The abandoned Kabelwerk Köpenick looms over the River Spree, hauntingly beautiful with a lengthy and proud history. Two years ago marked the 100th anniversary of the cable factory. Built in 1916 by Julius Vogel and his sons, the cable factory now has sadly been reclaimed by nature.
Accessing the building was suspiciously easy and we realised why pretty quickly. We wandered quietly through the damp halls coming out into a beautiful paradise. There were birds tweeting, trees were thriving and sunlight poured in. A miniature greenhouse now existed in the factory hall. We were in awe and our guard was down as we admired how beautiful the place was. I took a panoramic picture and upon finishing it I spied the security guard. We ran, we clambered and we had minor heart attacks but luckily came out unscathed.
After some heavy breathing and a brief cooling off period outside, we went back in. This time we were quiet and careful, sticking to the more dense areas of this indoor forest. We soon realised that the only way into the neighbouring building was past the security guard’s hut. It was either that or by climbing out and going around the back. I stood under the 10ft wall and took a deep sigh. My urbex partner and I then did some dodgy parkour moves to scale the wall and land safely on the other side. My arms ache as I am typing this.
Originally named CJ Vogel Draht- und Kabelwerk AG until Siemens took the site over in 1939. At this time 1600 people worked at the factory and the production of electric lighting and power system cables began. The factory survived through GDR times but saw it’s end around the same time that many of the buildings in East Berlin did – after the wall came down. This collosol factory has been abandoned since the late 90’s and is now a forgotten and sad remainder of the former East Berlin.
Strangely a couple had wandered in off the street straight past the security hut. They were unfortunately now our buffer. While exploring a dark room with a tiny doorway, the security guy heard the clicking of my camera…
A short message to Nikon – the silent mode on your camera has been tried and tested. Sadly, it has failed my expectations.
We stood with our backs against the wall hardly breathing as he circled the room. He knew we were there, but whether he was ready for the confrontation, we will never know.
After Kabelwerk Köpenick closed its doors, part of the area was briefly used as a skate park for BMX riders and skateboarders. Remains of ‘Mellowpark’ are still visible with a small structure and an Adidas logo emblazoned on the asphalt.
Deutsche Wohnen purchased the 70,000 square meter site a few years ago and plans were made for more than 1,000 upmarket apartments to be built. The factory has two listed buildings, meaning that the owner will need to preserve them.
After attempting to enter the Mellowpark building close by we decided to call it a day. As I stood looking at the building, clear as day in a wide open space something caught my eye. I watched blatantly as the security guy cycled past me, his blue helmet bobbing along. My exploration companion, completely oblivious was still looking at something behind me.
This game of cat and mouse was about to come to a sticky end. We ran as fast as we could and scrambled over the eight-foot fence tumbling down onto the other side. A group of four friends had to stop to allow us to land. They laughed as we apologised for our abrupt and ridiculous entrance into their lives. We then strolled past the front gate and nodded at the security guard who just stared back at us. Still in action pose with his bike.
I will give it a 2 because we did see two explorers in there. I think the presence of the guard makes it a lot less accessible and doable. You have to really be on the lookout and aware of your surroundings.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to have ever trespassed on this property nor do I condone doing so.
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