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Sanatorium E – Abandoned Tuberculosis Hospital

The Sanatorium E building seen from the grounds near PotsdamOn Saturday, Digital Cosmonaut and I met again to explore another of Berlin’s abandoned places, often referred to as Sanatorium E.

After the success of our trip to Kaserne Krampnitz, which you can see more of in my post and on Digital Cosmonaut, we were determined to see more of Berlin’s derelict buildings before they are lost to developers or vandals.

Looking for places to go on our second foray I spent some time on the internet googling ‘abandoned places’ and trawling through urbex forums.

I came across a number of references to Sanatorium E and some pretty amazing pictures but try as I might I couldn’t find out where it was.  I e-mailed my partner in crime with some vague details that I had been able to glean: references to Sanatorium E, named after the doctor’s wife, in a forest near Potsdam.

Not much to go on I grant you but on Friday evening I got an e-mail back to say that he had managed to track it down and a plan was made to meet the next day.

On Saturday as before, we met at Alexanderplatz and a train and a bus ride later we were standing by the side of a road in the middle of nowhere.

After a short wild goose chase, having set off in the wrong direction, we got our first sighting of the building and walked along the perimeter fence looking for a way in.  It didn’t take long to find a section of the fence that had been trampled down and we stepped over and onto the property.

Entering the building proved to be equally straightforward.  There was an open doorway just a few metres from where we had crossed the fence.

We walked through a storage room with a partially collapsed roof, through a tiled room that may have once been a kitchen and straight into one of the photos we had both seen often in our research, the piano room.

The piano at Sanatorium E near Potsdam

It was whilst we were here that we first had company but thankfully it wasn’t security.  A group of four people came in and were a little surprised to find us taking photographs.  We in turn were confused as to their interest in the building if they weren’t taking photos, though we later came to the conclusion that they were on some kind of treasure hunt or geo-caching trip.

As we set off along the main corridor we realised that this would be a very different experience to our outing to Kaserne Krampnitz and most of our photos would be about ‘the details’.

I took a lot of photos of switches, bottles, sinks and signs.

It was when we went up to the attic rooms that my heart first quickened. Treading carefully across a creaking floor we spotted a camp bed posed under a skylight.

A camp bed bathed in sunlight from a skylight in an attic room at Sanatorium E near Potsdam

And nearby was a cup on an upturned basket, which also caught my attention.

A cup and basket in an attic room at Sanatorium E near Potsdam

As did an empty bottle of Maracuja (passion fruit drink) lying on the floor.

A Maracuja bottle at Sanatorium E near Potsdam

A panel surrounding a flue as it poked through the roof above this scene had been painted red and made it look in the dim light as if the roof had caught light.

A painted panel around a flue makes the roof appear to be on fire at Sanatorium E near Potsdam

Another of the more intriguing finds and most obvious photo opportunities of the day was a bottle of Fusilade, a herbicide, posing in a medicine cabinet with a surgical glove in a glass beaker.

The sign states ‘Only drugs intended for use on patients should be kept here’.

A medicine cabinet at Sanatorium E near Potsdam - the sign reads 'Only drugs intended for use on patients should be kept here’ A bottle of Fusilade, a herbicide, in a medicine cabinet, at Sanatorium E near Potsdam

Here are a few more things that caught my eye in the building.

Light and Heat - a discarded light bulb on a radiator at Sanatorium E near Potsdam An Emergency Exit sign on the floor at Sanatorium E near Potsdam Peeling paint in an orange glow at Sanatorium E near Potsdam

Unsurprisingly in a clinic that treated Tuberculosis patients we came across a number of signs stating ‘Rauchen Verboten’ (smoking forbidden), including this one on a verandah that may have been used by patients to get the benefits of some fresh air.

A sign reads Rauchen Verboten (Smoking Forbidden) on a verandah at Sanatorium E near Potsdam A cable on the verandah at Sanatorium E near Potsdam

We were careful to take nothing, leave only footprints and would have closed the door if possible.

A bootprint in the dust at Sanatorium E near Potsdam A sign reads Bitte Tür Schliessen (Please Close The Door) at Sanatorium E near Potsdam

Click here to see Digital Cosmonaut’s post about Sanatorium E.

Sanatorium E is well worth a visit for anyone in the Berlin area with an interest in urban exploring (urbex) and the abandoned building and general state of dereliction make for some great photo opportunities.

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28 Responses to Sanatorium E – Abandoned Tuberculosis Hospital

  1. Haikugirl 11 June, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Wow, what an adventure! 🙂

    • andBerlin 11 June, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      As well as all the great things to do in the city there are lots of these abandoned sites on the outskirts so there’ll hopefully be plenty more adventures to come!

