About

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 want 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 an ongoing 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 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 still to explore.
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 trashing – they just trash 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. Yeah, well, tough. None of these places stay the way they are. Some of them won’t last at all. They should be enjoyed while it’s still possible.
I don’t do tours or act as a guide. I generally go alone too, on the rare occasions that I find the time to go anywhere. So don’t be offended if I don’t take your group on a day trip somewhere. The reason I publish these guides and provide the information is so you can figure it out for yourselves.
It goes without saying that you should respect these places. Just because other idiots are trashing or burning them doesn’t mean you should too. If you’re looking for a place to trash or burn, start with your own. Well, think of the neighbors if you’re intent on burning stuff.
Some of the places documented are no longer accessible, or may be off-limits from time to time. But there are still plenty of places to see. Check each post and the comments underneath before venturing out 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.
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.

52 comments

Hello, iam Daniel. I was wondering if there is any way to get in contact with you? i have a location i need some advise for. Thanks take care

Click on "curator" above. You'll find the email link there.

"Thank you" for telling the last imbecile where to go, because it DOES make a difference whether it´s posted in public or not.
Just have a look here:
http://misztal.de/wordpress/wenn-vandalismus-eine-location-ruiniert/

Not sure what "imbecile" you're referring to.
Thanks for posting the link - "When vandalism destroys a location." It's interesting to see shots of the same place taken three years apart. However, it's hardly surprising to see places have deteriorated in the meantime, through vandalism or otherwise.
And again, I fail to see how posting addresses in public invites "vandals" to do their worst. Vandals have always found these places before. Again, I'm repeating myself here, but just in case you didn't read what I've written above - well, no, I'm not going to write it again. Just read it.
I have to add some of the locations actually look much better three years later, kind of contradicting the point of the post, but I guess that's a matter of taste.
You know the best way to stop vandals? Make sure these sites are all crawling with visitors, American tourists with cameras round their necks, Japanese visitors with camcorders, hundreds of them, thousands of them, millions of them! There'd be so many people swarming about, the vandals wouldn't have a moment's peace to do their work. Loads of tourists = no more vandalism! You'd be happy then, right?

Hi,
I've been to a couple of abandoned spots around Berlin and have had a great time. I've only had one encounter with police, and that was at the abandoned train station around Pankow. They were called for another reason (some people were trying to organize an illegal open air there) and just happened to run into us as we were shooting a bit of a short film there. We got away with just a €10 charge each.

The question I ask is - in some certain places, where there might be a bigger possibility of police, whats the best approach to take if caught? For example, with Spreepark somewhat opening up to tours, I'd take the route of saying I was looking for the tour the whole time.
But some others, where its really quite abandoned, what is the best excuse? And if there's none, whats the worst that could happen to you - especially if you are not German?

Thanks

I find your blog really amazing and well curate. I'm studying near Berlin for few months so I'm gonna check up some of these places. By any chance do you know the abandoned building (I think it was a train station) that can be seen by the train from Konings to Berlin just before Osterbahnof?

Thanks for sharing that link. Yes, it is a matter of taste, Spudnik.

hey,

your blog is just great! very inspiring!
keep going on!

All the best.

Bravo...!
A fascinating resource for any historically-oriented imageographer with a penchant for spooky, abandoned and atmospherically-rich environments.
Thank you for your time, effort – and for sharing.

This is absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing!

What happens if you get caught by the police? What is the penalty?

Depends on what crime you intend committing. I hear they're pretty strong on murder, less so on tax-evasion or fraud.

I'm asking because I want to visit some of these places. Only visit! So, if they catch me what can I expect? In Croatia, 99% of the police will not make any problems.

In Germany maybe 99% will make problems, but the fact is that most places are just very easy to get to. Police is not waiting there for people to come. In the different articles you always have the difficulty rate and the dangers. And if you read the comments, you'll know the lastest updates and be able to see how others did it to visit the places without being caught. There are really a lot of spots, which are quite safe.

If a private security company catches you, they might just send you away (happened to me at Spreepark) or call the police (never had trouble with them), but in this case you could have to pay a fee.

