• Henrik Haupt

Prison 1555: Abandoned prison in Germany

Updated: Jun 1

Main gate to an abandoned prison in Germany

In Germany, I had to find my way into the abandoned Prison 1555. It turned out to be a slightly longer task because, as always, I wanted to get in unseen. It required me to time exactly when the main street was free of cars so I could get down to the yard outside the jail.

Prison guard towers at abandoned prison in Germany

From castle to prison

The prison was once built like a castle with a moat, and the moat was later emptied of water.

It made it easier to make a high outer wall, which has made it very difficult to get out, but a little easier to get in. Luckily, some gravel had been poured into the hole so I could get down into the yard by going down a pile of gravel. Then I could go a little more into hiding from the eyes of the neighbours.

I then had another challenge down from the "moat" because now I had to find an open door or window or something else that I could get in from.

It all seemed locked off, so it required a few walks around the jail before I found an open door.

I have visited several different abandoned prisons, and I always thought the feeling is the same.

Because I'm going to try to get into a prison where so many others have probably tried to get out, or at least thought about getting out, so when I find an open door, it also gives extra great joy.

I entered from a basement level and directly up into the courtyard, where I could immediately see that it would be an exciting visit.

Courtyard in abandoned prison in Germany
Details in abandoned courtyard at prison in Germany
Main gate abandoned prison in Germany
Details in main gate at abandoned prison in Germany

The prison here has, with a few exceptions, been abandoned for a couple of decades. A couple of times, it has been open for some events, which have included a Christmas market here. Besides that, it could be allowed to decay for itself because nothing has been done to secure the buildings.

It is always wonderful to see such ancient architecture allowed to stand in peace and get a beautiful patina.

Abandoned prisons halls
Abandoned prison cells

The history of the prison

The castle is from the Middle Ages and was built in the 13th century. The castle was inhabited over the years by several counts and their families.

But in the mid-19th century, the castle was converted into a prison. It served as a prison for over 120 years, and during World War II, it was used as a prisoner of war.

The future of the place is still uncertain. There have not yet been any buyers who have wanted to save these buildings.

The higher in the building I went up, the more decay there was to see.

This is usually a sign that water is coming directly down through the roof and into the building.

When it freezes, there is more damage and cracks where water can penetrate.

Natural decay in abandoned prison
prison cells in abandoned prison

It is quite fascinating to look in the cells that have been icy cold in winter and in summer without excellent ventilation, and at the same time get a sense of life behind these walls, where it has really been an uncomfortable place to be prissoned.

Dining hall in abandoned prison in Germany
abandoned prison cells in Germany

After a few hours of visiting and all the pictures were in the house, I found my way out again and was able to sit and look at the building while I had lunch from one of the local restaurants.

I made a short POV video from the prison: