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Nuclear bombers were once based here – now inside is fantasy land

Jack Beckett

The Brandenburg forests hide in themselves many secrets and objects of the Cold War. One of the largest forests in Europe has become an ideal place for the construction of military facilities in the midst of the Cold War.

If you climb the tower of the former GSVG-shnogo military hospital in Toipitsa and look at the surrounding landscape, attention will attract a huge structure, towering among the endless forest. During the Cold War, there was a military airfield Brand, on which Soviet fighter bombers were based. A military town and a bunker for the storage of atomic bombs adjoined the aerodrome , about which I already told on the pages of my journal. Below you will see some inspired or just plain crazy pictures and a big thank you to  Alexander for the brilliant pictures and you can see more of his work here:  technolirik

02. The huge structure rises to 107 meters above the endless forest and looks like a ship of aliens or a secret military object of the Cold War. Who would have thought that it was not quite an ordinary, but still an amusement park.

03. This is the largest self-supporting structure in the world, its dimensions are 360 ​​x 210 x 107 meters, the internal volume of the hangar is 5.5 million cubic meters.

04. Initially, when a tropical forest was planted in a former hangar for airships, the plants did not get well, as they did not receive enough light. In 2005, the coating on the half of the central part of the dome was replaced with a special translucent foil, which is clearly visible in this picture.

05. View of the hangar on the side. From both sides there are giant gates for the release of airships outwards, consisting of two gates. The weight of the gate is 600 tons, it took 20 minutes to close them.

A bit of history.

The company established in 1996 with the goal of producing cargo airships, with a load capacity of 160 tons. For these purposes, the Soviet military airfield Brand, located 60 kilometers from the center of Berlin, was chosen from 13 sites considered by the firm. A part of the territory of the airfield with an area of ​​520 hectares was bought from the land of Brandenburg in 1998 and a year later the construction of a hangar for the production of huge airships was started, which was completed in November 2000.

The pictures below show the stages of the hangar construction.

 

The hangar was created for the parallel production of two airships CL-160, this is the marking received for the planned construction of a cargo airship model, with a carrying capacity of 160 tons.

Unfortunately, not a single airship of this project was built because of a rise in the cost of the project and a lack of funding. In 2002, Cargolifter AG was declared bankrupt and in 2003 the hangar, whose construction cost was 78 million euros, was purchased by the Malaysian concern for 17.5 million euros, of which 10 million was financed by the Brandenburg land. After that, it created a tropical amusement park, opened on December 19, 2004.

06. So the main entrance to the artificial paradise under the dome looks like.

07. “Tropical islands” have many options for sleeping both inside the dome and outside. When ordering an overnight stay under the dome, the cost includes the opportunity to visit all locations of the object for two days. You can spend the night both in tents, and in standard and non-standard hotel rooms. We ordered a room that was listed as a design room.

08. There was a offer including a room and two days of tropical entertainment for two at 225 euros with what we ordered from Sunday to Monday. Given that the daily ticket costs 50 euros per person, the opportunity to spend the night here and spend a relaxing  two days  quite inexpensive. From Saturday to Sunday, by the way, there were no space in either  the rooms or in tents. If you plan to come here for a weekend with an overnight stay, book a lodging a few months ahead – the demand is very large and it is impossible to get a room or tent from Friday to Saturday or from Saturday to Sunday.

09. We did not even take advantage of this good thing, since we only came to the room for the two days spent here only once at 4 am to get some sleep. Next time you can safely book places in the tent and save money.

10. The view from the window of the designer room is hardly pictorial.

11. Leaving the room and begin our walk through the amazing world created inside the world’s largest hangar.

12. The height of the hangar and its volume allow you to fly on balloons. This pleasure is available for a fee.

13. Under the dome is planted the world’s largest artificial rainforest.

14. There is also a small town with a shopping street and a number of shops on it.

15. Buildings resemble scenery to fairy-tale films.

16. Shopping street of the town.

17. Hall with gaming machines for children.

18. A constant temperature of 26 ° C and a humidity of about 60% are maintained inside the hangar. At night, the temperature drops slightly and becomes cooler.

19. In the first years the enterprise faced financial problems, as the attendance of the facility was lower than estimated. In the first year, 2.5 million visitors were expected, but their number did not reach even one million, while the self-sufficiency of the site began with 1.25 million visitors a year. The first year of operation brought the owner a loss of more than 10 million euros, the following years also proved unprofitable and only in 2009 “Tropical Islands” for the first time made a profit.

20. Copies of famous cult constructions of the South-Asian region are built under the dome.

21. In the photo there is a food court with various restaurants. All the payment inside the hangar is made by means of a chip, which is put on hand like a wristwatch. Then, on the output from the chip, information about purchases is read and the visitor pays the bill. Very convenient, since you do not need to carry a purse with you. The same chip serves as keys that open the door to the hotel room.

22. Another village, this time stylized as an African settlement.

23. In the labyrinths of such streets, it is pleasant and interesting to walk.

24. Immediately after the African village begins the territory of tents, which can also be rented for overnight.

25. And the dome instead of the sky.

26. And under the dome fly balloons.

27. Shady streets of the village are adorable.

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29. There is also a mini golf course in which you can play for an additional 5 euros.

