abandoned beelitz heilstatten sanatorium germany

Photographing the Abandoned Beelitz Sanatorium

In 2016, I posted an article with photos of the abandoned Beelitz sanatorium complex in Germany. The article was accompanied with photos that I took during my visit in 2014. Four years later, in 2018, I went back to Beelitz to photograph its current state. Here’s what Beelitz Heilstätten looks like today.

abandoned beelitz heilstatten sanatorium germany
Although Beelitz Heilstätten is outside of Berlin, some of the exteriors of its buildings resemble English country-style homes.

History

The best architects designed this complex with luxury balcony’s, hallways and platforms. At first there was enough space to house 600 patients (mostly poor and elderly people with lung tuberculosis). Soon it turned out that there was not enough space and the capacity was doubled. Patients were separated into different buildings by gender. Staff buildings were also taken into account. For example, the laundry and kitchen were at the female part of the complex, and the boiler house was at the male part.

abandoned beelitz heilstatten sanatorium germany
Corridor leading to the old patient rooms.

Within 25 years more than 115.000 patients were treated here. In the 1st and 2nd World War the complex has been used as military hospital for the German army. Even Adolf Hitler was treated here with an injured leg in 1916. Unfortunately, some parts of the complex have been completely destroyed during the war.

Immediately after the 2nd World War the Russians took over the complex and also used it as a military hospital. It was even known as the largest military hospital outside of Russia itself. Striking is that the Russians didn’t change anything of the exterior of the complex. They did make some adjustments to the interior here and there though, which nowadays are still noticeable.

In 1994 the last patients left the clinic.

These photos are also published on businessinsider.com.

Photos

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