One of the most amazing experiences I had while traveling in Europe last summer was when I visited the Heilstätten Hohenlychen Sanatorium with my friend Yvonne.
Exploring abandoned places is one of those secret pleasures that I don’t satiate often enough, inherently making this adventure beyond exciting. I geared up just like I would for a wedding, two cameras in tow and more film than I could possibly shoot in 6 short hours. I didn’t eat until the experience was over, relentlessly exploring every nook and cranny I could set eyes on. The best part about this “tour” is that they let us go and explore wherever we wanted without supervision or a hoard of other tourists getting in our way. They simply brought us on to the property, locked the gates, and told us to have at it for 6 hours.
It was amazing!!!
The Heilstätten Hohenlychen Sanatorium was build in 1902 and initially used as a tuberculosis ward for women and children. Between World War I and World War II Hohenlychen was used as a hospital for athletes during the 1936 summer Olympics and it eventually it became
one of the main medical facilities of the Schutzstaffel, where injured or convalescing SS men were treated. Many preeminent SS doctors trained or were stationed at Hohenlychen, the most infamous being SS Sturmbannführer Doktor Karl Gebhart, who was sentenced to death for war crimes. (Wikipedia)
This beautiful old complex has such a dark and eerie past. I can’t imagine that it was any less beautiful and eerie in its prime.
This collection of images is just a small sample of the treasure I collected that day and I’m eager to go again. To the same place, to somewhere new… If you know of any beautiful abandoned places in the United States, in the Pacific Northwest in particular, I’d love to go exploring somewhere new!
If you’re totally into this stuff you can read more about the history of the Heilstätten Hohenlychen Sanatorium over on the Abandoned Berlin blog.