30. One of the popular entertainment under the dome are the slides. There are three of them: one extreme for a quick and adrenaline flight, the second for a pleasant and unhurried descent, and the third for descent on rubber circles.

31. Interesting geometry.

32. In addition to the attractions under the dome, there is also an outdoor part of the park with several pools, a hill and a meandering river with a rushing stream.

33. The outdoor area is especially pleasant in the cold season. When it’s cold outside, and you’re sitting in warm water, it’s bliss.

34. The largest basin under the dome is called the South Sea and has a length of 140 and a depth of 1.35 meters. The pool area is 4400 square meters.

35. The pool is adjacent to a 200-meter sandy beach.

36. If it were not for the texture on the place where the blue sky should have been, it is quite possible to imagine that you are in a tropical resort.

37. The effect of immersion in the atmosphere of the tropical island adds a canvas with clouds.

38. Six-hundred-tonne gate of the hangar, view from the inside.

39. The mechanism of opening the gate wings.

40. One of the brightest locations inside the dome is the tropical forest. In the forest there is even a small lake with real flamingos.

41. Impressive location and no less impressive flamingos.

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43. A piece of Cambodia in the artificial tropics.

44. About 50,000 plants of more than six hundred species have been planted in the rainforest.

45. Some kind of technical room, stylized as a hut of the Papuans.

46. ​​Through the tropical forest, a path winds through a snake, walking along which is a complete pleasure for the eyes and soul. The pleasure is amplified by that factor, that here it is not enough people. An ideal place to take a break from the bustling crowds.

47. Botanical holiday 🙂

48. In order not to get bored in the woods, stylish information boards are arranged in various places, from which it is possible to gather information both about the hangar itself and about its separate locations.

49. The layout of the hangar, inside of which, for a better understanding of the scale, the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower was laid on its side.

50. In addition to flora, there are representatives of exotic fauna in the forest.

51. View of the lake with a flamingo from another part of the forest.

52. Bridge over the creek.

53. The lushness of the jungle is impressive!

54. A couple more photos taken while walking through the forest.

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56. This is not what you thought, although it is a similar plant.

57. There are very atmospheric corners in the forest.

58. Peugeot’s old truck is beautiful in this entourage.

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60. Substantially tired the interior of the machine.

61. Houses in which rooms for accommodation are placed, are stylized for the architecture of southern countries and even entuzhno patted.

62. So it looks like a chip bracelet on his hand, which opens all the right doors and which can be paid everywhere inside the hangar.

63. Being inside the dome, you can imagine yourself survivors in the post-nuclear world lucky, living in a human colony in an isolated hangar from the radioactive wasteland, within which the most pleasant conditions for human dwellings are created. Here there is where the fancy fantasies amateur post-apocalyptic universes.

64. A lot of buying and trying all the water attractions, we return to our design room to change clothes and return to the evening streets of this amazing world under the dome.

65. When we saw these beds, it became immediately obvious where the beaver brothers would sleep 🙂

66. With the onset of darkness, the atmosphere under the dome of the hangar is transformed and this artificial world acquires a special charm.

67. Corridors of our hotel in the evening illumination.

68. The main street of the town.

69. Various houses on the main street, made in colonial style.

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71. Evening illumination gives the familiar locations a new charm and even a slight mysticism.

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73. With every evening hour the number of people on the streets of the town is decreasing and closer to midnight the whole podkupolny world becomes almost deserted.

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75. How pleasant it is to wander through desert paths in the semi-darkness among the tropical flora!

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78. The beach of the South Sea, on which there was no pushing during the day, was almost completely emptied.

79. With the approach of the evening, the locations of the hangar are transformed into a real paradise for the social phobia. Everything is at your disposal and practically nobody around.

80. The largest pool of the “Tropical Islands” illuminates a pleasant night illumination.

81. The hangar is open to visitors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And if you go here, then only with an overnight stay. It’s only at night that this fantastic world opens up in all its charm and ceases to resemble a noisy water park.

82. The second water tank inside the hangar is called Laguna Lagoon.

83. The area of ​​this pool is 1200 square meters. It also has a pleasant night illumination, which colors the water in a turquoise color.

84. On this pond there are two waterfalls, two fountains, two small slides and a channel with a circular current. Boring here there will be neither an adult nor children.

85. The water temperature in Bali Lagoon is 32 degrees, which is four degrees warmer than in the South Sea.

86. The amusement park “Tropical Islands” is a striking place, which I highly recommend visiting every resident of Germany and tourists from other countries. He is especially beautiful in the cold season. When the window is stable minus, what could be better than driving a few hundred kilometers and be in the warmest water under the real palm trees in a place where year-round summer!

87. It was an excellent two days in an artificial paradise, which I would add to the list of modern wonders of the world, well, if not light, then Europe for sure.

88. Closer to the morning we return to our room to sleep for six hours and the next day to continue enjoying the scrupulously recreated atmosphere of the southern resort.