On the south eastern edge of the picturesque city of Templin, nestled in a small forest next to the Lübbesee lies the MFS Buchheide – also known as the Stasi Hotel. Originally intended for the East German State Security as a luxurious retreat, the abandoned ruin seemingly harbours just as many secrets as its intended guests.
While the industrialisation of the 19th century helped many small cities in Brandenburg rapidly grow, Templin somehow missed the boat. For reasons that be it was ignored by Prussian planners who were expanding the roads of Brandenburg in the 1850s. Various attempts by the city to build up industries failed, and it wasn’t until 1899 that the city was fully connected to one of the major rail networks. This “failed” industrialization might have actually saved aka preserved the fantastic medieval character of the city and the surrounding nature though.
Many tourists from Berlin and the surrounding areas soon flocked to the picturesque city with its charming buildings and beautiful lakes and forests. By 1908, half a dozen “holiday homes” (Erholungsheime) for a Postal Union were built by the shore of the Lübbensee (on the south eastern side of Templin) – and they wouldn’t be the last.
In 1928, the Jungspartakusbund – the youth group of the Spartakusbund (the marxists revolutionary group founded by Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, and Clara Zetkin) set up a holiday camp on the banks of the Röddlinsee on the western side of Templin.
After the end of the Second World War, Templin found itself as part of the German Democratic Republic. By 1952, the holiday homes of the Postal Union were transformed into a holiday retreat for the FDGB – the main (and only) trade union of East Germany (of which 98% of all GDR Workers were part of).
In 1958, the GDR established the „Klim Woroschilow“ Pioneer Camp on the grounds where the Jungspartakusbund once had their summer retreat, and continued expanding the complex throughout the years.
In 1984, the FDGB built the FDGB-Erholungsheim „Friedrich Engels“, a massive hotel with over 700 rooms next to the Lübbesee, capitalising on the popularity of Templin and its natural surroundings. A year later, Templin was awarded the status of „Staatlich anerkannter Erholungsort“ – certifying that the Templin had an excellent air quality and assuring vacationers that spending time in the area would be beneficial for their wellbeing (staatlich anerkannte Erholungsorte and/or Luftkurorte are designations that are still awarded to this day and towns awarded with this designation are popular holiday destinations).
Just a little trivia on the side – Angela Merkel grew up in Templin, living in the city from 1957 until 1973.
The MFS Buchheide
The East German political elite – just like the Nazis – had an eye for picturesque retreats, often directly taking over structures and properties left behind by their fascists predecessors (one only needs to look at the Waldsiedlung Wandlitz, the Schorfheide, and the gigantic PRORA in Rügen). So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) wanted to enjoy a slice of Templins nature – though they had no intent on sharing a space with the common people.
Specific details on the planned Stasi Hotel are very thin, though one could surely dig up more information if one trawled through some of the archived east german files. The Stasi had planned to build/begun construction of a large hotel and retreat for its employees some time in the mid 1980s in the Buchheide, a nature retreat on the banks of the Lübbesee (hence the name MFS Buchheide).
The main hotel complex consisted of 4 story, tiered style prefab building building- with an unusually designed and shaped restaurant and wellness center. While there are different accounts, the Stasi-Heim, apparently had an low, secluded entrance that was either intended to be used as an entrance to shield potential guests from prying eyes, or to hide deliveries to the hotel.
The MFS Bucheide also had some auxiliary buildings, though their intended purposes is unclear. Their location close to the entrance road could suggest that they could have been used as servants quarters, or for the security personnel. Apparently the the Ministry for State Security had intended to construct a shooting range for the hotel nearby, though it seems like the construction for this was never started.
While the main Hotel was built in the typical east german prefab style, it seems like the East German State was willing to spend some serious cash on the restaurant and wellness area. Though its hard to tell through all the trees, the restaurant building does have quite an unusual shape (quite reminiscent of an octagon). The GDR coughed up some hard currency to buy some custom made windows from Sweden (while East German prisoners were forced to constructed Ikea furniture) – though it seems like they have been stolen/repurposed/destroyed over the years.
An atrium-like staircase connects the restaurant with what we assume would have been a roof terrace on top, and the wellness area down below. A relatively small pool can be found – filled with swamp water and trash.
The concrete shell of the building was completed in 1989, and the process of furnishing the interiors had just begun (as is evident by some of the leftover bathroom tiling), but the political revolution had put a stop to the work. The MFS Buchheide was set to be completed by 1990, but with the dissolution of the Stasi and the German reunification, these plans were axed. Many of the installed interiors and building materials were then “acquired” and put to better use.
The Stasi Hotel laid empty and abandoned for many years until it was supposedly acquired by a Swiss consortium in the late 1990s, though nothing has been done with the hotel ruin since then.
The Stasi Hotel – A Video Tour
We’re been trying to get more into the habit of recording at least a little bit of footage when we are out and about exploring – so that’s just what we did when we visited the MFS Buchheide in Templin. As you can tell from the photos in this article, there isn’t terribly much to see, but we think that you can still get a good feeling for what it’s like walking through the abandoned hotel. If you enjoy the occasional videos that we have been creating, feel free to subscribe to our small youtube channel, especially since we are planning on doubling down on the video production in the very near future. You can also check out all our Urbex Videos on our dedicated page.
The Stasi Hotel Today (2022)
Not much has happened over the past 33 years. As most of the Stasi Hotel was never furnished/finished – there wasn’t micht that could be destroyed. The hotel is littered with the seemingly obligatory less-than talented graffiti and swastikas but other than that it’s just an empty concrete shell. The stairs have gone missing and have probably been installed in someone else’s home, and the wellness center is now home to a colony of bats.
The roof has sprung some leaks and nature has essentially reclaimed its territory. It’s highly unlikely that anything will change with the Stasi Hotel over the next few years as its seemingly not bothering anyone, and nobody seems to be (officially) interested in it. If one is in the area, it’s worth checking out as an east german historical puzzle piece – but be warned, if you’ve seen one of the empty hotel rooms, you’ve essentially seen them all.
During the Covid restrictions, the abandoned hotel had become a popular hangout for the local youth, though the police seemingly quickly put a stop to that. These days you’re more likely to encounter a fellow explorer than the men and women in blue.
MFS Buchheide Address