Author Archives: J. O'Hannes

Lost Places – Chemical Cleaning W. Spindler / VEB Rewatex

To the photos

As my second lost place I chose the laundry and dye factory of Wilhelm Spindler, which I used to pass by often with my grand-parents.

Wilhelm Spindler founded the company W. Spindler in 1832, which was soon be led by his son Carl. The family was patron of this part of Berlin, called Spindlersfeld.
However in 1873 it had been headquartered to its current place. At that time it was the biggest chemical cleaning factory in Germany.

The company financed the S-Bahn railway from Berlin-Schöneweide via Oberspree to the final destination Spindlersfeld. This part was opened in 1892.

In 1922 the company was transformed into an incorporate corporation and taken over by Schering AG.

After WWII Schering was dispossessed and the VEB Blütenweiß (VEB blossom white). In 1961 after some merges it was named VEB Rewatex (from the German reinigt und scht Textilien – cleans and washes textiles).

Since 1989 apart from “normal” employees, 600 female prisoners and foreign employees from Vietnam worked in the VEB.

After the reunion Rewatex was converted into an incorporate company REWATEX AG and was taken over by Larosé-Hygiene-Service-GmbH in 1992.

Only until the mid 1990s there were operations on the area Spindlersfeld.

The windows were partially sealed with plastic. Due to the wind it always made strange sounds, letting me believe there are people every. At first it was a bit scary and weird.

Click here to view all photos of VEB Rewatex

Lost Places – Tuchfabrik Anton & Alfred Lehmann / VEB Berliner Metallhütten- und Halbzeugwerke

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My first urban exploration let me to a former scarf and plush factory.

Founded in 1880 by Alfred and Anton Lehmann as A&A Lehmann – Fabrik von Mohair und Seidenplüschen, Nouveautes, Shawes und Wollenstoffen. Fabrik mit Spinnerei, mechan. Webstühlen, Färberei, Druckerei, Appretur in Schöneweide bei Berlin.

They had success with their company and in 1888 the son of Anton, Richard Lehmann, started working as department chief. After his father’s death, Richard started managing the company and got involved in local politics and public departments like being patron of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (today Institute of Max Planck).

The world economic crises in the 1920s also effected the textile industry of Berlin. Buildings were rented to other companies.

After the Nazis gained political power and because the Lehmann family were jews, although it didn’t play a big role in their life, they escaped to England in 1939.
All family members but Richard and his wife, migrated.

Later on, when the Nazis established anti-jew laws, the Lehmann property was claimed property of the Reich. In December 1942, Richard and his wife were picked up by Gestapo and were deported to Concentration Camp Theresienstadt.

After the war, the VEB (Volkeigener Betrieb, public company) Metallhütten- und Halbzeugwerke (factory of steel work and wrought material) was founded 1st Jan 1951.

The VEB employed around 2300 people in 3 shifts and the products ranged from copper wire, pure aluminium and red brass mountings.

The damage of the environment due to emissions and impurified cooling water was really high.

In the 1950s the cultural centre “Ernst Schneller” and a kindergarten for the employees’ children had been built.

After the reunion of Germany, the production was giving up and the cultural centre was used as a discotheque “CISCH” for some more years.

I was told by different men I met on the area, that the NVA (the army of East Germany) ran a print shop and that there would be a huge tunnel system under the area.
Concerning the tunnel system I can say that it seems to be flooded...

Click here to view all photos of VEB Berliner Metallhütten- und Halbzeugwerke

Lost Places

These posts will show pictures of my Urban Exploration of lost places.
These are buildings that are usually abandoned once were cinemas, cultural centres or industrial complexes.

I used to live in a part of Berlin, where there are and have been many abandoned industrial and cultural buildings.

Many interesting buildings are already wrecked, like the old buildings of the East German TV Broadcast, a swimming pool, a cultural centre or a cinema. They ground was needed for new TV buildings, a university and supermarkets.

Hitchhiking in Germany – Photos

Denmark – 22nd June till 23rd June

Due to some incidents, I needed to buy a German Railway pass (like Interrail). I with this ticket I’m able to use nearly all trains within Germany.

