Inside an Abandoned Prison: 130 Years Old And Untouched – Urbex Poland Ep.2
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Inside an Abandoned Prison: 130 Years Old And Untouched – Urbex Poland Ep.2


You know, it is rather ironic actually. Normal people want to stay as far away as possible from places like this. And we, too, do not want to serve time in a jail. But as we were on our road trip to Poland, we got a tip from a local to explore this abandoned detention center in the middle of a big city. Moving freely in a prison is a contradiction in terms, but here we were doing exactly that. This undisclosed landmark allowed us to see how life behind the curtain is. Ironically enough, only a few days prior to that we were really close to ending up in a place like this. We were infiltrating active military grounds and got caught as you could expect. This is the second chapter of our Poland adventure. If you enjoy our videos make sure to hit the subscribe button and click the bell to get notified when we upload new content. The starting point of our journey in Poland was this marshy landscape far away from any big city. It was our first morning in the country. After a long drive from Berlin, we pitched our tents in complete darkness and in the middle of nowhere. Just to wake up to this view. Two eerie wrecks of tanks. Dumped here a very long time ago. We called them ghosts because when we woke up, they were appearing in wafts of mist. And right next to them: An iconic but unfortunately completely stripped tramcar produced by Tatra. This one was hiding in fog clouds and morning dew as well. Nature has conquered this shell already years ago. But how did it end up here? After all, there are no rail tracks for miles. Instead, there is rutted terrain all the way. Huge vehicles are trenching the ground. Although this is a remote area, it is still very active. This is not a usual vehicle graveyard. They were targets. Because this all is part of an extensive military base. It was shortly after sunrise and apparently, they were waking up. We definitely have to be really cautious. Over there is a road with quite some traffic even though it is still early in the morning. And in addition to civilians, there are plenty of military vehicles. Because there is an army base really close. Take a look at this. These look like old training grounds. Maybe it is even still in use. We are lucky that it is such a hazy morning. This means, those people passing by probably won’t even notice us. Where dead silence is dominating today – apart from the echoing firing practices of course – there was a pleasant buzz of activity one hundred years ago. Back then, a Prussian settlement was located here. This region of Poland was part of the German Empire. In the beginning of the 20th century, the government purchased the terrain and the surrounding area. All the villages in the proximity were razed to the ground, so a huge and modern military compound could be located here. Since the end of World War Two, the Polish army has been using the premises. We think those decommissioned vehicles were brought here for exercises and used as targets. Maybe even for shooting practices. We don’t know much about military equipment. If you have any idea what kind of tanks we were filming, let us know in the comment section. Or maybe you even have a clue why those vehicles are here and what they are used for. This was not the first tank graveyard we were sleeping on. We were a bit experienced, so to say. Two years earlier, we were camping on this former military training ground in Germany. We had a good time and now we were hoping that it would be as easy and safe as back then. But we were still infiltrating military grounds and this did not go unnoticed. Long story short: After a while, a military patrol spotted us. Considering the amount of video equipment consisting of several cameras, microphones, and a drone, they needed to call in their military police. They were interrogating us and examining our footage. After two hours or so, they came to the conclusion that we were no spies. What a surprise. Fortunately, they let us go unpunished. But to be sure that we leave the restricted site, they escorted us to the closest city. The duty officer in his truck behind us and the MP in front of us leading the way. We ended up in some kind of military city and we could not resist to jump out of the car right away and film some more army vehicles. This time on public grounds though. All of those are exhibition pieces of historical equipment in almost pristine condition. For more images we recommend checking out the Instagram profiles of both urbex photographers who were joining our road trip. Take a look at the video description to find the links. From there, we started our journey through the country. In total, we traveled more than 1,000 km to see different kinds of locations. We filmed four power plants, three castles and some other undisclosed landmarks spread all over Poland. As usual, we were trespassing most of the time. But we also did some explorations with permission which was quite new for us. For that, we needed the help of a local urban explorer. He managed to get us into a dark place in the South of the country. He said that we would be one of the last people to capture insights of the site before it would be gone forever. At this point, half of our road trip is already over. At the moment, we are in Zabrze. It is a city near Katowice with a population of more than 170,000 people. This used to be an important area for the Polish industry. Especially when it comes to mining. However, abandoned industry might be a topic for our next trip to this region. Because on this day, we were interested in another kind of structure. Massive walls secured with barb wire fence in this prison that closed down less than two years ago. Before that, several hundred inmates were living here day in and day out. But today, it is only us spending some time in the yard before we had to get to the cells. The history of the premises reaches back around 130 years. At that time, the Province of Silesia was part of Prussia. In 1888, the Germans built this site to detain male criminals from the surrounding area. The four-floor main building had the capacity to house 300 inmates in total. The penal institution also consisted of two administration buildings, seven yards, so the prisoners could get outside, and some guard towers. Though this looks like a cold and awfully tough place to be, there were no condemned criminals here. Over time, this site was turned from a prison to a detention center. This means, there were people here who were not yet declared convicts but were charged for something. The local court is actually the adjacent building which is still active by the way. People were waiting for their trial, sometimes for months, although they were completely innocent in some of the cases. They might be gone now but you can still find traces of former inmates today. Like these scribblings on the walls. It really is no pleasant image to live here day after day. But at least the administration tried to make this place a bit friendlier. With the permission of the city, we were also allowed to explore the inside of the prison. Next to 300 solitary cells, there was a canteen, a chapel and several communal spaces stocked with TV sets and sports equipment. When this place was abandoned, all the furnishings were removed. Well, okay, apparently not everything. Somebody forgot his dish of mold. At least water is still running. Whew, alright, maybe you should not drink this. That is one of the cells from the inside. It is a two-by-three meters room with barely any comfort. With a peephole in the door, inmates could be monitored by the guards at all times. All they had was this cross-barred view. In March 2018, the facility closed down. The government passed a law, a modernization act so to say, and 14 prisons in the whole country were shut by the Department of Justice. This one needed to be closed because of its bad technical condition and renovation simply would have been too costly. The inmates were moved to nearby detention centers and the staff got new jobs in similar institutions. So, for almost two years, the former prison has been vacant now and only sometimes it is used as motive for photographers or filmmakers. The neighboring district court is interested in integrating this building complex to their campus. It is planned to turn the former detention center into an archive. Where once people were held in two-by-three meters cells, piles of case records will be stored in near future. Other rooms will be converted to offices. But at first, the substantial renovation is necessary. It is not yet clear how much of the old structure will be preserved then. These construction measures are supposed to start soon. So, as it seems we are really one of the last people who were able to see this site with their own eyes and capture its story. And it is one more location we can delete from our map now because it is not abandoned anymore, it has a new purpose. Abandoned Poland offered so many great motives we were eagerly capturing. We picked our best photos from this trip and from our other adventures in 2019 and combined them in our Urbex Calendar for 2020. We have been selling them since December and nearly all of them are now with you guys. But we have some left-overs you can still purchase if you are interested. This would mean a high-quality calendar for you and a big support for our project BWT. If you want to know more, you should read the video description where you can find all the info. Next time on Broken Window Theory: In episode three of our six-part series we share with you the exploration of this huge and historic castle. Located in the Polish countryside, this manor overwhelms its visitors with stunning chambers each more beautiful than the other. Welcome to a place full of finest pomp and former glory. While we were capturing each detail, we were diving into the exciting history of this palace. Please don’t miss the big highlight of our road trip to Poland. This is a real undisclosed landmark. How do you like our Poland adventure so far? We had such a great time only because we got so much help from other local explorers. Otherwise, it would have been pretty tough because we don’t speak the language at all. Check out the profile of our Polish friend in the video description. Stay tuned for our next video and keep exploring!

