Heilstätte Grabowsee

Mar 22, 201684 comments

TB or not TB

Lurking in the shadows of the forest, Heilstätte Grabowsee creaks and groans through the gloom, sighing with echoes of the past as it sinks into the resignation of decay.

Trees bend and sway to listen, their rustling branches quivering from the calls of the unfortunate souls who perished and suffered in these crumbling buildings, their solemn corridors, their tarnished halls, their empty rooms.

The breeze rustles from the branches and rushes thoughtlessly through the forgotten wards, swinging doors and windows, banging without respect. It foolishly attempts reviving the unreviveable, leaving new formations of dust and leaves in its wake. Nothing else stirs. No mouse steps paw in these haggard halls, no rat scavenges for discarded bodies. They’re all gone, long long gone.

They’re gone since 1991 to be precise – the Soviets that is. They scarpered once they realized they weren’t too welcome anymore in reunified Germany. The rats stayed a little longer. Rats don’t give a rat’s ass for politics and will happily live anywhere that isn’t too expensive. That being said, they are more attached to their arses then we are, and would not give them lightly for any reason.

The Russians stayed almost 50 years, using the former tuberculosis sanatorium as a military hospital once the war ended, but details on their shenanigans over that time remain elusive.




















My search for facts did uncover an altogether more interesting story than that of a nation with more military than sense (just one of them) when I stumbled on the tale of the lost city of Grabow! Apparently the city was destroyed in a “minor earthquake” (must have been made of straw) and was covered by the lake that today bears its name. Locals say you can still see the towers of the city in the lake on a fine day, notwithstanding their supposed destruction by this so-called minor earthquake.

Apparently the ruins of Grabow Castle are nearby. The only ruins I found, however, were those of the Heilstätte. The former sanatorium can only be described as fucked, which is a shame, as I’m sure Gotthold Theodor Pannwitz would agree.

In 1895, Herr Pannwitz was at the Kaiserlichen Gesundheitsamt, where his campaign for a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients quickly gained support.

It was established at Grabowsee on a trial basis in March 1896. Twenty-seven barracks for lung patients were added and the first 30 patients moved in a month later. I guess they’re all dead now. Nevertheless, the whole thing was a huge success and led to the establishment of similar Heilstätten all around Berlin, at Beelitz, Buch and Lychen to name but a few. Pannwitz concentrated on the one at Lychen and is remembered fondly there to this day.

Heilstätte Grabowsee became the Red Cross Sanatorium for the Working Class, before it was taken over after the Great War by the Brandenburg Insurance Company in 1920.

The architect Arnold Beschoren was then responsible for the complex’s expansion and renovation. His handiwork is what you see crumbling around you today.

There was a small church built beside the lake at the time but that was burned down by some idiots in 2007.




















Of course, the other Great War came and went and then the Soviets did. A number of commercial enterprises failed after they left, before the place was taken over by a crowd called Kids Globe in 2006. They have big plans to turn it into some sort of paradise for kids. Good luck to them.

Thankfully the complex is far enough away from Berlin that some fuckbag developer hasn’t turned it into apartments.

Old sofas, couches and chairs somehow always make their way to these places, as if drawn by the solidarity of quiet abandonment, and the forest is slowly taking over.

A pigeon frightened the bejaysus out of me as I tiptoed down a long dark corridor but he was the only soul I met. I swear he waited just long enough before flapping his wings for maximum effect. Pigeons take perverse pleasure in scaring the crap out of intrepid explorers. They can wait patiently in ambush for years, cooing with mirth at the thought of sending someone’s heart into their mouth.

But Heilstätte Grabowsee’s days of quiet seclusion are coming to a close if the plans come to fruition. It seems the serenity of flaking paint, dust, rust, rubble, shards and impenetrable gloom may soon be shattered by the shrill screams of snotty kids. No wonder the Heilstätte sighs and groans.





















  • What: From 1896 to 1945 the former sanatorium for tuberculosis patients of Heilstätte Grabowsee, and from 1945 a Russian military hospital.
  • Where: Grabowseestraße 1, 16515 Oranienburg, Germany. Beside the lake known as Grabowsee.
  • How to get there: Bring your bike with you and get the S1 or regional train to Oranienburg, to the north of Berlin. Cycle east on Bernauer Straße until you hit the canal, turn left and follow this along until you come to the bridge that will take you across to the complex. You’ll pass the Sachsenhausen concentration camp on your way if you fancy a detour. I can’t say I’d recommend it. But you could also check out the SS Bakery on your way. Here’s a map which may or may not be useful.
  • Getting in: Hop the fence. Easy enough where someone has conveniently cut a tree to make a handy leg up, confusing as a handy leg may sound.
  • When to go: Daylight. Whenever it’s not raining would make it less miserable.
  • Difficulty rating: 3/10. Very easy to hop the fence. The hardest part is getting here and finding it, which isn’t that hard if you follow the instructions above.
  • Who to bring: Whoever. Go on your own if you like being spooked out.
  • What to bring: Camera. Torch. Sandwiches or something to nibble on. A beer or two for re-hydration. Good boots and possibly a hard hat.
  • Dangers: The buildings are in a terrible state as I may have mentioned before. Watch where you step, and under which roofs you stick your head. Ceilings – like Irish banks – are very much in danger of collapse. Of course, keep an eye out for wannabe informers and any builders or security. Several other people who visited have spoken of security, a guard with a dog that looks like a bear and other scary things. Of course, it might all be bullshit. Proceed, as always, with caution.

