Prison 1555 - Germany, February 2019

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Jul 25, 2017
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48085233727_7771ae7275_b.jpgWatchtower by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

In this report, we infiltrate an old fortress in the heart of Germany. The story of this unique site dates back all the way to the Middle Ages when a noble family was living here. What sounds like it could be a romantic story is actually quite the opposite. Because 150 years ago the castle was transformed into a prison! From now on it was a sinister place in which especially prisoners of conscience and forced laborers were locked away from the outside world.

48085181788_f88069ab0a_b.jpgPrison 1555 #06 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

A multiple meters wide hole in the outer wall was our access to the property. Years ago, there were several accidents where cars rammed parts of the wall. Until today the damages have never been repaired. Entering this colossus was actually much easier than we thought it would be. Let's see now, what the prison has in stock for us. Almost 300 solitary cells were here in the past. So, there's quite much to discover!

48085182278_5c860a96a2_b.jpgPrison 1555 #03 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

It turned out really quickly that it looks quite bad for this place after nearly two decades of vacancy now. To some extent, floors are missing in the rooms, respectively the ceilings. Paint is peeling, water is finding a way inside the building and the furnishing is rotting away. It seems nearly like squatters were living here for some time.

48085239982_a271bf05fe_b.jpgLittle-Ease by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

A unique place like this draws the attention of urbexers from the whole world. Also on this day we weren't alone again. We spotted a guy with a camera. We even think that he was filming the abandoned site as well. We didn't reveal ourselves and watched him until he was leaving the premises without any problems shortly after we have arrived.

48085236332_807040a6d7_b.jpgVintage by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

The history of this prison dates back to the Middle Ages. In the 12th century this moated castle was constructed. Over the course of many centuries counts and their families were living here. The four-wing fortress was rebuilt many times until the 19th century. The last residents, however, were here rather involuntarily. Because around the year 1860 the castle was turned into a penitentiary. For not less than 130 years it was now used as a jail. For some time all the inmates were only females, but later also a male wing was authorized again.

48085140656_15f7b16176_b.jpgPrison 1555 #09 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

At the time of World War Two especially prisoners of war and slave laborers were incarcerated here. After the liberation by the Allies, the place was located on the territory of the USSR companioned German Democratic Republic. Mainly prisoners of conscience were now detained here. After the German reunification and the fall of the GDR the site was abandoned in 1991. After the prison was abandoned, the federal state decided to build a new penal facility not far away from this building complex at the beginning of a new millennial. On our way to the castle we even drove past that one.

48085178263_870d898900_b.jpgPrison 1555 #22 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

As you could see the old prison is in need of redevelopment today. A high sum of over two million euros would be necessary to turn this building into something new. But due to the enormous costs no buyer could be found till today. And yet, this is the most history-charged place in the whole area. For many centuries the old castle has been dominating the small town now, but there isn't any hope for rescue. This is only one of the many examples of how abandoned places are rotting away and being ignored.

48085237692_ea0f1ab375_b.jpgDay Pass by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

Learn more about this castle in our documentary on YouTube:



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Jun 7, 2014
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wow thats pretty special, beautifully done as always

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