Heilstätten Grabowsee: A lost place and film set near Berlin
I have to admit that I never heard of the abandoned Sanatoriums („Heilstätten“ in German) at Grabwosee before I saw the film „Heilstätten“ (means „Sanatoriums“ in English). It’s a German horror movie that follows a well known plot but ends with a nice and unexpected twist.
The film is set to play at the Beelitz Sanatoriums where I already photographed abandoned buildings a few times. Beelitz Heilstätten are a huge area containing abandoned sanatoriums that were in use between 1900 and 1980.
Looking at the film, the area and buildings didn’t look familiar to me. So I did some research and found that the film was actually shot at the abandoned sanatoriums at Grabowsee, Germany. Allegedly, because at the same time the film „A cure for wellness“ was filmed in Beelitz at the same time.
I was lucky to get a photo permit for the abandoned Heilstätten Grabowsee and I traveled there a few days after I picked up my new camera, the iPhone XS. So the following photos were all Shot on iPhone XS
Know before you go
Just like Beelitz Heilstätten, the Grabowsee Heilstätten are private property and are fenced in with a guard on duty. You'll definitely need a car to go there.
The area consists of 15+ buildings. The majority of them located around a small square. Though many buildings look quite okay from the outside, you’ll see lots of collapsed roofs and floors inside. So watch your step and avoid wooden floors!
Iconic photo locations: The red sofa & grand piano
There's one iconic shot that always popped up during my research about Grabowsee: The red sofa. I couldn’t find any hint about the “why’s and what’s” about it, but it’s a truly great photo spot.
A little photography tip here: many photos I've seen of this red sofa were shot frontally. Try a different perspective! Though there's not much room in there, I'll bet you can find other perspectives. Another hint: Take a step back!
This one is also from a quite iconic photo spot at the Heilstaten Grabowsee. If you do an image search for „piano heilstaetten grabowsee“, you’ll see how others took this photo. I opted not to take the same perspective as everyone else. I left the building, walked around it and saw this view & perspective:
Heilstätten Grabowsee in a horror movie
The film ”Heilstätten” was filmed at several locations here. One of them is the old goods elevator that you'll see right at the beginning of the film when the kids enter the area. If you look closely, there's even some film blood that you can spot there.
I didn’t have much room to „zoom out“ with my feet. So I used the Moment Superfish Lens to capture this scene.
More photos taken inside the abandoned buildings
The following shot was also quite challenging because I tried to capture to hallways that were in a 90 degree angle to each other. Shot with the Moment Superfish Lens (Check out my review in the blog)
It seemed that they already had hallway beds in this hospital decades ago. Or maybe this is a film prop of on of the movies that were shot here?
Book your photo tour
As I mentioned at the beginning, the area is fenced and there’s a guard on duty. But you may try to book a tour or ask for an individual photo permit via the Heilstätten Grabowsee Website.
More lost places near Berlin
There are quite a number of lost places in and near Berlin. Check out the abandoned echelon surveillance station or the Beelitz Heilstätten. But better hurry with Beelitz. Everything there is being renovated and sold, except for a few buildings that you can see from the Beelitz Canopy walk.