Abandoned sanatoriums

Heilstätten Hohenlychen

Heilstätten Hohenlychen

Horrific experiments on concentration camp prisoners were carried out at Heilstätten Hohenlychen, formerly a complex of sanatoriums, then military hospital.



Hitler and Honecker were among Beelitz-Heilstätten’s famous patients. The former TB sanatorium became the largest Soviet military hospital outside the USSR.



The Elisabeth-Sanatorium was built over 100 years ago, when many such facilities near Berlin treated TB patients. In DDR times, it became a top skin clinic.


  1. Malayka

    WOW seriously best website EVER! Thank you so much for sharing. Can’t wait to go and check some of these places out.

  2. yonathan

    been trying to find a website with the info you provide, but yours is better then anything i have seen so far.

  3. Spudnik

    Blushing as I type. Vielen Dank to both of you!

  4. Lisa

    Just had to say hi, I saw this on a fb home feed – Photo Gallery: The Art of Lost Places – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

    went to check it out and one photo struck me in particular (the Heilstätte Grabowsee) and this led me to you.

    just love the building and your stories thanks Lisa

  5. Bridgekeeper

    Absolutely love this project. I went to Hohenlychen with a few friends once to camp there, I haven’t scrolled through all your stuff yet to see if you’ve been there, in case you haven’t, leave me a comment somewhere and I can catch you up with details, it would be really something for you (it’s a wee bit outside of Berlin tho).
    You’ve got real style. I’ll be sure to follow up on what you write.

  6. Spudnik

    Hey Lisa – thanks for the comment!

    Mariella – I haven’t been to Hohenlychen, but will certainly put it on my list of places to go. It seems pretty well-known but it’s obviously worth checking out. Thanks for the tip and the kind words!

  7. Anonymous

    Oh my goodness I really wanted to go here tomorrow but I searched a bit further and discovered they do GUIDED TOURS NOW for 30 euros 🙁 🙁 🙁 I don’t want a guided tour or a bunch of 20 people running around! Oh honestly, 30 euros? Can’t they leave anything be??? heilstaette-grabowsee.de/

  8. Spudnik

    I was too shocked to reply to your comment straight away, but HOLY SHIT!!! THAT’S OUTRAGEOUS!!! And then €30!!! Jesus they have some nerve. I suppose you can still visit without paying the €30, and it will probably be more exciting as a result, but I, for one, will not be handing them any money. Jesus Christ, to charge at all is something, but €30?! How the hell can they justify that?!
    That’s the danger I suppose – once people are interested in something, someone is going to try and make money out of it. it’s the same in Spreepark, the same in Teufelsberg. Damnit, they just can’t leave anything the fuck alone.

  9. same old story

    Love your blog! It sent me and a friend to Heilstatte Grabowsee last saturday and it was great. Because of an art festival last month some of the buildings have some amazing graffiti now. But there is a guard dog, who is old but does bark! Was wondering do you know anything about Beelitz Heilstaetten. I heard it used to be open but now closed and patrolled. Any info your eyes may have heard would be great because I really want to head there next! Thanks

  10. Anonymous

    Three places I have been to so far ALL have guided tours now, and we ran into them in every place:

    Teufelsberg, Beelitz Heilstatten and Spreepark.

    I hear that there are some young “entrepreneurs” who run these things, maybe in return for security?

    It’s a real shame, and such capitalisation! At least do it for free/for a beer or something!

  11. Anonymous

    We went here today and looked for a way to jump the fence, all of a sudden a big bearish dog was barking and a friendly guy came out. We explained that we are from New Zealand and we wanted to take some photos and he said (in perfect English) that it’s not a problem, just that it costs €30 each. A bit steep.

    But he went on to explain that the money is part of a fundraising project to turn part of the property into a practical school for young people, and it sounded pretty legit, only problem is we are poor and could only scrounge €20 between us. He seemed to like us, and the fact that we weren’t snooping about, so let the €40 we didn’t have slide and let us go in on our own. If you are planning to jump the fence here, be wary of this guys massive dog. It looks like a bear and, I assume, bites like one.

    He was actually really really nice and had some useful history about the buildings. We had spent the day before being chased by vigilante security and couldn’t be bothered doing that again so we were happy to be free to explore.

