Sperenberg is one of the largest completely abandoned locations in Germany. Its total area is a whopping 2,400 hectares. There is a military town, 2800 meters long runways with control towers and a huge hangar, fuel depot with underground access roads and much more.
The airfield was built south of Berlin in Brandenburg, Germany. This part of Germany fell under Soviet control after the end of WWII. Until then, military cargo for Soviet troops was delivered to Berlin’s Schnefeld Airport, which was also the main passanger airport of the GDR so it had limited capacity.
Before that, this area was used to conduct research on usability of military hardware since 1870. Prior to WWII it was also a training center for railway pioneers, which is why there are remnants of railway tracks around the territory. During the Dr. Werner von Braun worked here in a missile research facility.
The airfield was finished in its entirety by May 1, 1974, and until 1994 it was the main military airfield used by the Soviets in Germany. Here all military cargoes were delivered, since the airfield was designed to be able to receive large transport aircraft, even the huge AN-124.
The main user of the airfield was the 16th Air Army. Such aircraft as An-12, An-24, An-26, Tu-134A, Mi-6, Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters and Il-20 and Il-22 air-to-air combat aircraft were based there. Also on the territory of the airfield was the training center “Electron”, in which officers were trained for the People’s Army of the GDR.
While Sperenberg was in operation, a whole town emerged around it with a total population of 5,000 people. The town had many amenities: a kindergarten, a school, a hospital, shops and bakeries and the like. There were regular trains to Potsdam and even a direct train link to Moscow.
In the 1990s the airfield was occasionally used for passenger planes Il-76, An-22 and An-24. After that the aerodrome was used by smugglers working for the Russian mafia, who allegedly collaborated with Russian military to make their operations possible. Hijacked expensive cars were apparently driven here to be delivered to Russia, cheap alcohol and cigarettes arrived from Russia.
In September 1994, the last Russian plane took off from here and the airfield was transferred to the Germans. Ever since then the huge territory with all the infrastructure has been abandoned. In Berlin’s main airport here but because the estimated cost of the project was too high the authorities of Berlin and Brandenburg decided against implementing it.
The territory of the airfield is closed off and patrolled (by equestrian patrols). However, visits are possible and you can sign up for an excursion around to the premises.
A big thank you to technolirik for information and photos and you can see more of his work here
02. The first hundred meters of the way look quite cheerful
03. However, the road is blocked off by bushes so an alterative way must be found
04. The main checkpoint
05. There are no gates, instead the entrance is blocked by a metal fence with a sign that prohibits penetration of the object
06. The checkpoit is completely abandoned
07. Abandoned houses inside the protected territory
09. Inside the houses are in remarkably good condition
11. A bathroom in one of the flats
15. This building is pre-war construction. Perhaps it belonged to the training center of railway troops
16. An example of typical Soviet architecture in the town
17. In the past, there were many open spaces, but over the years of abandonment everything was covered with young forest, although somewhere asphalt and concrete still successfully resist nature
18. Hangar for equipment with inspection pit and sliding door
19. In some places, original inscriptions have been preserved
20. In this place there are numerous graffiti
24. There are a lot of boxes for technology here. What kind of machinery was stored here – wheeled or caterpillar armored vehicles is unknown
25. Boxes here are of several types. These for example are of later years of construction
26. There are also older ones
27. A roe deer running towards the forest
29. Here used to be a gate through which equipment left the territory of the technical sector of the airfield, but now there is no trace left of it, only a gap in the fence
30. This construction was built in 1987, according to the date marked on it
34. Airfield runway, connected to two parallel taxiways, to the sides of which were concrete platforms built for parking of aircraft
36. On the concrete there are traces of either a truck or a bus. Apparently, this is the transport on which excursions are brought here
41. After walking up the runway, there are buildings of unknown purpose
43. All the valuable equipment was taken by the Russians when leaving, and small artifacts and posters were taken away by museums, so these buildings are compltely empty
44. Some structures are gradually falling apart
45. There are quite a few such houses along the way
47. In some places there are buried storage rooms, which at first seem to be bunkers
48. The main road connecting the airfield and the military town
50. The control tower
51. The tower is not devoid of a certain grace and a peculiar aesthetics
53. The balcony that surrounds the second floor along the perimeter
55. All the premises of the tower are absolutely empty, bare walls
57. This pile of stones is actually the remains of part of the Kummersdorf test site
59. Near the stones there is an underground structure, which looks like a bunker
61. The bunker is an undergound storage built out of concrete
63. A bunker like this is a typical Soviet shelter. Thestypes of bunkers were typically built at Soviet military facilities
67. The structure that can be seen from the tower was a huge aircraft hangar with the inscription “Glory to the CPSU” on the facade