The Elisabeth Sanatorium, located in Stahnsdorf, was a clinic originally built in 1912 to treat tuberculosis patients. It specialized in treating skin and lymph node tuberculosis during the East German years. However, the building now stands abandoned, with no remnants of its former glory.
We explored the Elisabeth Sanatorium in Stahnsdorf on a cold Sunday morning in January 2015. There was still some snow on the ground, and everything was gray around this abandoned building between Berlin and Potsdam.
Curtains flutter every time a strong wind comes by, and you can hear dogs barking inside the room. The dog training facility in front of this old clinic is blamed for this.
Elisabeth Sanatorium in Stahnsdorf is an abandoned clinic built in 1912 and first used to treat tuberculosis. Later, during the DDR era, it became the only facility to treat skin and lymph node tuberculosis. But this was a long time ago, and nothing is left of these years of glory.
The history of the Elisabeth Sanatorium in Stahnsdorf states back to 1912 when it was built by Walter Freimuth, who named the facility after his wife. This sanatorium was one of the many around Berlin that treated patients with tuberculosis, a pretty nasty disease back them.
When the nazis rose to power in 1933, everything changed for the sanatorium since Walter Freimuth and his wife were Jewish. They fled Nazi Germany, and the sanatorium kept on treating people.
You always have this weird feeling that someone is behind you when you walk the Elisabeth Sanatorium’s long hallways. The doors don’t lock anymore, and they move in a way that could scare some people.
And since we kept hearing noises from the dogs outside, walking around this abandoned building was a weird experience on an early Sunday morning.
A dozen doctors and more than 20 nurses used to work in this place after 1967, when it became a skin clinic. More than 90 beds were available in the main building, and you can almost picture their homes from room to room.
The Elisabeth Sanatorium survived the Nazis and the Second World War but didn’t survive the Fall of the Berlin Wall. At least, this is what we believe happened to this place that was abandoned in 1994 when the skin clinic moved to Klinikum Ernst von Bergmann in Potsdam.
In 2005, the building received protected status, Denkmalschutz in German, but we all know that this doesn’t mean much. We read about construction plans as we researched this place, but nothing seemed to happen soon.
If you want to visit the Elisabeth Sanatorium in Stahnsdorf, the hardest part of the journey is getting there. This abandoned building lies between Potsdam and Berlin, an area that most people never go to.
Take the S-Bahn to Potsdam Griebnitzsee; you will be close enough to walk there.
All the doors and windows seemed to be open, but we saw some people from the dog training center snooping around. Be careful with them, and you will be fine.
Don’t forget to look up since the roof seems to have seen better days.
And the piano that used to be there is no more. But you can see what it used to look like here.
The Elisabeth Sanatorium in Stahnsdorf
Potsdamer Damm 1, Stahnsdorf