    The site is still in pretty good condition, and whole areas have recently been used for some art exhibitions so there was some really amazing artwork to see.

    They seem to have some big plans for more exhibitions here (the last one attracted 3000 visitors) and the idea of the school kidsglobe.org/wcms/?grabowsee_0d7
    is something we were happy to put a little money towards. I wouldn’t call it capitalism. Idealism maybe.

  12. Spudnik

    I’m sorry, I’d still call it capitalism. Idealism would be hoping to raise the money from voluntary donations. And idealism certainly doesn’t need a dog who looks/bites like a bear to make sure people share the same ideas.

  13. Anonymous

    hey there
    i’ve just been to this site two days ago on a saturday, 19 November. There were ten of us. We tried to jump the fence but the guy who works there and guards the place (there are actually two) spotted us (not difficult to spot ten people though!). He explained to us the Globe Kids project and then said that “officially” it now costs 30 euros to go in and take photos. However, we bargained drastically to 6 euros per person and we got in. I think the guy is ok, willing to bargain, and friendly enough, so put on your bargaining hat and go for it. His dog is fairly big but not scary to me, I doubt it is aggressive as it may look to some. The only problem for trying to sneak in is that in that tranquil place and lonely buildings you can hear every footstep so the dog will more than sure start barking. It is a shame indeed that they do not let in photographers for free, and just raise their money from outsiders or whoever. Anyhow I do hope that this academy for kids project they have in mind would at least keep part of the buildings untouched in the memory of its past and its ghosts. They are supposed to be unconventional and about arts and crafts, though I doubt they will let some buildings be, with these kids running around and all these health and safety regulations that strangle our society…

  14. Andy

    I’ve been here 3 times now and I doubt I’ve seen it all. A photographers dream. Thanks so much for the awesome resource.

    We “bumped” into the “official” guy and his “guard dog” last time. He wanted to charge us €5 to walk around or €30 to take photo’s! The German speakers in the group barganed him down to €7 each. We were all very skeptical as to who this guy was and just how official he is. He did eventually give us a receipt but its a bit odd. Apparently he wants to renovate the place and turn it into some kind of alternative school!? Bonkers, its cheaper to tear it down and start again, hopefully not his plan!
    Follow the Irish Berliner directions, keep quiet the farther you go and you’ll be fine. The dog was chubby and very old. I’m sure a wurst would make him your best friend:)

  15. Anonymous

    Maybe that looks familiar to you 😉


  16. Spudnik

    Haha! I suspected that couch and piano hadn’t been left there by the Russians…

  17. Anonymous

    Very cool blog! I love Berlin, and I have what to explore now!

    Great idea!


  18. piercedeve

    Hello everybody,
    we have been there last week for two whole days. Please contact Mr. Hanke from Kids Globe if you want to visit the Heilstätten Grabowsee. He is maybe odd but very friendly and helpful! We were allowed to drive the car on the area. This was very helpful with our photo equipment. His phone number is: +49 175-2425275.
    He works for Kids Globe…see kidsglobe.org
    We can recommend a visit, we had lots of fun and lots of things to discover…the pictures turned out great.

  19. seph

    Hey there Irish Berliner and other folks.
    First of all I’d like to thank you for your useful guide.
    So I went to Grabowsee last week with a buddy of mine. It was a complete and utter hell to get there, but after being attacked by snakes and mosquito’s (true story) we eventually arrived.
    My first impression was that the 3/10 difficulty level was a bit of an understatement. Personally, I’d give it a 5/10. Because it takes lots of time to get there and because of the guy with his dog, plus the fact that the fences are pretty high and covered with barbed wire.

    Anyway, once we were in it was simply amazing. What I was wondering was: Did you get into the tower?
    The photo you took from one of the buildings is obviously taken from a higher point, so I figured you got into the tower as well.

    For the people that are going there, you can enter the tower by pushing against the fence that is blocking in really hard. Then just squeeze through.
    Seems impossible, but isn’t.

    Cheers everybody!
    Thanks again Irish Berliner

  20. Anonymous

    Went the other day, the guy was still there and wanted to charge 6 of us 30€ to come in, and 30€ each(!) if we wanted to take pictures.

    Luckily we’d already cycled past him along the dirt track and found another way in through the back. Asking was just a formality to see how much it should have cost. It’s a bit of a treck, but worth going through the forest.

    This way gets you near the old storage garages, from what I could see he wasn’t patrolling, although it was hard to see how many people were there. I saw 2 men and 1 woman.

    He appeared dirty and slightly erratic when I spoke to him, although told me that the charge was for the upkeep of the fence and containers (apparently 8000€ a year). Also mentioned that in 2 days he was moving into the building nearest the front entrance, no idea if that was true or not.

    Either way, don’t let him put you off. I didn’t get to go towards the main enclosure, but I did get to see some awesome graffiti around the back, and I’m sure if i wasn’t such a chicken I could have seen much more.