When I handed my Bachelor thesis over to my university on Friday I spend the same evening with my closest friends, but used the ticket for a week-end trip to Denmark before returning to Karlsruhe.

To Rødby I took the direct train from Berlin to Copenhagen with departed at 11.15am and arrived in Rødbyhavn at about 4pm. I used the ferry Puttgarden-Rødby, which I took some years before during a Sweden vacation with one of my friends. As I assumed, nobody checked the ticket before the train boarded the ferry, so I black rode the 45 minute passage.

So I arrived in time at 4pm and “Aldi was ’bout to close“, so I hitched to Rødby to buy the most famous Danish beer: UGLENS


No offence to the brewery, but it is also know as Eulenpisse (Owl Piss – see the small owl), and

You should have drunk it (at) once

It will be drunk with my friends at once in Berlin for the umpteenth time. After I succeeded that mission, I hitched to the beach of Rødbyhavn. I had my tent with me, but because camping is illegal in Denmark, I used the tent cover to put me and my stuff on. I enjoyed the sunset and the sound of the Baltic Sea with its ferries, birds and waves.

Unfortunately it was not easy to sleep….I covered myself and my stuff with the tent cover, wich was blue. First a father with his daughters saw the strange cover and shaked it…It was an awkward situation, when I crouched out of the cover… 😀

30 Minutes later, two women with their dogs caused the same awkward situation. The dog even became aggressive. Well it smelled that there was something not legal happening.

After these incidents I found sleep for one hour, when it started to rain. First it was nice, I stayed dry and the sound was great. But then it rained harder and surprise ^^ I got wet. So I ran out in the rain and built up my tent. With no warm clothes I spend the night on the ground and in the fresh air. I even lit a candle inside my tent but due to the wind, it didn’t warmed the inside.

dänemark zeltplatz

After a short night I packed the wet things, got in my swimming trousers and hitched on the ferry, because I didn’t want to black ride it again.

I stopped in Hamburg for two hours, so I bought a bread roll with fish and walked a bit through the city – although I don’t like Hamburg very much. Well and then I entered the train to Karlsruhe to arrive there one hour before the TATORT.

Nancy – 19th April till 21st April

After more than one month without having hitch-hiked to a foreign country (I hitch-hiked back to Berlin during Easter), it was time for a week-end trip again.

I choose Nancy as destination, because:

  • the distance was much higher and there is no direct route so it was more challenging than to Strasbourg and I got to know how hitch-hiking in France is like
  • a fellow pupil’s name from basic schooled was Nancy (apparently a girl’s name)

I decided not to go via Strasbourg or Lauternbourg because the first one seemed – from my last experience – hard to transit and the second one hard to start.
So I choose to go via a popular outlet store near the Germany border.

A boy visiting his parents drove me to the French border which I crossed by foot and went to a round-about. There a truck stopped and took me to a toll station.
There are really great. You can easily hitch-hike in France from toll station to toll station – if you are using the French Autobahn.
At this toll station of Sarrebourg for my first time in western Europe I got offered a ride by a girl that was visiting her friends in Nancy. Beforehand a woman stopped only to apologize, that she wasn’t heading to Nancy; so I decided that hitch-hiking in France seems to be nice.

Nancy itself is not a great city. Rather visit Strasbourg. The city’s patron was a Polish King? – I dunno – called Stanislav (the French call him Stanislas for whatever reason…) So there’s the Stanislas square, a nice park and I went outside because I was bored. The weather was rainy and cold, which didn’t improve my impression of Nancy.

In the evening – like in Strasbourg – we met with my host U.’s friends and flat mates to play various social games in a bar.

When I left Nancy, I waited for 2 hours till someone stopped. He told me, my spot would be bad, he’d know a better one. I agreed and he drove me to Luneville.

There is a service station before the exit which is better for sure.

However there was I, in the village behind the moon…I placed my backpack and guess what I saw…a motivating painting:

Hitch-hiking to death in France

I was not the first one who got lost here. But the others seemed to have died waiting for a ride, using a STRASBOURG-sign like I did….it was really funny 😀

So I jumped like an insane everytime a car used the driveway.
And really, after only one hour and 300g of Haribo, a husband, who has been in Berlin in the French sector, and his wife stopped and took me to the toll station in Sarrebourg.
There I only waited about 3 minutes till a young couple gave me a lift directly back to Karlsruhe.

