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Jan-Michael Breider | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Beelitz-Heilstätten tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Beelitz-Heilstätten

Beelitz-Heilstätten, a district of the town south of Berlin, is home to a large hospital complex of about 60 buildings. Originally designed as a sanatorium by the Berlin workers' health insurance corporation, the complex from the beginning of World War I on was a military hospital of the Imperial German Army. During October and November 1916, Adolf Hitler recuperated at Beelitz-Heilstätten after being wounded in the leg at the Battle of Somme.
In 1945, Beelitz-Heilstätten was occupied by Red Army forces, and the complex remained a Soviet military hospital until 1995, well after the German reunification. In December 1990, Erich Honecker (died 1994) was admitted to Beelitz-Heilstätten after being forced to resign as the head of the East German government.
Following the Soviet withdrawal, attempts were made to privatize the complex, but they were not entirely successful. Some sections of the hospital remain in operation as a neurological rehabilitation center. The remainder of the complex, including the surgery, the psychiatric ward, and a rifle range, was abandoned in 2000.
As of 2007, none of the abandoned hospital buildings or the surrounding area were secured, giving the area the feel of a ghost town. This has made Beelitz-Heilstätten a destination for curious visitors and a film set for movies like The Pianist in 2002, the Rammstein music video “Mein Herz Brennt” and “Valkyrie” in 2008.

What you see is the result of two days of intense photography together with my friend Linus Paulsson. Because of extreme lighting conditions some of the photos have been made as HDR (high dynamic range).
Building in male area
Building in male area
Map over the area and all buildings
Map over the area and all buildings
Beelitz-Heilstätten tower and power chimney
Beelitz-Heilstätten tower and power chimney
Machinery hall with graffiti
Machinery hall with graffiti
Men pavilion disappearing behind vegetation...
Men pavilion disappearing behind vegetation...
Massive vegetation trying to cover the hospital buildings
Massive vegetation trying to cover the hospital buildings
Growing power!
Growing power!
Growing power….
Growing power….
Getting access to the buildings using one of the many basement tunnels
Getting access to the buildings using one of the many basement tunnels
Getting out from a building through the basement
Getting out from a building through the basement
The entrance to one of the men`s buildings
The entrance to one of the men`s buildings
The entrance hall in one of the men`s buildings
The entrance hall in one of the men`s buildings
Old piano left in one of the men`s buildings
Old piano left in one of the men`s buildings
The old piano
The old piano
Door Nr 1
Door Nr 1
Door Nr 2
Door Nr 2
Door Nr 3
Door Nr 3
Door nr 4
Door nr 4
Door Nr 10
Door Nr 10
Artistic graffiti in the men`s house
Artistic graffiti in the men`s house
Artistic graffiti in the men`s house
Artistic graffiti in the men`s house
Artistic graffiti in the men`s house
Artistic graffiti in the men`s house
Artistic graffiti
Artistic graffiti
Required or permitted to live in the contemporary
Required or permitted to live in the contemporary
Old bathtub and graffiti
Old bathtub and graffiti
it's snowing
it's snowing
Old wall painting
Old wall painting
Old window with autumn leafs
Old window with autumn leafs
Forest outside windows
Forest outside windows
The balcony
The balcony
The old russian gymnasium (former dining room)
The old russian gymnasium (former dining room)
The old russian gymnasium (former dining room)
The old russian gymnasium (former dining room)
Lonely bench and old painted walls
Lonely bench and old painted walls
Old wall paint
Old wall paint
Rusty pipes and old paint
Rusty pipes and old paint
Old stair in a men`s building
Old stair in a men`s building
Entrance to the men´s bathhouse
Entrance to the men´s bathhouse
Barber-chair in men`s bathhouse
Barber-chair in men`s bathhouse
Mens toilet in the bathhouse
Mens toilet in the bathhouse
Old bed in the bathhouse
Old bed in the bathhouse
Corridor in one of the women´s buildings
Corridor in one of the women´s buildings
Machiney room in women`s house
Machiney room in women`s house
Old wing in the men`s bath building
Old wing in the men`s bath building
Not much left - surgery building
Not much left - surgery building
Looking for Linus…...
Looking for Linus…...
Advanced graffiti in mens sanatorie building
Advanced graffiti in mens sanatorie building
Me and Linus with the Russian soldier outside  the Men`s Buildings
Me and Linus with the Russian soldier outside the Men`s Buildings
Old X-ray machine??
Old X-ray machine??
Old heroes in russian papers hiding on the wall
Old heroes in russian papers hiding on the wall
Stairway to heaven….no only up to the top of the surgical building
Stairway to heaven….no only up to the top of the surgical building
The old elevator in the surgery house
The old elevator in the surgery house
Artistic grafitti climber
Artistic grafitti climber
The inner part of the surgical house
The inner part of the surgical house
Entrance to a basement machinery room
Entrance to a basement machinery room
Kitchen in one of the women's buildings
Kitchen in one of the women's buildings
Kitchen graffiti
Kitchen graffiti
The ruin - destroyed during WW II
The ruin - destroyed during WW II
Forest growing around and on top of the ruin
Forest growing around and on top of the ruin
The old ruin with transportation vehicle
The old ruin with transportation vehicle
The ruin - destroyed during WW II
The ruin - destroyed during WW II