  21. Anonymous

    I’ve just found this on a website, maybe someone who’s German is better than mine can confirm…but I think it’s a workcamp to help fix and secure Grabowsee…

    Samstag, 16/06/2012
    grabowsee bei Oranienburg


    Freitag 15. Juni ab 16 Uhr bis Sonntag 17. Juni 18 Uhr.

    WARUM GEHTS?:Wir organisieren ein erstes Wochenende um das Grabowsee Gelände schrittweise weiter zu entwickeln. Es werden möglichst Vielen geworben, um in eine gemeinsame Aktion möglichst viele Arbeiten erledigen zu können. Die Aufgaben sind freiwillig, jeder macht was und so lange wie er oder sie kann. Es ist keine Party, es sollen alle mitwirken und spass haben zugleich. Dazu wird natürlich abends zum Bier am Lagerfeuer geladen.

    WO IHR HELFEN KÖNNT:Ziel ist es, folgende Bau- und Sicherungsmassnahmen nach diesen Tagen umgesetzt zu haben:___Roden Überwucherung des Innenhofes und Instandsetzung der Orginalzustand. ___Wiederherstellung der Wege und dessen durchfahrbarkeit. ___Sichern der äussere Umfriedung des Geländes, reparatur der Zäune. Vorgesehen ist eine natürliche Benjeshecke. Dadurch können einige Bauzäune in ihre Funktion frei werden und woanders eingesetzt werden. ___Sichern alle Öffnungen im Erdgeschoss der Denkmalgeschützten Gebäude mit einfache Mitteln. Vorgesehen ist Bewährungsstahlmatten, die mit einige Schrauben im Holzrahmen befestigt werden. Jederzeit wieder entfernbar, sichern sie das niemanden die Gebäuden betreten kann. ___Sichern der Dächern alle Gebäude, um weiteren Verfall durch Regen zu verhindern.___Sämtliche Dächern werden gesichert indem lose Dachziegel entweder entfernt oder gesichert werden. ___Aufräumen der Uferkante des Sees___so weit wie möglich Instandsetzung des Gebäudes Haus Asklepos, so dass diese statisch abgenommen werden kann und künftig genutzt werden kann. ___Sicherung der Panzerhallen ___Putz abschlagen wo gefordert, Putzen und AufräumenWO IST DAS ?Das Gelände wird auch gerne als Klein-Beelitz bezeichnet, mit dem Unterschied dass dieses Kleinod kaum jemanden bisher bekannt ist. Zwischenzeitlich von den Sowjets als Millitärhospital genutzt, wurde das Gelände 1995 verlassen und schlummert seither in einem Dornrößchenschlaf. Am See gelegen, mit eine ausgebrannte Kapelle am Ufer. Schwimmen geht, Camping auch. Ein bisschen Frühstück wird versorgt. Zu trinken gibt es gegen Einkaufspreisen. Und natürlich zeigen wir dort auch die EM Fussball.

    Unter kidsglobe.org/wcms/index.php?grabowsee_0d7 findet ihr einige Fotos und eine Anfahrtsskizze. MACH MIT !Es danken unter anderem die Vereine ZMF und Kids Globe.Wenn wir schnell genug sind, ist das erste Festival am 1 September machbar !

  22. Anonymous


  23. Spudnik

    Yes, it’s the Kids Globe crowd that I wrote about in the original post. They want to turn it into a camp. Before long the place will be crawling with kids…

  24. Spudnik

    Seph, yes, I climbed the tower. It’s great for a bird’s eye view of the place.
    But I didn’t see any snakes!

  25. Ivan

    Been there yesterday. When we got there it started to rain, but we continued visiting even so.

    Finding a crack to get in is quite hard as most of them are filled with barbed wire. We found a place where the distance was just enough to fit in somewhere in the back.

    There are some really good grafitis and in one of the buildings seems that there was an art showing. Each room is painted by an artist and some of them are really good. Unfortunately the tower entrance is blocked by a fence that is well secured so it is impossible to go up without heavy intervention.

    On our way back there was a car parked at the main entrance and voices could be heard from the garages, so there are definately guards there and worst of all a big german sheppard was crunching a bone, but he seemed to be in an enclosed area.

  26. Anonymous

    Just came back from a long stay at Grabow-area last weekend.Superb! We have been there from 18:00h untill 17:00 next day. It was a full moon, just perfect! The night was cold and we kept the fire going in the front of the ‘pianohouse’. We saw nobody untill the next day around noon. We ended chilling at lake by the church, wondefull!
    Thanks for all the info on your website, you made some people very happy!
    Keep it up!

  27. jem s.

    Unfortunately Grabowsee is one of the few spots I missed and find it hard to catch up now.

    But, anyway, I’m writing a story set in Berlin and wondered whether I could see your pictures/take some for the possible book. Of course, I’d mention they’re not mine.
    I especially need the piano and the toy horse in Beelitz, which I didn’t manage to see, unfortunately.