Baggerseen um Karlsruhe

Als ich im Februar 2013 nach Karlsruhe gezogen bin, habe ich ich sogleich auf die Suche nach Schwimmbädern gemacht. Ich wollte die Tradition, einmal wöchentlich schwimmen zu gehen, aufrechterhalten.

Meine erste Wahl fiel auf das Sonnenbad (ehemals Rheinhafenbad). Es ist das Freibad Deutschlands, das als erstes die Schwimmbadabdeckung abzieht. Beheizt wird es mit der Abwärme vom nebenstehenden Kraftwerk und es ist schon nicht schlecht bei -2°C Außentemperatur seine Bahnen im 28°C warmen Wasser zu ziehen.

Jedenfalls hält ja nun doch endlich der Sommer Einzug und mit ihm ein immer besser gefülltes Freibad. Das macht es einem als Hobbyschwimmer, der etwas für seine Fitness tun möchte, nicht so leicht. Das ewige Suchen nach dem besten Zick-Zack-Kurs ist auf Dauer auch ein wenig ermüdend.

Also habe ich mich auf die Suche nach den Baggersee, die ja zahlreich um Karlsruhe vorhanden sind, gemacht.

Herausgekommen ist eine Liste von 14 Seen, die ich auserkoren habe. Es gibt zwar schon eine Auflistung von Seen um Karlsruhe, aber leider keine Karte, auf der alle eingetragen sind.

Das habe ich jetzt mit den 14 Seen, die ich beim Lesen für würdig erachtete, erwähnt zu werden, nachgeholt. Als Information habe ich noch den nächsten Bahnhof und die Entfernung von diesem beigefügt, weil ich das für hilfreich befand.

Einfach auf das Bild klicken, dann öffnet sich Bing-Maps mit den Standorten der Seen und den Infos. Oder auch >>hier<< klicken.

Baggerseen_KADann kann der Sommer ja kommen! Viel Spaß am Strand und im Wasser.

Die Seen sind:

  • Buchzigsee
  • Epplesee
  • Alte Allmend/Metzgerallmend
  • Fahrteich
  • Metzgerallmend
  • Baggersee Giesen (Liedolsheim)
  • Baggersee Eggenstein aka Baggersee Schempp / Kiesgrube Fuchs & Gros
  • Baggersee Leopoldshafen aka Baggersee Mittelgrund
  • Hötzelsee
  • Sieben-Erlen-See
  • Hardtsee-Bruhrain
  • Fermasee
  • Baggersee Spöck
  • Weingartener See

Es fehlt noch der Baggersee bei Grötzingen, nordöstlich von Durlach.

Strasbourg – 9th March till 10th March 2013

Living in Karlsruhe means, that the distance to France is much more less than from Berlin. So I couldn’t miss the chance to hitch-hike à la France pour y parler et améliorer mon français.

My first hitch-hiking trip was to Strasbourg, a border town some 90km south of Karlsruhe. Though the distance is not much, it took two hours to finally arrive at the outskirts of Strasbourg.

I thought I’d be smart and only buy the tram ticket to the city centre and play the innocent tourist, when the inspector comes. And guess what just before the last stop, they came in…. They spoke very good English, were nice and believed me, that I forgot to validate the ticket. I just gave it to him and promised to act correctly next time – although I think nothing would had happened, because I didn’t had any personal ID with me…

Without a ticket, I just went by foot to my host A. who lives one hour from Strasbourg main station. But because Strasbourg is a really beautiful city the walk was nice.

At her place I repaired her bike and then she showed me the city. In the evening she invited some friends and we drank beer, they smoked weed and we played a nice card game till 4 in the morning.

When we got up in the afternoon, the weather was turning from sunny to rainy – perfect for hitch-hiking…
Fortunately after we ate something A. drove me to the Germany border town Kehl and after waiting for some 15 minutes, I got a ride to Karlsruhe.

When I arrived at home – right before TATORT – , I felt like having had a long vacation – it was very nice.