63 Comments

  • Broken Window Theory

    Do you have troubles understanding us when we speak German? Or do you have problems to understand the narrator in general? We are always trying to support you with subtitles! Via the menu in the video player you can turn on English and German captions. Did you know that you can also submit subtitles to our videos? For example, if you are a native Spanish speaker, you could submit captions to help the Spanish community understanding our adventure reports.

  • Rhonda Herdman

    That is fantastic View of history! Can't wait to see the video of the castle. Great cinematography and photography I love the narration is the historic research you include. Safe travels

  • K05 T4R

    @Broken Window Theory, it was a bit concerning when the MP had shown up but glad they didn't give you trouble. I'm not sure what kinds of tanks those were but I'd be interested to know what happened with the fractured barrel on the tank at 2:27! Some parts of the prison reminded me a bit of the prison level in "Half Life 2", "WATCH OUT FOR THE ANTLION GUARDIAN!!!" 😛 Anyways, I enjoyed the video. The work you put into your content is much appreciated! I'm really looking forward to the palace video! One thing I absolutely ♥ and I know you do as well, is the beauty of architectural design in so many of those old structures! Thanks to you, we get to see them through your lens but it must be truly awe-inspiring when you get to see them in-person.

  • karon radford

    Wow, What a great find they took all of you too. I did love the place you were camping at. The prison does look so different from the ones in the states, Here they don't have a little private room for the restroom. Your water is right above the toilet. how clean would that be for you to wash your hands. No I've been in one Just seeing them on youtube. I can't wait to see the castel it looks so amazing . I will never understand why these places do become abandoned. I also can't wait for My Calendar to come. 😉 Love the video. Ya have an awesome weekend. 🙂

  • Mr. Ruinenfan

    Vielen Dank für die Episode 2 mit sehr tollen Aufnahmen und Musikunterlegung 👏 von eurem Urbex-Roadtrip in Polen, BWT. Das ehemalige gut erhaltene Gefängnis ist einfach heftig mit seinen Vergitterungen und dem massivem rasierklingenscharfem Stacheldrahtverbau und seinen 2 x 3 Meter-Zellen. Tills Erklärungen sind wie immer super. Ich freue mich schon auf die nächste Episode. Viele Grüße aus Norddeutschland nach Sachsen 👍😊

  • Kimberly G

    What is it about a prison that no matter how long abandoned, a heavy feeling remains?
    Don’t worry about narration… those who support you will find a way to follow. ✌🏻

  • Nifty

    The tanks and vehicles were used as dummies for radar and visual targeting systems. The bananaing of the barrels were caused from poor quality steel with impurities which ruptured when fired.

  • domromn1c

    BWT, really like your videos and this was a great episode, as usual! Always glad to hear Till's calm narration. My only wish what you include a little bit more of raw footage, with you reacting to places and things. I know what speak English is hard on the spot (you tell me, I'm russian), but your mixed approach with subtitles work quite well.

  • