THRILLING OPULENCE OF BERLIN

The picture above shows the colorant facade of an occupied house in West-Berlin from the early 1980s. This creative artwork delivers quite well the massive rebellious spirit of those days when there were more than 130 squatter houses downtown, and I used to live in one of them, a real crazy time. May be therefore ruins attract me very much till today?!

Simply like holidays, Havel river in summer, Berlin-Grunewald

Early morning in one of the many allotment gardens with view on an old water tower, Berlin-Westend

Rusty bridge to nowhere, Berlin-Charlottenburg

The railway system of Berlin used to be very different till WW II, quite similar to that in Paris with several stations (dead-ends) encircling the city centre. Hamburger Bahnhof  is now a museum, and Görlitzer Bahnhof a city park. This rusty bridge here used to be part of the already  forgotten freight station of Charlottenburg. 

Renaissance citadel of late 16th century, Berlin-Spandau

Collage by Saule Suleimenova, Berlin-Kreuzberg

This collage-work is made of hundreds of small plastic pieces assembled together, another form of ecological recycling. Strange, that it looks really more like a painting.

Crazy mural on Teufelsberg, Berlin-Grunewald

Home(land) is where you feel cozy and challenged at the same time. 

Urban idyll far away from the city centre, Berlin-Spandau

Graffiti in the endless ruins of VEB Kühlomat (former airport Johannisthal), Berlin-Treptow

The city full of contrasts, colorful, creative and flashy, but also with a lot of very quiet natural corners spread over the entire urban area.

Late afternoon view on Wannsee, Berlin-Zehlendorf

Suburban railways jungle of socalled Siemensbahn, Berlin-Siemensstadt

A must for all fans of Urbex (urban exploration) is the now unused Siemensbahn (suburban railways leading to Siemens City). It was built by Siemens company in the 1920s so that their employees could reach more easily the headquarter, administration offices and factories of the company. From 1946 till 1989 the suburban railways  were owned and run by the East-Berlin magistrate, also in West-Berlin like here. The administration of West-Berlin wanted to become independent and extended underground line no. 7 to Siemensstadt in the early 1980s. So people would use no longer the traditional Siemensbahn being closed as a consequence. One of many crazy stories from the time when the city was divided.

Dahlia beauty at Britzer Park, Berlin-Neukölln

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“Paris is always Paris, but Berlin is never Berlin.”

(Jack Lang, former Culture Minister of France, 2001)

Take care and stay safe!

ARTBASE FESTIVAL 2019 – MURALS IN RURAL RUINS

Artbase is a festival of urban art moving in a vivid kaleidoscope between painting and party on deserted grounds. The first issue took place in 2011 at the former pulmonary hospital Grabowsee. During the last weekend of August 2019 it was realized again in the former and now abandoned lunatic asylum Domjüch close to Neustrelitz (80 kms north of Berlin). Nearly 150 international urban artists transformed these ruins into a wild, romantic and very alive place.

 

A smooth wind blows through the long abandoned houses‘ empty corridors, while a warm and friendly summer sun gleams through the ailing cracks. Inside the ruins, a conglomeration of fading colors and amazing street art works decorate the walls.

A place where nature has slowly recaptured the old walls. Deserted, long hallways, abandoned rooms with only faint memories.

 

But suddenly a soft hissing of a spray can sounds. Someone presses a button. Suddenly sounds are coming through the empty rooms. Loud voices echo through the old walls and the place awakens.

After WW II the buildings were used for military purposes by the Soviet Red Army which left the site in 1993, the start of a long and deep slumber which was interrupted abruptly now by all kinds of colors, visions and phantastic dreams painted on the crumbling walls of this remote place.

And last but not least on the premises you will find also the namegiver of the site, a beautiful forest lake called Domjüchsee.

Jo’s Monday walk : Alvor & the Estuary

 

ABANDONED LOWER BAVARIA, GERMANY

Bavaria is one of the richest German regions lying in the very South of the country. Hence, cities and villages usually look just perfectly arranged and very tidy. So I was really happy to find in direct neighbourhood of such proper order in the old city of Dingolfing at Lower Bavaria something else: an amazing rotten site simply forgotten by the course of time and modern history.

 

ABANDONED DREAMINGS

In the desert nearly everywhere you easily risk to loose your way in a more or less forbidden zone vanished in the unpredictable stream of time. Here or there does not really matter distinctively because a lost place like this offers a special poetry of past developments and decay, sometimes a bit dangerous but in any case thrilling and amazing.

Since the times of the Romantic people are fascinated by such forgotten locations like old church ruins or dilapidated castles scattered over the countries. Certainly these are objects and artefacts without use, hence not useless at all while this confrontation with the past opens a wide space for dreams of another future.

The deindustrialization of modern metropoles has nowadays created a lot of postmodern ruins like closed factories from the 19th century or no longer required railway facilities. But nature covers again very quickly also former military installations with impenetrable thickets and trees. Legacies of former inhabitants and colorful tags of passers-by can there be found anyway.

By first glance such places seem to be a dead-end leading to nowhere and it takes some energy to find a secure path sometimes, however astonishingly people leave even here professions of profound love in a wild maze of pure neglection.

 

Thanks for following this short expedition to the contemporary abysmal maelstroms of daily life – to be continued.