    Hope you can help, otherwise, thanks for the good job done so far 😉


  28. Anonymous

    Just a little info. If you call them and say that you will come to take photos(just in case). They expect a “little” Donation. If u take photos you have to pay 30€. For every other action only 10€.

  29. Spudnik

    Thanks for the advice about the “little donation” but they’ve been doing that for some time now as you’ll see from the earlier comments. There’s even a tour group now doing tours for even more. Money money money.

  30. Anonymous

    I agree with you! put there a donation box,if i want to donate i can put something according to my budget. this is solidarity! and also if you believe that you try to set a nice social project there you dont need to welcome the people with dog.Publish a clear website than nice people will be around you. easy!

    if i understand right,its an old hospital for tuberculoses? i dont like old hospitals!

  31. Spudnik

    I much prefer old abandoned hospitals to new still-in-use hospitals. You’re much less likely to pick up any diseases for a start!

  32. Unknown

    Hi Folks,

    As an Artists and active member of Grabowsee Globe Gallery I would advise any person intending to visit the site to consider few points:
    For some time a series of projects has been taking place and developed at the specific site aiming to the Visual Art scene. Authorities has granted permission to be built a growing Art Village.. There are artists and technicians working on site re-building dilapidated structures. The site has become a growing art village and projects are constantly on going
    E.g. Before pay any visit to the site ask for permission as the place is going under massive transformation, there is survey-lance plus other 24/7 site security…
    For more information contacting: globegallery.wordpress.com/

  33. Spudnik

    I find it hard to believe artists have the money for pay for 24/7 surveillance.
    What are your plans for the site? What does it mean for Kids Globe? And who, ultimately, owns it?
    Generally when a place like this is turned over to artists, it’s owned by developers who subsequently kick them out once it’s been made “cool” so they can make money from developing it.
    You can describe it as the first symptoms of gentrification, a disease afflicting Berlin at the moment.

  34. Anonymous

    Hi Irish Berliner,
    the best would be to visit us at Grabowsee, so we could talk about the details. I share some of your scepticism. Finally: it’s not all about monney!
    Bernhard Hanke
    Kids Globe chairman
    0175 24 25 27 5

  35. Anonymous

    I tried to be there today, but have you heard that George Clooney is in Berlin? He is going to shot one part of his next movie in Grabowsee !!! So it is almost impossible to get in without facing a technician setting up the set… -( Should be more quiet in Juny.

    We got this from the “Hausemeister” with the dog. And the Kids Globe seemed to be kind of serious…
    The place is Teufelsberg n°2 now =[

  36. Spudnik

    Thanks for the comment. I’m going to work on a follow up post as soon as I get the time.

  37. LG

    Was there yesterday and although there were a few people around, inc a car car, no one asked for any money.. not sure but seems the security guy and his dog take Sundays off 😉 Got some great fotos and was really cool having a look around. Had a bit of trouble finding the place which turned out well as we found this place quite close. Basically, its the old SS bakery for the Sachsenhausen concentration camp… located here: tinyurl.com/m9ajlwj
    Link to some info on it: tinyurl.com/lluo2hh and tinyurl.com/n6ggah
    Easy to get in and have a look around… kinda disappointed I didn’t go upstairs as the girlfriend wanted out. She’s German and was having trouble with the whole ‘rules’ thing.
    Cheers for the info on this place… shall be checking out some of the other sites soon, starting with Spreepark later today 🙂

  38. Spudnik

    Haha! Germans and their rules eh? 😉 You’d think they’d get a bigger kick out of breaking them but no…
    Thanks for the bread factory tip! I was unaware of it – had just continued up the canal to Grabowsee on my last visit.
    Happy to hear to hear the dog gets Sundays off. German dogs are very particular about their Sundays.
    Best of luck in the other places!

  39. Anonymous

    Anyone going one of the next days?
    i was waiting for the sun, probably tomorrow or wednesday by train and then bike.
    I m a photographer, so i don’t mind paying a little fee to stay there (as well in other derelict places around berlin) and take my pictures without anxious feelings.
    Let me know!

  40. Anonymous

    Anyone who was there the last days?
    I would like to go in about a week.
    Is it still possible to climb in there?

  41. Anonymous

    Hi there! I was there, alone, at the beginning of June. I had to slide under the steel fence in a point where to the ground was a bit lower since I didn’t find any point where to jump inside and the gates are very well secured with barded wire. The visit was great and I took very nice pics without anyone who bothered me. No security or dogs were aound, maybe because there was a storm during the day, which made the athmosphere even more gotic.. I was a bit stressed in some moments, but I liked this sensation while I took pics. Everything is destroyed apart the piano and the sofa, but I think it is again worth for a visit. I could walk in all the buidings with out particular dangers. As alone I didn’t go in the cellars so I don’t know theri conditions. Very strange, in the afteroon I stumbled upon a professional photographer with two models (they had parked inside since I saw their car, so for sure they were authorized) but they were very fliendly and wished me to take great pics :)! Next I went to the SS bakery, see my post there.
    Thanks again to Irish Berliner for his work for this site, it is not the first time I follow your instructions and every time I have a great exploaration!

