Kaserne Krampnitz – Abandoned Barracks near Berlin

The Motor Pool at the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

Kaserne Krampnitz (Krampnitz Barracks) is one of Berlin’s unofficial tourist attractions.  The site was first occupied by the Nazis and after the end of WWII the Soviets moved in.

I have wanted to explore it since I came across a description of a visit on Abandoned Berlin, an invaluable resource for anyone thinking of visiting some of Berlin’s less obvious places of interest.  So when Digital Cosmonaut got in touch after reading my Hitler’s Folly – Schwerbelastungskörper post to see if I would be interested in going to some of Berlin’s abandoned sites for some urbex experiences, I jumped at the chance.  If these sneak peek photos are anything to go by I can’t wait to see his post.  ***Update: the full post is now up and the photos are just as good as I expected, check them out here.***

We arranged to meet at Alexanderplatz and after hopping on a train and a bus we arrived at Krampnitz.

The former military base is surrounded by a high wall, fences and locked gates but we quickly found a gap in a fence and crawled through.

The complex covers a vast area and many of the buildings here look alike.  With hindsight we should have had a system so we could tell which buildings we had been in and it was shortly before we left as we were discussing this that I spotted a number on one of the buildings.

The sign on building number 18 at the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

It was clear from our wanderings that the Soviets loved their basketball – we found two basketball courts – and valued sporting pursuits.

Art also seemed to play a big part in their lives, as there were artworks lying around and many murals on the walls.

Soviet art in a staircase in the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

A Soviet mural in a gym in the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

A Soviet mural in a classroom in the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

And a number of the buildings had impressive external decorations, some of which also showed the appreciation of athletic prowess.

As well as the Soviet art there were some more recent additions, including these two Street Art pieces from BLO.

Street Art on the wall in the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

Street Art on the wall in the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

And I spotted three pieces by Matt Adnate, who featured in my All those in favour say ‘Eye post.

Street Art by Matt Adnate at the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

Street Art by Matt Adnate at the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

Street Art by Matt Adnate at the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

The most written about and photographed feature at Krampnitz must be ‘The Nazi Eagle’, a mosaic on the ceiling of one of the grandest buildings in the complex.

Having researched Kaserne Krampnitz before we set out this was one thing we were determined to see.  After several hours it remained undiscovered but having explored most of the buildings we were pretty sure we knew where it was.

And when we finally saw it, it certainly wasn’t a disappointment.

A Nazi Eagle mosaic on a ceiling in the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

There has been a lot of speculation about whether it is ‘genuine’ because the Soviets wouldn’t have left it intact and many other decorations and symbols have been destroyed.

I don’t know the answer.  All I know is that it is easy to appreciate the attention to detail and craftsmanship and whilst it is the symbol of an evil regime, it’s impressive.

It’s probably a good thing that we didn’t find this earlier in our search because some of the other buildings might have been an anti-climax.

There were other times when I wondered if some of the things we saw were props rather than original items.  If it is authentic, this uniform was definitely posed for photographs.

A uniform on the floor in the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

And I’m not sure if some of the graffiti has been added since the military left, even if the writing is Russian.

A graffiti cow on the wall of the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

If you are thinking of exploring Kaserne Krampnitz I would definitely recommend going with a friend.  There are indications that people have lived there or partied there recently, including signs of drug use and abandoned buildings are a little creepy even if they’re not inhabited.  I almost jumped out of my skin when a bird flew out of its nest a few feet from me as I entered one of the buildings.

As with all buildings that have been left to rot, as well as an abundance of peeling paint and the pervading smell of damp, there are also floors and ceilings that are unsafe and the roofs of some of the buildings have collapsed in places so be careful.

A room in the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

A door handle and peeling paint at the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

26 thoughts on “Kaserne Krampnitz – Abandoned Barracks near Berlin

    1. andBerlin

      Thanks Gemma. If you and James come back to Berlin you should definitely go. No heights to contend with if you stay away from the collapsed parts of the roofs and plenty to explore.

      Reply
      1. thebaronblog

        Will definitely be looking for that eagle when I venture a visit. Could you tell if it was different coloured tiles or had just been painted over? I guess in theory it might have been too much of a pain to try and remove, so the Soviets left it there, maybe as a reminder of the mighty, evil enemy they vanquished.

      2. andBerlin

        The swastikas in the four corners seemed to have been coloured so that they wouldn’t stand out but there were no obvious clues as to what had gone on with the eagle to my eyes.

    1. andBerlin

      Steffi, vielen Dank für Ihren Kommentar. I checked out your Krampnitz photos on your Flickr stream – nice shots! You saw some things I didn’t. You should check out Digital Cosmonaut’s post when it comes – his photos will be great! I have seen your street art photos on FB before – you have a great collection! I have liked your page so that I make sure I don’t miss anything. Es tut mir laid dass muss ich auf Englisch schreiben.

      Reply
  1. snookerinberlin

    Krampnitz is a bit creepy to me. While I like some of the areas, it just isn’t as interesting to me as some other abandoned locations. The one thing I do like about Krampnitz is the casino where they filmed a scene in Inglorious Basterds. It is interesting to see what they cleaned up for the film.

    Reply
    1. andBerlin

      Unfortunately, the chandelier in the casino has now been torn down but that building is still one of the tidiest. I plan to visit some other abandoned places and post here. Are there any particular locations that you would recommend?

      Reply
    1. andBerlin

      Thanks. I checked out the link and you’ve got some great photos. I will hopefully go there one day. There are so many great things to do in Berlin that it’s a case of trying to fit them all in!

      Reply
    1. andBerlin

      It’s a great experience. You need to set aside quite a lot of time because it’s massive and I’d recommend taking a map or a phone with GPS and planning some kind of route so that you know which buildings you’ve seen.

      Reply
  2. FVDK

    I was there yesterday, it was rainy and before we went in we saw some people which looked like security. Since it was such bad weather and not being comfortable with these people around we just saw the Officers mess and found a little instructionbook for Russian military police. It was soaking wet, it’s drying now. But we didn’t find the swastika. I would like to go back to see more of the place, but where can I find the building with the swastika?

    Reply
    1. andBerlin

      I assume it’s the Eagle that you’re looking for. As there are so many buildings I wouldn’t know exactly how to describe it but keep looking and you will find it – it’s worth the effort!

      Reply
  3. elizabethweaver

    Thank you for the post. The middle graffiti is amazing, especially the red and green woman lifting the skull. Great info. Thank you too for viewing my blog.

    Reply
  4. Rob Hammond

    Interesting post. We visited recently but didn’t stay very long at all.
    We did see the eagle though and I must admit it has changed a bit.
    Where the four swastikas were in the corners, this has been covered in white stuff, likewise under the eagle in the middle. It looks like very recent plaster or something.
    Also most of the buildings ground floor windows and doors are in the process of being bricked up, certainly a lot of activity going on there at the moment by the look of it.
    I have some pictures up on my website http://www.crazy-places.com

    Reply

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