Hey, try the Campingplatz on Schwanenwerder, see https://www.google.de/maps/place/52%C2%B026'44.0%22N+13%C2%B010'13.4%22E/@52.44556,13.170403,17z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0 Theres a sad story behind it (in German: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/orkan-vor-zehn-jahren-die-tragoedie-vonschwanenwerder/6851972.html). It would be very interesting to see the abandoned campground and make some photos for us ;) The difficulty should be 1/10, but the forested area makes it a little bit spooky. Best - S.

Bravo. Congratulations for your blog and your book. We bought it and it is fascinating. Highly recommended! Thank you for discovering such amazing places and for giving us the opportunity to visit them, with a camera in hand. I have joined collections from some of "your" abandoned places and warmly invite you to visit

www.perspekteva.com

Thank you. And continue like that!

Thank you for sharing your great site! Well done and "Bravo" to you!

Hello, my name is Maja.
I am writing a scientific work about your Blog and I was wondering if there is any way to contact you?
I could not find an email adress. I hope that you can help me.
Kind regards

Hi Maja. You can email explore at abandonedberlin dot com and I should be able to help you out then.
All the best.

Today I cycled by this villa http://www.berlin.de/ba-charlottenburg-wilmersdorf/ueber-den-bezirk/gebaeude-und-anlagen/villen/artikel.196612.php and it looked totally abandoned (http://tinypic.com/r/4ky8wg/8) . Do you know anything about it?

Good job, nice website, beautiful pictures and interesting places... but, please: Stop posting anti-GDR or anti-Soviet propaganda! Stop badmouth about countries you know nothing about but the silly stuff they teach in schools or display at "DDR-Museums". I know that history is written by the winners but you should have some respect. BRD, American and NATO actions in history are way worse than any East-Block one... so if you must be critical of GDR in your posts at least be objective.

I’m not sure if I’m replying to a Kremlin-employed troll – I suppose I should be flattered this site has come to your attention if I am – but I can assure you I’m not posting anti-GDR or anti-Soviet propaganda. I have equal disdain for all sides, East, West, and those who flip between the two depending on which happens to be most beneficial at the time. There are no angels. I know about BRD, American and western actions throughout history – in fact, you don't need to go back in history to find them – but the histories I write about here are connected to abandoned buildings in and around Berlin, hence the strong DDR and Soviet representation. Read about any of the sites in West Berlin if I've hurt any of your Soviet-controlled feelings.

I have never been to Berlin in fact I dont even live in Germany I live in New Delhi, India a concrete jungle, We do have a lot of ruins and abandoned buildings but it seems like they have lost their beauty because they are always filled with junkies or couples looking for alone time .. I dont exactly remember how i discovered your website how I got here but i am glad I did it makes me feel so happy that there are people like me all over the world who share the same love for abandoned places and buildings . I check out your website when I am down and it gives me a weird kind of joy seeing all the pictures reading their stories and reading comments . I just hope you will never shut this website down and it stays up and active for years.

Hello, my name is Emilie and I am currently scouting for an abandoned site for a reconversion Project. I would be glad to talk with you if you could give me your contact. Thank you very much. Best regards, Emilie emilieantigny@hotmail.com

"There are now people trying to take advantage," you say, but "after weighing up the pros and cons" you've now decided to sell a book about it too.
That must have been a tough decision.

hi, my name is Matias and I am a software developer that would like to help in the project. I just finish a blog mobile app for a client that can be re used in this cool project, of course for free. I would be glad to talk with you villaverde.mat@gmail.com. Cheers

After months of hard work, I'm happy to announce the inauguration of my new website, a photographic route through the last monuments dedicated to Lenin still standing in Germany: www.leninisstillaround

Many of the locations are abandoned places in East Germany (Vogelsang, Wünsdorf, Fürstenberg or Brand) but there are also some surprises, like the big Lenin in the Humbold University in Berlin or the only statue in West Germany!

You're all kindly invited to have visit the page!