  42. Anonymous

    We were there today and with asking the current owner if we can get in it wasn’t possible. He and his co worker were very friendly, but we had to pay him 10€ (without doing pictures) or 30€ each with taking pictures. We decided to pay 10€ each and for sure took pictures.

    Most of the buildungs are cleaned really good as there happened some kind of arty farty stuff in many rooms. We think Kids Globe won’t be realised soon, so its still ok to go there and visit. Maybe you are lucky and the owner isn’t there then. There are still some parts where you can hop the fence but be careful.

  43. Spudnik

    He’s not the owner. 🙂 Kudos for the sneaky pictures.

  44. Anonymous

    We visited here a couple of days ago and found a way in and didn’t have to pay. If you drive completely past the grounds up to the car park on the right, park up and walk back on yourself slightly you’ll find a low fence on your right. You can hop that and walk into the grounds unhindered by anything other than a few fallen trees, some boggy ground and some weird smells that make you feel like you’re in a bad horror movie. We found the guard wasn’t there, you can tell by the guard box near the middle gate being occupied or not and the fact that his car wasn’t there. Just as we were coming out of the grounds he turned up and luckily didn’t see us, we obviously had the luck of the gods on our side! Once again I have to say this a fab site IB..thanks muchly. x

  45. Anonymous

    been there yesterday on Sunday. What can i say, the “Kids globe” kidsglobe.org owns this property and they want to make “International academy” out of it. The works have already begun. Everywhere hang the signs “the area is closely watched by security”, “Warning: dog”, “Video-cams installed”, “i’ll be pursued with private property violation law (hausfriedensbruch §123 u. §124)”. Usually i don’t take those signs seriously but there were footprints of a dog and car tires on the snow all over the place. Hiding from security in such huge complexes is no problem, cause nobody is going to chase you inside those freaking buildings but dogs… they’ll smell your ass pretty fast. Even though i saw no security that day (the security office wasn’t occupied either on the second entrance from the river side), had to cancel my trip because of a strange feeling.
    Conclusion: if you’re out for an adrenalin rush and you are a foreigner (because then you don’t really care about “hausfriedensbruch §123”) then it’s the right location. Go there on Sunday ’cause then you’ll have no security. Have fun with cams, silent alarms and other stuff. But if you want to enjoy your day and relaxe then go to Beelitzer-Heilstätten. It’s the same stuff with the exception that there are no security and scary signs. (The underground tunnels are the highlight there).
    Stay safe and don’t try this at home or at school! 😉

  46. Spudnik

    It’s always tricky going anywhere that’s likely to be guarded when there’s snow on the ground. They can see your footprints. On the other hand, it should be easy enough to tell how fresh the others are.
    I wouldn’t worry too much about the signs to be honest. I haven’t been in a long time but others have without any problems.

  47. Anonymous

    you are surely right that those signs don’t meet much to any urban explorer (cause every object is somehow restricted). but if the owner really doesn’t want you to enter his object without permission and does everything possible to enforce it then there may be a reason for it.
    And moreover, the sign says “you may get a legal access by calling 0175 / 2425275” 😉
    Stay safe, don’t try this at school or at home!

  48. Anonymous

    Hi. How was the way to the building? I see a street going there, but it is a street you can actually go on by car? I assume now with the snowy weather, it will be covered by snow… Can you tell me? Thanks. I wanna try out then that number to get a permit to enter.

  49. Anonymous

    So that mobile number is a hoax to make money out of it? 30 euros is pretty expensive for taking pics which wont be sold to a third party. I would rather like to pay 10 euros which is pretty enough imo.
    Maybe it is then better to stay away… And as the work already started, who knows how it looks like now…

  50. Anonymous

    I’ve been there about 3 weeks ago. You can go over the fence (some parts of the fence are collapsed and ‘going over’ just means lifting your feet for 15cm), but yes, the area is guarded and you can get legal access for 10€ per person. The guy that guards the area will go around by bike every once in a while and if you meet other people just pretend you walked in legally. But as some of you assumed: it’s not as abandoned as other places. When I was there, some movie people were shooting something and in some rooms there are sofas and other ‘art’ things. Nevertheless you can take some great pics (and if you choose the legal access for 10€, just don’t show your camera and don’t tell him you want to take pics. He won’t notice.)

  51. Anonymous

    I was there last Saturday. The place is guarded and fenced but you can get legal access by calling Mr. Hanke in advance at 00491752425275. The entrance is 30€ if you want to make pictures. If not it’s 10€.

  52. Anonymous


    I want to go over there and make some pictures. When mr. Hanke lets you in, will he leave then or does he stays with you all the time?

