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Gingerbread House - Germany, March 2019

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B W T

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47092455694_fdd1a33167_b.jpgHunting Château by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Clean mountain air, no noise and rural idyll - This village is a paradise for those who seek rest and relaxation. Or for those who seek derelict witnesses of the past! Over the scattered cabins in the valley the landmark of the community sits enthroned. As many other buildings here this one as well is abandoned and forgotten. And yet this former hunting château has a meaningful story. Because actually a royal family was living here at one time. Reason enough for a short exploration.

34004698648_46cd0c0ce2_b.jpgGingerbread House #02 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

The impressive building was constructed in the 1870s and was used as a hunting residence of the Saxon nobles in the 20th century. In fact, the stately home was in possessions of the royal family which was also spending a lot of time here.

47092451754_5981c86316_b.jpgEnd of Monarchy by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

After the end of monarchy in 1918, the manor-house was becoming less important. Now it was transformed into a hotel owned by a Masonic lodge. But when the lodge was banned by the Nazi regime soon afterwards, it was only allowed for soldiers to take a vacation here. During the war, the German Wehrmacht used the building as sickbay for wounded of the Russian campaign. Later Soviet occupying forces were dispossessing the owner and the place was used as another vacation home.

47881874821_e81fe42b66_b.jpgGingerbread House #04 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

After the political wind of change in Germany of 1990 the estate was used as a training and conference center of the region’s police school. Then only the noble architecture was a reminiscence of the original role of the building.

47092446214_c1ce098380_b.jpgNobleness by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Around the year 2000, the building was abandoned and since then it’s without any hope for new use. The hunting lodge is listed as a cultural relic but this means nothing because it was left to rot anyways.

46965720785_19111367c0_b.jpgGingerbread House #06 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

This region has an extreme density of derelict sites. As guerrilla preservationists of such buildings we try to document the stories hidden behind forgotten walls. In our recent documentary we lead you through a range of places rich in variety. From a perfectly preserved time capsule to this dangerously unstable structure reclaimed by nature. If you'Re interested in watching the episode, you can do it right here:


 

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