  2. digitalcosmonaut 11 June, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    love the photo of the orange peeling paint! have you got a flickr account? if not you should def. set up one and upload the rest of your photos

    • andBerlin 11 June, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      I don’t have a flickr account at the moment but I’ve added a task to Wunderlist to have a look into it. I hope you’ll be posting the photo of that room where I took the orange photo, which is exactly as it came out of the camera. I loved the way that looked on your camera screen!

  3. tokyomike55 11 June, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    This is SUCH a great post. I love the photos — and just the fact that you searched out an abandoned Sanatorium — well that’s just very cool. I remember a buddy from Heidelberg who used to say that cool things in German were “Sow geil” — and that’s what I thought when I read this post. Very cool!!

    • andBerlin 12 June, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Thanks Mike! Geil definitely sums it up!

  4. Olivia Wolfe 11 June, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    Awesome shots and a sense of adventure! Being an avid explorer, I get to many types of locations but Asylums/Hospitals are by far my favorite thing to explore. They hold so much history and a sense of mystery about them. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • andBerlin 12 June, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

      Thanks. Luckily for me there are quite a few abandoned buildings around Berlin, many with a very rich history. I’ve just had a quick look at your blog and can see you have some great photos. I’ve bookmarked it so I can go back and read through properly when I have a little more time.

      • Olivia Wolfe 12 June, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

        I tend to travdel to get to my locations. Although there are some good spots locally, the ones on a larger scale are further away. But I love a good road trip so it’s all part of the fun. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope that you enjoy it when you’ve got some time to sit down with it. I look frward to seeing more from you as well.

        Cheers,
        ~Olivia

  5. lostfunzone 11 June, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    great pictures! that looks really inspiring…

    • andBerlin 12 June, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      Thanks, it was a great find. Well worth the time spent trawling the internet for clues.

      • lostfunzone 12 June, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

        yes, it took me quite a while yesterday, but your breadcrumbs had been well placed, thanks 😉

  6. thebaronblog 12 June, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Was that piano in tune? Looks like a perfect setting for a music video.

    • andBerlin 12 June, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

      It probably would be a good setting for a moody love song but the piano wasn’t in tune. Someone in the group of people who came in when we were there played it, which I wasn’t too impressed with as it may have attracted some unwanted attention.

      • thebaronblog 12 June, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

        The sound of a discordant piano being played in an abandoned sanatorium would be quit a chilling sound to hear, especially at night.

  7. Gretchen O'Donnell 20 June, 2012 at 4:12 am #

    Wow. That is just the coolest. That picture with the piano TOTALLY gave me chills. Why would that have been left? I cannot imagine. So, so cool.

    • andBerlin 20 June, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      I’ve seen a number of pianos left behind in photos of abandoned buildings. I guess people figure it’s not worth the effort of moving them. Exploring this and the other abandoned spaces in Berlin – Teufelsberg, Spreepark and Kaserne Krampnitz – have definitely been amongst my best experiences here!

      • Gretchen O'Donnell 20 June, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

        I wish I’d done stuff like that when I was there. Shoot!

  8. brulionman 20 June, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    wow, I love abandoned places like this one

  9. frizztext (@frizztext) 28 June, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    taken at Beelitz?

    • andBerlin 28 June, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

      No, all the photos were taken at Sanatorium E. I hope to go to Beelitz-Heilstätten soon though.

  10. Laura 31 March, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Hope to go here this week! just trying to find out how… ;D
    A very inspiring blog, thanks!

    • andBerlin 31 March, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

      Laura, I’ve just been checking out your blog – great photos. It looks like we enjoy the same kind of places. I have a couple of posts to catch up on for more of the sites you’ve been to. If you’d like some more info on Sanatorium E send me an e-mail (details on the Contact page). I don’t want to post specifics here.

      • Laura 1 April, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

        I finally found the location after a bit of research ^_^ Just hope not to find security guards there!
        Let me know if you need some info about the places I posted, I’ll be happy to help 🙂

      • Laura 10 April, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

        Hey! I made it to the Sanatorium and it was a great time!! thank you for your discovery and tips 🙂

  11. Bekerich 31 October, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    Great flicks, the colors of the (indoor) pictures look so alive! I was wondering what kind of camera you use, a dslr? And if so, do you fix your pictures up afterwards in some computer program?
    Keep up the good stuff, always nice to read your blog.

    • andberlin 3 November, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

      Thanks Bekerich. I have a Canon 60D and do tweak the photos a little in Photoshop.

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  1. Sanatorium E - Abandoned Tuberculosis Hospital ... - 20 November, 2015

    […] On Saturday, Digital Cosmonaut and I met again to explore another of Berlin’s abandoned places, often referred to as Sanatorium E. After the success of our trip to Kaserne Krampnitz, which you can see more of in my post and on Digital Cosmonaut, we were determined to see more of Berlin’s derelict buildings before they …  […]

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