  53. Anonymous

    Hi, you will be exploring the place on your own. But when you meet Mr. Hanke, I would try to avoid to ask him about his project, since he is very talkative (He wasted around 30 min of my time, babbling about his project – very annoying).

  54. tiny

    Went their last week. Mr Hanke was very kind and let us in. Had to pay 50,- because I had a model with me. He let us completely on our own, so we had a great time and stayed all day.

  55. Matze

    Went there last Sunday. Construction work has been going on so I called the guy and asked if I could go exploring. He asked if I wanted to take photos, if so he’d charge 30 Euros – I said no (didn’t show him my camera in my backpack) and he let me in for free and left me completely in peace for the rest of the day. Amazing place – even went for a swim in the lake.

  56. aurelie

    hey, is the lake worth swimming in? good day trip on a hot as **** day like tomorrow?

  57. Unknown

    Went there today. Google maps made me make a stroll through the woods to arrive by the south of the property. Poor fences were there, where you can easily go through. But I preferred to walk around and go by the main entrance. The guy was there with its absolutely harmless dog. He only barks when he sees people on the other side of the fence, I wouldn’t be afraid of him. When I asked the guy if he was aggressive, he laughed and told me “i don’t think so”.I pet him during 5 minutes.
    I told him I had no cash and he let me in for free.
    This abandoned sanatorium is by far the most impressive I’ve seen around Berlin. Only time is decaying this one. Almost no graffitis. It’s huge, I recommend at least 2 or 3 hours. Pay attention to your return journey if you come by bus, only one every hour.

  58. Sarah

    Hello! Will you be going again or to any other places in Berlin? I am having trouble meeting people that want to go urban exploring.

  59. Unknown

    Sorry, I was only there for a week 🙁

  60. Unknown

    Hey Sarah me and a couple of friends have gone to a couple of sites for adventuring. I’m based in Berlin

  61. From Another Place Photography

    Hi! I’m coming over to Berlin from Australia in June. Will be there for a week. Wondering if you may be keen to do some exploring with me?

  62. Saga

    I’m from Sweden, but will be in Berlin in the middle of July – anyone interested in exploring a place like this with me?

  63. Kat

    Thought I’d post an update for anyone planning to visit. I was here the other day, had a good wander on my own for a couple of hours. I saw a man on a bike circling the perimeter with a dog, he didn’t see me and managed to get round the whole place without being caught so it is doable. I also spoke to a group of German guys who were there, they informed me they’d bought tickets, my German isn’t very good but from what I gathered they paid €50 for the group but for an individual it’s €30. Personally I think €10 isn’t too bad but €30 is a bit of a rip off. Sneaking in is more fun and a lot cheaper but if it gives anyone any piece of mind there’s that option too.

  64. Kat


  65. Anonymous

    Hey Kat,

    We went there today and saw a guy with his dog who wouldn’t let us in without an “entry fee” of 30 euros. Your comment was posted four days ago. Could you tell me where you managed to get in? We couldn’t find a single hole in the rather new looking site fence.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  66. Anonymous

    You can get in for 10€, 30 if you wanna make pictures. Of course you can lie he wont check, except maybe if you have a real equipment. The “I have no money” excuse did not seem to work the last time I went there. (a week ago)
    You can also sneak in, but be aware that this guy is constantly cycling in the property, but this is clearly feasible. The property is huuuge, so just walk along the fences until you find somewhere easy to step in. Best entry is south of the property in the woods, google maps with gps is your friend.

  67. Amy

    Thanks for the update. I’ll be in Berlin in 4 weeks. Will see how I go.

  68. Franck

    I was there late May and the sneaking in might become harder. On my visit there was at least a dozen people from this kids Globe project. They even build some kind of hostel where some hippies volunteers seem to stay as well as a fully equipped kitchen in one building.

    The dog is nowhere near scary and the guy is pretty nice. He charges 10 euros without pictures and 30 with pictures so you just have to say that you don’t have a camera and he doesn’t ask more.

    It could definitely be possible to sneak in without being caught as the people from Kids globe don’t care about you since they don’t know if you came from the front gate or not. The guy doesn’t go inside the buildings and you can actually go from one to another through the underground.

    Mosquitoes were really hungry so I would suggest to bring a repellent.

    You need a good 3 hours to cover the whole thing

  69. Moskito-man

    illegal way in was possible. Go around the fence and you will find a way in. But a lot of kids where one the place and on the day a low budged film was created.

    Illegaler Eintritt durch den Zaun. Einfach rum gehen und genaueer schauen. Hier waren aber schon viele kids aktiv mit Ihren Grafittis. An dem Tag als wir da waren, fand ein Filmdreh statt. Es war uns zu viel los am Samstag.

  70. Anonymous

    Beware of having the idea to use the place for anything commercial. We had the idea to shoot a really no-budget music video there, visited the place (for free even!) for two hours, and the guy with the dog wanted to charge a hefty sum for a shoot, regardless of the project or budget. If you plan on do anything commercial or similar there, just better don’t announce it.

