The village of Hajmáskér in Hungary is small, with about 3,000 residents. However, there is one structure that dominates all around it: an abandoned barracks building constructed in the Austro-Hungarian era to look like a small castle.
This building, known as Hajmáskér Castle or Hajmáskér Barracks, is of an impressive size and has a distinctive protruding tower on the front façade, making it is easy to spot from the main road that runs along the east side of the village.
The village itself was founded in the late 19th century by Franz Joseph I of Austria. It was by his order that barracks were constructed to house artillery units. The other buildings grew up around it, all linked to the military base.
After it was built, Hajmáskér Castle would develop so much that it would ultimately become one of the largest military barracks in the Austro-Hungarian era. It is said that it could hold about 1,000 soldiers when it was operational.
When World War I broke out, Hajmáskér Barracks was used to incarcerate prisoners of war. During the Second World War, both the village and the building were occupied by the German military.
As part of Operation Margarethe in March 1944, Hitler ordered his troops to occupy Hungary. Consequently, German soldiers established a base at Hajmáskér Castle and used it as a military command center as well as a local headquarters.
However, in 1944, Soviet troops entered the village, and the Red Army took control of the German base. Hajmáskér Barracks now became the headquarters of the Soviet armed forces in Hungary as of 1945. The Red Army remained there throughout the Cold War.
The Soviet army eventually abandoned all barracks in Germany in 1990. When they left Hajmáskér, they stripped most of the valuables from the barracks, but traces of their presence remained, such as Soviet newspapers which had been pasted onto the walls.
The building was left empty and subject to the will of the locals as well as nature. Over the years, a lack of attention and care meant that this remarkable building fell into decay. The first floor, in particular, is in a dilapidated state. The upper floors still have glass windows, but these seem to be one step away from collapse.
The castle is officially closed, and it is quite dangerous to enter. However, there are several holes in the crumbling walls meaning that it’s possible to get a glimpse inside without straying into danger.
Previous urban explorers warn that, if you do want to enter the barracks, it’s not possible to do so without being seen by those in the surrounding buildings. However, they also report that there’s nothing like fences or barbed wire prohibiting entry.
Some explorers and photographers who have gained access have subsequently commented on how they heard ghostly voices and shouts from the upper floors. However, most dismiss this as just kids or locals messing around.
Some of the castle’s associated buildings are in better condition. Near the entrance is a Soviet-style apartment block that is apparently still inhabited. Smaller buildings cluster around the castle, dating from both the Soviet era as well as those of more modern construction. For example, there is the abandoned Soviet canteen, identifiable by its flat roof.
The photographer, CarloR, runs a blog about his travels. He likes to visit places that do not usually fit into typical travel plans. Before each trip, he carefully plans all the details and uncovers as much as he can about the history of his chosen location.
Afterward, he openly shares everything that he has learned as well as his experiences upon reaching his destination.
CarloR also takes many detailed photographs of his explorations and publishes them in an article. Visit his website and feel free to contact him with any questions about trips you might have.
Another Article From Us: Power Station EC2 in Łódź, Poland