What for some is a run-down horror show, for others means a unique experience. If the urge for wanderlust calls you, you will find many different places throughout the Federal Republic that not only take a breathtaking photo motif, but also have a certain creepy factor or a dark past in store for you. Lost places are not for the faint of heart. If you are up for an adventure and do not want to travel far for it, you cannot avoid these Lost Places in Germany.
Lost Places are abandoned places and empty buildings. They are neither inhabited nor otherwise used – usually for decades. These places are unkempt and decaying. On many a visit, you will only be able to guess how much life they were once filled with – including creepy mansions, old amusement rides or derelict industrial buildings. Some of them have simply been forgotten. Others lacked the money or permits needed to make important renovations. In any case, for most stories, you should dress warmly.
If you take a trip to any of the following Lost Places, be sure to follow these rules:
1) Safety first
If you are drawn to particularly gloomy spots in Germany, the following always applies: the more run-down a building is, the more dilapidated and dangerous it can be! Being a daredevil, recklessness, and a risky urge to explore are out of place when visiting lost places. You always enter the places at your own risk and caution should be exercised during any discovery tour.
2) Obtain permission
Some buildings are long forgotten, but they are still in private or state ownership. This must be respected. Find out in advance if the place or property can be entered and get permission from the owner beforehand.
3) Consideration and respect
Even if a structure has been badly damaged, you should leave the place as you found it. You should refrain from taking souvenirs as well as from vandalism or forcible entry. If one of the sites is in a nature reserve, the instructions must also be followed.
4) Patience and discretion
Some buildings are so well embedded in the landscape that you will only find them by searching for a long time. For this you should bring time and patience. We also count on your discretion. If you share the location on social networks, the place will soon be flooded with visitors. The result: lots of trash, theft, and vandalism. So, help the lost places keep their charm.
5) Equipment and preparation
Of course, planning depends on where the forgotten place is located. Some Lost Places are in the middle of the city. For others, you will have to do a fair amount of walking. You should never visit deserted and remote lost places alone, and certainly not at night. You will also need sturdy shoes, a flashlight, and a helmet for particularly dilapidated buildings – better safe than sorry.
The following Lost Places in Germany offer unique motifs for your camera and leave impressions of a special kind. We show you the most interesting, creepy, and impressive places from the north to the south of the country.
1) The Südermühle on Fehmarn (Petersdorf, Schleswig-Holstein)
Built in 1893, the Südermühle still stands amidst the lush green landscape of the island of Fehmarn. However, the rotten wood, the many broken windows and the missing wind wheels show the clear decay of the more than 200-year-old windmill.
2) Dwasieden Castle on the island of Rügen (Sassnitz, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania).
A classic among the lost places! The once magnificent castle was blown up after the Second World War and the ruins left to themselves. Meanwhile, the building is so overgrown with its dark past that you will not recognize it right away at first glance. Dwasieden Castle belongs on your Lost Places list.
3) The Ghost Forest of Nienhagen (Nienhagen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
A place with a real guarantee of creepiness! While this place will immediately convince you of its beauty in the summer, it turns into an eerily beautiful ghost forest in the fall and winter. You will not meet anyone here in a hurry.
4) The Zippendorf Spa Hotel (Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
A place of failure and rebuilding. The abandoned hotel complex on Schwerin Lake has seen quite a few owners come and go. Instead of tourists, only adventure seekers venture to this eerily beautiful place.
5) Old School Neuhof (Hamburg)
On your city break to Hamburg, be sure to stop by the Neuhof Ghost School. The windows and doors have long been barricaded. Nevertheless, the red brick building is imposing.
6) The former state insane asylum Domjüch (Neustrelitz, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania).
Entering this place, you will not be oblivious of its gloomy past. This is because the mental hospital witnessed the cruel crimes committed during the National Socialism, which is commemorated by the memorial plaques of the dilapidated facility.
7) Grabowsee sanatorium (Oranienburg, Brandenburg).
The former pulmonary sanatorium is a minor celebrity but still worth a visit. After all, Hollywood has already discovered the eerily beautiful setting of the grounds for itself. If you cannot make it to the Heilstätte Grabowsee in person, you can just watch the movie “Monuments Men”.
8) Heilstätte Beelitz (Beelitz, Brandenburg).
Not a place for the faint of heart, this Lost Place really packs a punch. Not only many tuberculosis patients have met their death here but also soldiers were cared for in the sanatorium during wartime. In addition, the Beelitz sanatorium has gone down in history as the scene of two gruesome murders in 1991 and 2008. Rumor has it that the abandoned building is haunted. No wonder, given its history, right? Good thing it is forbidden to enter the building anyway.
9) The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial (Berlin).
The former Stasi prison gives you insights into the times of the GDR. Cruel things were done to many people in the secret remand prison of the State Security. A guided tour of the memorial will provide you with your own impression of the cells and the stories.
10) The Teufelsberg (Berlin)
In the west of the German capital, you can explore a special place: the Teufelsberg. US forces were stationed here for air traffic control – including a listening station. After the Americans left, the site was used for air traffic control until 1999. Today, the distinctive domes only serve visitors. There are graffiti and the occasional exhibition going there, However, do not let this historical place fall into oblivion. Besides, the abandoned location will remind you of many an apocalyptic movie.
11) The Spreepark (Berlin)
Deserted paths, moss-covered figures, and a rotten ghost ship – there is not much left to see on the guided tour of Spreepark. Only a few old rides adorn the grounds of the GDR’s only amusement park, which was called Kulturpark Plänterwald. One of them is the Ferris wheel, which reminds of those times when more than a million people came here every year. Since the insolvency in 2002, the area is abandoned and visibly decaying.
12) Basso fun pool (Bad Schmiedeberg, Saxony-Anhalt)
For your information: nobody swims here anymore. After the fun pool closed in 2009, only the ruins remind us of the many people who once came here to swim. For this place, you should bring your camera. Because the whimsical setting offers a very special flair.
13) Hansa Coking Plant (Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia)
A special kind of lost place: rusty pipes, old conveyor belts and lots of industrial flair make the Hansa coking plant an abandoned place you must see. Since the largest coking plant in the Ruhr area was shut down, only onlookers find their way here.
14) Haus Fühlingen (Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia).
The horror house in the north of the city of Cologne is not for scaredy cats. Because not only gruesome murders, but also suicides are said to have taken place in the building. No one wants to voluntarily live here. Nevertheless, the house still stands and reminds of dark times. So do not be surprised if an oppressive feeling comes over you when visiting this place.
15) Opel’s Hunting Villa (Neu-Anspach, Hesse)
In the middle of a nature reserve, you will find the remains of Fritz Opel’s former hunting villa. The building was built in 1912, but its glory days are long gone. Nature lovers will particularly enjoy the vegetation that has survived the test of time.
16) Grand Hotel Waldeslust (Freudenstadt, Baden-Württemberg).
The castle hotel Waldlust in Freudenstadt is worth the visit. Try to capture the former glamour of the imposing building in your photos during a visit. An offered guided tour will give you an even more insight into the history of the house.
17) Porcelain Factory (Arzberg, Bavaria).
This former family business has not survived the test of time. What remains are meter-high shelves filled with all sorts of porcelain artwork that tell their very own stories. You can also get to know this lost place better by taking a guided tour.
With this list of Lost Places, you have plenty of options for discovering new and special places. If that is not enough for you, simply continue onto the neighboring country. Find out more about Lost Places in Austria here.