It was a beautiful crisp winter morning at the abandoned psychiatric hospital. A thin layer of snow sat on the ground and deer pranced through the grounds enjoying the warmth of the winter sun.
The state opened the main hospital in 1908, it boasted 1050 beds. The complex started out as a mental health asylum but was later used to treat tuberculosis. The government converted many hospitals into sanatoriums to treat TB. Cases had skyrocketed during and after the war. The close contact and bad living conditions in concentration camps was thought to have enabled the spread of the disease.
A Troubled Past
The asylum was subject to the Nazi Aktion T4. Hitler ordered for the doctors to perform euthanasia on the patients. This was the case for many institutes that housed patients who were mentally or physically disabled. The Red Army took over the psychiatric hospital after the war. They used it to house soldiers and mental health patients during this time. Secrets and untold stories fill the walls.
The fall of the Red Army in 1994 caused the Russians to leave the psychiatric hospital. This was the fate of many Eastern German hospitals in the nineties. Since then, nature has reclaimed the abandoned asylum.
Getting in was hard, and getting out was even harder. Designed to keep people in, the asylum was not exactly our easiest urban exploration. Bars covered the windows, even the balconies. The enclosed gardens had concrete walls that were the height of the building. We mostly gained access through the basements which made a quick escape impossible. Even though the hospital was roomy inside, I felt trapped in this concrete prison.
The caged stairways lead to endless corridors of peeling paint. The psychiatric hospital felt empty but well used. The bedroom doors were wide open as if people had left in a hurry. I expected to see a ghostly nurse or lost patient wandering past my line of sight. The winter sun poured in making the scene even more dramatic.
One of the buildings in the complex has been completely refurbished. It stood there with a five-metre high fence, its occupants staring blankly out at us. In this instance, I am not entirely sure that the internet was my friend. A quick search revealed that it is a mental health facility for the criminally insane. To make matters worse, they have had several escaped patients over the last few years.
The bars on the windows made escaping from a cornered criminal with mental health issues seem impossible. Every noise we heard from that moment on was not taken lightly.
This trip was an eerie one, to say the least. If you enjoyed reading about it, make sure you check out my other posts about abandoned places. I also have a YouTube channel showcasing some short films I have made during my explorations.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to have ever trespassed on this property nor do I condone doing so.