Exploring the Rotten Side of Germany

You might say I'm a collector. I collect rare objects. Facts, stories...I travel the roads of Germany seeking its heart.

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The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one.” (Seneca)

The Saturday before Easter, one of my best friends was taken from us without warning.

I first met Jens back in 2013 on a spontaneous visit to "his" abandoned sanatorium - a lonely place on top of a mountain where he had chosen to live with his pack of sleigh dogs. He offered us coffee, showed us the place and told stories. The little time we had just flew by. This first meeting was special. We had immediately connected on a really cool level, and my wife and I only reluctantly left that evening. We returned a few months later, and then again...and again. Over the years, a real friendship developed. Jens and "his" mountain became the place for us to be grounded, to meet new people, learn new things - and have barbecue ;)

We felt at home there, and Jens was the reason for that.


I still can't believe that he is gone and that I won't see him anymore walking quickly over his premises, feeding his dogs, riding the sleigh or building something new.

What remains are the great memories of adventure, of long talks by the campfire at night, the hunts for trespassers trying to jump the fence and of surprising visits to cool places that nobody else knew of.

And what will remain are the friendships that developed with the people we met on the mountain. That is Jens' legacy - he brought people together. People of different ages, religions, political views. People that came because of the dogs, people that came because of the sanatorium - in the end everyone came for Jens and for all the things that made this place so unique.


Thank you, Jens, for your friendship.

Thank you for everything you gave us!

We'll meet again by the great campfire in the sky!!!


Soviet Officer's Casino R.

Soviet Officer's Casino | Sowjetisches Offizierskasino

There is no verifiable information regarding this building in the Northeastern part of Germany. It used to be the officers' casino of the local Soviet garrison that had been stationed there since the 1950s.


The type of construction shows that it was not an older German building that had been reused but was probably built by the Soviets themselves.

The garrison was abandoned in the early 1990s, and after that, no use was found for the old building.....(more)

Anti-Aircraft Shooting Range

Anti-Aircraft Shooting Range in East Germany | FlaK-Schießstand | Bofors-FlaK

This area was a part of a large military site that existed since 1913 and was in operation until 1990. Originally founded as a base for navy aircraft in 1913, the place became one of the main starting bases for the "Operation Weserübung", the attack on Denmark and Norway, in April of 1940.

After World War II, the buildings were used to accomodate refugees until in 1954, planning began for a base for the East German police (Volkspolizei).

In 1956, the naval polive was integrated in the East German Army, the base was expanded with living quarters for the soldiers and ...(more)


Lost Places | Goin' Bunkers - "The Defensive Command"


Tour Report: Farmhouse "Danish Dynamite" [Revisit]

Published 2019-08-10

Abandoned Farmhouse in Denmark | Verlassenes Bauernhaus in Dänemark

Only a short while after my first visit to this place, I got the chance for a short revisit. My niece worked for a German radio station at the time, and they had her do a short piece about urban exploring. So we drove up to Denmark, so I could show her the abandoned house that we had discovered a few weeks earlier.

My niece had been on tour with us once before, so she wasn't completely new to the hobby of urban exploration. We parked in the same spot where we had parked for our last visit, walked around the house, and the window was still open. My niece was recording everything, asking questions and ....(more)

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Atlas Obscura - Latest Places

Montcalm Park in Oswego, New York (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
This serene garden and modest fountain marks the heart of Montcalm Park. For a place that owes its name to a conquering commander, Montcalm Park is among the more peaceful and contemplative public spaces in Oswego. In the early 1700s, the community of Oswego, New York, was a keystone in British trading activities, located strategically on Lake Ontario at the head of the Oswego River. Coming hostilities with the French led to the British creating and fortifying edifices including Fort George on a westside cliff. During the French and Indian War, the park’s namesake, the Marquis Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, led a French garrison that overran Oswego’s defenses. The 1756 win bolstered the rising reputation of Montcalm, then the French Commander-in-Chief for this new continental activity, and resulted in 1700 British prisoners and the burning and razing of Fort George. Their statement made, the French left the city in British hands until after the Revolutionary War, when it turned over to the fledgling United States. As the nation began to grow and prosper through the early 19th century, Oswego became a key port city through which goods and people flowed. The city became a boomtown while water traffic was still primary—especially in the mid-19th century—and was the fastest growing city in New York state (from 6,818 in 1845 to around 16,000 in 1855) until the emergence of railroads redirected some of its trade. During these years of boom, Edward Austin Sheldon came to Oswego. A farmer’s son who dropped out of Hamilton College and came to the port city for what would be a failed business venture, Sheldon was a religious man who found great concern in the number of orphans in need of education in a city otherwise flourishing. He would go on to found what was called the Orphan and Free School to meet this need. While that effort eventually fell apart, Sheldon continued to learn more about education and returned to the city in 1853, asking to organize the school district for the sprawling city. Adopting the radical new Pestalozzian method of object teaching resulted in a need to develop more teachers, as his were poached by other districts. Thus he founded the Oswego Primary Teachers’ Training School (today SUNY Oswego) in 1861, which also launched what was known as the Oswego method of active learning with teachers-in-training mastering their craft in the classroom and taking their skills and methods afar. The school moved into the Montcalm Park neighborhood in 1866, where it remained for nearly half a century. Students from the Oswego teacher-training school created gardens on the plot that is today Montcalm Park. When the Oswego Normal School moved to its new (and current) location west of the city, the question arose of what to do with this prime piece of land. As the gardens fell into disrepair, the school’s principal Helen Stevens, who also was a member of the Ontario chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, proposed a park with a monument to Fort George and other veterans. In 1913, the state approved conveying the land, now named Montcalm Park, to the DAR. More recently, the neighbors of the Montcalm Park Historic District, consisting of 28 buildings around the triangular land, pulled together to lead beautification efforts at the park, buoyed by the 2001 addition of Montcalm Park to the National Register for Historic Places. Surrounded by homes of architectural and historical significance, the park’s tree-lined paths beckon people walking dogs, having picnics, enjoying its garden or reading about its historic past. 
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