to join you! I did not find your email though…
Hi there! Anybody in Berlin next week to accompany me on an exploration?
You can contact me here [email protected]
Do you have names of children left there in 1990? How can I find them.
Hi Linda. Are you referring to Kinderheim Makarenko? I’m afraid I don’t have any names, nor do I know where you would check, but I imagine you’d need to go through some government agency and that they will be very careful with what information they give out, rightfully!
Hello, I can’t seem to find a place anymore that I read here. It was a big flat concrete building in a foresty area (I think Stasi/DDR) and in the same area there was another flat building on walking distance so it could be perfectly combined. Do you know which one I mean?
Hi Nick, do you mean the Stasi Hotel? Though I think not as you would have found it already. If you’re looking for Stasi buildings, you’ll find them under the Stasi category: https://abandonedberlin.com/category/stasi/ Or if you can think of any other defining characteristics, that would help!