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TB or not TB – Baum & Zeit at Beelitz-Heilstätten

Beelitz-Heilstätten

A couple weekends ago, I met up with one of my colleagues and headed out to Beelitz-Heilstätten, out on the southwestern edge of Berlin.

Beelitz-Heilstätten is a very well known site for explorers of abandoned buildings – it’s a site with a plethora of buildings that have, to be blunt, seen better days. Back in the 1880s, the facility was built as a place to cure tuberculosis, isolating patients from the large city, giving them a place to rest and recover, without infecting others. This is probably an overly short history of the place, but that’s the main point: it was a tuberculosis hospital.

Beelitz-Heilstätten

And then it was a military hospital for the Russians.

And then…

Well, for the “and then” part, I recommend taking a look at Abandoned Berlin’s two reports: Haunted by history: The ghosts of Beelitz-Heilstätten and Beelitz-Heilstätten: Back for further treatment.

What’s happened in the most recent chapter of “and then” is Baum & Zeit – some people spent 7,000,000€ to open up what I can only describe is an attempt to turn the abandoned building into a tourist trap.

Beelitz-Heilstätten

It comes complete with a 320 meter long sky-walk that is about 21 meters up in the air, thus allowing you the opportunity to view *one* abandoned building from the air, all for the low-low price of 9.50€. (Plus 2€ to park your car, plus 1€ for a surprisingly small sized serving of Sprite, and food prices high enough to deter all but the starving and rich.)

Beelitz-Heilstätten

And while I’m sure that some of the 7 million Euro was spent on the sky bridge, it appears that much of it was spent on fencing. There’s fencing around each individual building, there’s fencing around the part of the area with the sky-walk, there’s fencing around the base of the sky-walk, there’s fencing around the fencing… Naturally you can pay for tours to go inside some of fencing to get tours of some of the abandoned buildings.

Beelitz-Heilstätten

My impression of Baum & Zeit is that it is, at best, a one-and-done tourist attraction for me. It’s interesting to see fenced off abandoned buildings, and I imagine the relative ease and cleanliness of the place (hey- after paying 9.50€ to get inside the fence, the toilets are fee and clean!) will be an attraction for risk-adverse urban explorers, but it’s hard for me to imagine that a lot of people will comes out.

I bet the investors are losing their shirts.

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