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Ruins of abandoned sanatorium Beelitz

Beelitz sanatorium

Ruins of abandoned sanatorium Beelitz

At the end of the nineteenth century, the lung disease tuberculosis was rampant in Berlin. The Berliners preferred to see the contagious patients go rather than come. The Beelitz Heilstätten sanatorium was built on Berlin's outskirts in 1898.

The complex consisted of dozens of buildings designed by architect Heino Schmieden.

The TB patients were soon joined by wounded soldiers from the German army. They were also cared for during the First and Second World Wars.


Beelitz was not spared during the Second World War: the women's section, the Alpenhaus, burned down in 1944 and has been empty ever since. The trees growing out of the roof also reveal this.

However, you can still take a look during a tour, including at the luxurious restaurant, where the almost 300 female patients were spoiled with copious meals.

Nurses kept an eye on the sick people eating from a balcony to ensure they did not smuggle food in their pockets for their visitors.


In a separate pavilion, an army of chefs prepared meals for the 600 patients and 400 staff members. There is nothing more to be found besides the extractor hood and a few antique refrigerators.


In 1945, the sanatorium became a Russian military hospital. Soldiers and top officials of the regime, including Erich Honecker, were given shelter here.

After the Russians withdrew in 1995, many of the buildings became vacant—a rewarding backdrop for films such as The Pianist and Valkyrie.

And now? Since 2015, a treetop path has been winding along the ruins, crossing the tree-covered roof of the Alpenhaus. The 23-meter-high path also takes you past the rusting roof truss and the water reservoir.

You can also take guided tours of the various buildings, including the surgery building.

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