Ups... In my previous comment I forgot to put the complete direction... www.leninisstillaround.com

Hey Karl G! Congratulations on your site, it's great! Keep up the good work! :)

Actually it was the publisher who decided to sell a book, not me. I was happy enough posting the information for free here on the internet. But some people, crazy people, prefer to hold something physical in their hands to read instead of burning their eyes out looking at a screen. The book's for them. I like crazy people. In any case the book is effectively just a logical extension of the efforts here on the site. People can decide whether they want to buy it or not. Those who don't want to buy it are still free to browse the content here on the website for free. As you are to leave your bitter comments. You're welcome.

Thanks! Now with the story of the giant head, Lenin is actually very "in" again ;)

Hi, Do you have an email I can contact you on? Thanks!

Hi !
Thank you for this well-documented website ! So interesting !!
I had a few questions regarding the security guards :
1- Have you still been caught by the Polizei or security guards ? What happened ?
2- What are the legal risks ? (like if the Polizei catchs you, what do you risk ?)
Thank you !!

This blog is awesome, simply perfect. Love the pictures and the vibe. Thanks for sharing your adventures and being a source of inspiration!

http://ropeculture.org/2016/02/11/urban-exploring/ I love your site and would love it if you read the article I wrote about urban exploring. I look forward to possibly hearing your opinion

Hey !

First, thanks for your website, it has been important since many years in come in Berlin ;)

Then, last night I got lost in the neighborhood of Lichtenberg. When I find a way to go back from where I went, I just found some big buildings totally abandoned. It was very late and I had to take the tram (station Herzbergstrasse / Industriegebiet) so I did not have much time to have a look and the night was dark.
Do you know this part of Berlin ? I did not find anything on it, actually and I thought maybe you may be able to let me know some stuff about it (or even if you want to take a look there with me).
I think it's totally worth it to take a look there.
Let me know
Bye !

Hello, I've not been on t'internet as much as I used to (3 year old and four year old) and I wondered what happened to your other blog. You moved to Berlin a year before me, hooked up with a Berliner a year before me, had you boy the year before I had my daughter etc etc etc. We even do the same job more or less. I felt your pain in the face of weak tea, a 5-month winter and the sheer bloody Germaness of it all. That blog was empirical proof that it was not me it was THEM and it was ok to come back from London with a bag full of Heinz salad cream, Cadbury's eclairs and Yorkshire Tea. Back in London now but planning a move back to the Fatherland and went to seek strength but you're gone!

Hi there! Great blog, always interesting! Ever heard of Wustrow bei Rerik? It´s on the coast west of Rostock. I flew over a couple of years ago and saw it was desserted, seems to have been some training ground for the ol´ secret men of the east.

This site is incredible, I'll be in Berlin in June, and this REALLY helped me plan my trip. good work.

Hi Ciaran,

a tip for a next entry (?) on your website: the ex VEB Photochemiewerke (Kodak) in Kopenick. Difficulty degree: 0. Good for beginners. Huge halls, lots of graffiti, 1 building with lots of machinery (kettels and so on), 1 building where the lab was..Very easy access, big..good to spend an afternoon. There is a bus that stop in front of the complex on the Friedrichshagener Strasse..the 269

Hi,

Is it illegal to visit such abandoned buildings in berlin? If I intend to film or photograph these places, do I need a permit?

Hi,

I am traveling to Berlin this summer and I would love to go and photograph some of these places. I was wondering if there was a way I could get in contact with you and pick your brain about getting into some of these places! Please let me know!

Hey there! Love the website ,want to talk about a partnership! Get at me alex@doppelberlin.com thanks! ALex

Very nice photos and article, I've already been in Berlin's abandoned entertainment park.

What is wrong with some people? The book is a wicked idea. Which became a wicked reality. Wicked, good wicked. And you are quite right in saying it's a natural extension of your website.

Hello! How often do you all go on these trips? I'm dying to tag along!

Hi, I'm a Comparative Literature PhD student and a big fan of your work - as well as an urban explorer myself. I am writing a journal article on urban exploration as a performative practice of memory, in the context of the politics of memory in Germany. I would like very much to use some of your pictures to accompany my text. Would you grant me permission for it? Thank you in advance. You can contact me back at sophie_devirieux@hotmail.com.

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