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Powerless: Inside a haunting abandoned German coal power plant that fell victim to the end of Communism

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 06/06/2018 Khaleda Rahman

These haunting images show the rusting remains of an abandoned coal power plant in eastern Germany that fell victim to the collapse of the Communist Bloc in 1989 © Hagen Grittner/mediadrumworld.com These haunting images show the rusting remains of an abandoned coal power plant in eastern Germany that fell victim to the collapse of the Communist Bloc in 1989 These haunting images show the rusting remains of an abandoned coal power plant that fell victim to the collapse of the Communist Bloc.

The Vockerode power plant, also known as the Elbe power plant, was a lignite and later, also a gas-fired power plant, in Oranienbaum-Wörlitz in eastern Germany.

a large building: The Vockerode power plant, also known as the Elbe power plant, was a lignite and later, also a gas-fired power plant, in Oranienbaum-Wörlitz in eastern Germany © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Vockerode power plant, also known as the Elbe power plant, was a lignite and later, also a gas-fired power plant, in Oranienbaum-Wörlitz in eastern Germany It was built in 1937, but closed after decades of operation in 1994, just a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the fall of Communism in eastern Europe. 

a close up of a library: It was built in 1937, but closed after decades of operation in 1994, just a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the fall of Communism in eastern Europe. Pictured, the plant's control room © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited It was built in 1937, but closed after decades of operation in 1994, just a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the fall of Communism in eastern Europe. Pictured, the plant's control room The plant's four chimneys were demolished in 2001 and a few years later, the oil tanks of the gas turbine plant were also destroyed.

scaffolding in front of a building: Up until 2013, the derelict building was still used for events - but after falling into disrepair over the past two decades, the plant is now unsafe to visit. Pictured, metal staircases can be seen that lead up to different levels of the former plant © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Up until 2013, the derelict building was still used for events - but after falling into disrepair over the past two decades, the plant is now unsafe to visit. Pictured, metal staircases can be seen that lead up to different levels of the former plant Up until 2013, the derelict building was still used for events - but after falling into disrepair over the past two decades, the plant is now unsafe to visit.

a close up of an old building: Engineer Hagen Grüttner, 36, from Chemnitz, Germany, captured the photographs of the plant during a visit. Pictured, the plant's turbine hall © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Engineer Hagen Grüttner, 36, from Chemnitz, Germany, captured the photographs of the plant during a visit. Pictured, the plant's turbine hall These photographs show what remains of it today - metal stairs leading up to different levels, dilapidated machines and furnaces where thousands of tons of coal was burnt daily.

a chair sitting in front of a building: The power plant was first used as a cultural space during Expo 2000, when more than 120,000 people came to exhibits and events held there. Pictured, an armchair in the turbine hall © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The power plant was first used as a cultural space during Expo 2000, when more than 120,000 people came to exhibits and events held there. Pictured, an armchair in the turbine hall Others show a washroom that was once used by the workers, an office with empty bottles strewn across a desk and a control room situated in the plant's basement.

scaffolding in front of a building: Between 1953 and 1959, the power plant was refurbished and a second block was built to provide for the growing electricity demands of industry and households in East Germany © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Between 1953 and 1959, the power plant was refurbished and a second block was built to provide for the growing electricity demands of industry and households in East Germany Engineer Hagen Grüttner, 36, from Chemnitz, Germany, captured the photographs of the plant during a visit.

a kitchen with a building in the background: Paint is seen flaking of the walls of a control room located in the basement of the plant, which closed a few years after the fall of Communism in eastern Europe © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Paint is seen flaking of the walls of a control room located in the basement of the plant, which closed a few years after the fall of Communism in eastern Europe 'After World War Two, some parts were dismounted because of reparations by the Soviets, in the early 50s, the plant was rebuilt completely and was expanded,' Mr Grüttner said.

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: A chalkboard and two desks, one with a number of bottles on it, are seen in an office inside the abandoned coal power plant © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A chalkboard and two desks, one with a number of bottles on it, are seen in an office inside the abandoned coal power plant 'The peak power was around 380 megawatts and it burned over 600 tons of coal in an hour, storing more than 25,000 tons of it.' 

a large empty room: A dilapidated washroom with sinks and showers where workers at the coal power plant cleaned up during their shifts © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited A dilapidated washroom with sinks and showers where workers at the coal power plant cleaned up during their shifts Mr Grüttner added: 'I simply love abandoned places, how they smell, feel and the special mood in there and there's also a thrill to go in and out without being seen, you never know what you will find behind the next door.'

a close up of an old building: The plant's peak power was around 380 megawatts and it burned over 600 tons of coal in an hour, storing more than 25,000 tons of it. Pictured, a furnace © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The plant's peak power was around 380 megawatts and it burned over 600 tons of coal in an hour, storing more than 25,000 tons of it. Pictured, a furnace The photographer, who has enjoyed visiting abandoned places since he was a teenager, said that he respects the buildings at all times.

a building with a metal fence: Mr Grüttner says some parts of the plant were dismounted after the Second World War because of reparations by the Soviets © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Grüttner says some parts of the plant were dismounted after the Second World War because of reparations by the Soviets 'You need to be able to find an entry without destroying anything or breaking in which is something I'm always careful about. You also need some luck from time to time,' he added.

scaffolding in front of a building: The plant's four chimneys were demolished in 2001 and a few years later, the oil tanks of the gas turbine plant were also destroyed, but the rest of the building remains almost intact © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The plant's four chimneys were demolished in 2001 and a few years later, the oil tanks of the gas turbine plant were also destroyed, but the rest of the building remains almost intact 'Most people are fascinated and ask how this can be and why people leave behind all that stuff, which in some cases is very personal.

a store inside of a building: On July 22, 1960 an Ilyushin Il-14 plane belonging to the East German armed forces reportedly scratched one of the plant's chimneys while flying through dense fog. The plane crashed, killing seven people on board and a worker on the ground © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited On July 22, 1960 an Ilyushin Il-14 plane belonging to the East German armed forces reportedly scratched one of the plant's chimneys while flying through dense fog. The plane crashed, killing seven people on board and a worker on the ground 'This is a question that I often have in my mind too, but there is no complete answer in most cases.'  

For more, visit Mr Grüttner's Instagram page.

an old brick building: After 1968, the German city of Dessau was supplied with heat from the Vockerode Power Plant via a 15 km long line. Pictured, the interior of the plant as it is now © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited After 1968, the German city of Dessau was supplied with heat from the Vockerode Power Plant via a 15 km long line. Pictured, the interior of the plant as it is now

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