  71. bumper

    Does anyone know how much the guy wants to charge if he thinks it is for a project? I want to do an art project there which will involve brings some bits of costume which I think he will see.

  72. Anonymous

    Well I think it’s funny how people complain about paying something for getting in. The money will be used to keep that thing “alive” and to support the Kids Globe project! And I think 10 to 30 bucks aren’t that much. You need to pay almost 250 for pictures in Beelitz! So just give them kids that money and stop whining!

  73. Unknown

    Does he show you around with his dog? I miss my dog and I prefer their company when I can have a doggo around. I would love to help get more funding and help get their idea out. I would love to make like a time to practice music here etc. (not electric music).
    I would love to meet this guy.

  74. Anonymous

    Has anyone been there lately? Is it full on busy and can one take some photos in peace? Don’t mind giving 30 bucks to someone if we left in peace but of course sneaking in is much more fun! Thanks for any update…

  75. bobmarchand

    I went there a couple of days ago. Wonderful derelict place, definitely worth the price… I was alone 90 % of the time there…

  76. Stark Urbex

    I went here 2020–07–30. Such a great place! A little bit like Beelitz. I really recommend going here and plan to stay at least 3 hours. Also the busses from Oranienburg only leaves once an hour so make sure you plan your trip. I payed to go in, just because Im lazy. 🙂 Although the owner is such a nice and fun guy. I think its worth paying for him to take care of the place. Thanks for a great report Ciarán. You made my day fantastic! Keep up the good work! / Stark Urbex

  77. Jan

    Went there last week. We climbed over the wall were it was easy, just like 100 meters on the left of the entrance. Other people were there as well, they probably paid but I have no clue how much. Once we were over the wall, we could freely walk around and enjoy the place.

  78. Alex

    Not sure if we were just unlucky or if they really stepped up security there last week. There were a few security guys patrolling the area, cameras installed around the perimeter and a guard dog that followed us everywhere. Perhaps it had to do with the big sign at the main entrance saying they were using the entry funds to build a new school or something like that. Either way, it’s not easy to sneak in unless you plan on swimming or paddling across the river. Of course, you could also pay to get in but have to make an appointment beforehand.

  79. JustExplore211

    We tried to approach from the south through the forest and came across a fence. It said: Beware of the dog. That took away a bit of our motivation ^^ There was also a notice that you can visit the sanatoriums by appointment. Boring!
    We later found out that there is a holiday camp or something for children. Free exploration is therefore history 🙁

    • Inter

      nope! just give the guy a call/message. pay him like 5 bucks (if i remember and he will let you do whatever there, you can explore freely)

      • paul

        Hi ! We like to visit Heilstatte Grabowsee next weekend. Which guy do we have to call and what is his telephone number? Thanks Paul

      • trespassing

        can you specify how to contact?

      • Furiiku

        This is still correct. Anyone who wants to visit legally should just call Mr Hanke to make an appointment (contact details at https://www.kidsglobe.org, the phone number is mentioned in a comment here by Mr Hanke himself from 2013 too: +49 (0)17 52 42 52 75).

        You can mail him, but he’ll just reply that you should call him, so just do the latter. He speaks German and English.

        Mr Hanke is a really friendly and interesting man without whom this object would have degraded by quite a bit more. You can see evidence of this in the repairs made to the roofs. Prices for entry are currently set at €20 (no photographs), €30 (smartphone photography), and €40 (professional equipment). This buys you legal permission to be there as well as unimpeded and undisturbed access from noon to 17:00. The money mostly seems to go to the upkeep of this complex. Drone photography is not permitted.

        We visited on a Thursday, and were one of two couples exploring the grounds. This place is huge, so we only bumped into the other couple occasionally. Mr Hanke noted that there are more people visiting during weekends, so plan accordingly if you want to do something like erotic photography — you won’t be the first, evidenced by the examples showcased in the little exhibition space.

        By the way, the art here is fun to explore too! There are a bunch of installations on the ground floor of the southern wings of the main complex, as well as the exhibition space with photos of past projects.

        If you come by means of public transport, you can take the 804 bus to Malz, Anker from the Oranienburg train station, and get out at Malz, Grabowsee Fähre. Then just cross the bridge and continue straight on until the current entrance (you will pass the former main entrance lane and guard house along the way). Mind that this bus may initially be packed full of Americans visiting the Sachsenhausen concentration camp (we had to do some heavy shoving to even get in; these tourists do seem to compress a little if you push, although they get all uppity about it). If you want to avoid that, just plan a walk to the first bus stop after that (Oranienburg, Aderluch, 2 km from the station), where the bus will stop nearly empty. You could also walk all the way through the forest (we did on the way back, 7 km or so), but plan accordingly.

        Visit this place while you can! With clear weather the sun will add a lot of photogenic little details.


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