Sunday, 21 June 2009

Beelitz-Heilstätten - The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum

I have been to some weird places in my time - I lived in Bonsall for a number of years after all - but none were as strange and creepy as Beelitz-Heilstätten. This is an abandoned Soviet-era sanatorium and psychiatric hospital which was formerly a military hospital (a young Adolph recuperated here after injuries he sustained at the battle of the Somme. If only someone had accidentally od'ed him on morphine). Nobody seems to know what to do with the site, and the buildings have fallen into rack and ruin.

We visited it today with a couple of friends from the TT Berlin photography club, and the place was instantly calling out to us to be photographed before it completely dissapeared into a heap of vandalised and well-scavenged rubble. One of us had visited a week before, and you could see from his photos how in just seven days many more windows had been smashed, furniture and copper wire looted, and speeded-up entropy taken hold.

The site has been used as the set in at least one horror movie, and whilst we were there people were doing photo-shoots (one model posing as Laura Croft in a dilapidated theatre). What was strange to our British health & safety sensibilities was that there were lots of curious people out for a day's ramble just wandering around all over. Underfoot there was broken glass and rubble from smashed down walls and doors, and some of the staircases were decidedly iffy. You would have thought that the whole complex should have high security fences and 'Keep Out!' warning signs. But no, parents were even letting their children use the ruined surgeries and corridors of glass shards as a playground. Whoever owns the site now, I hope they are well covered for third party public injury insurance!

Anyway, here are some photos of the place (click to bigify). I was also inspired to muck about with some of my photos and do a 'Tales from the Crypt' type horror story!

Beelitz-Heilstätten by Andie Gilmour

Hanging plants always make a decorative addition to any room

The Eagle has landed

Beelitz-Heilstätten vine-covered window

Close windows and doors to maintain room temperature

Vorsicht! The corridor of peeling lead-paint death!

I so hope the owner of this crutch is still around and mobile somewhere

Gorgeous Beelitz window

'White-goods are stylish'

Sit yourself down in the armchair and tell me all about it


  1. Great shots.
    I love the place and will go back until they actually close the gates. Let me know if/when you want to go there together.

  2. If you keep an eye on the TT Berlin Photography Club events here: then we are usually off on one of these photo-shoots. Or register on the forum and suggest your own!


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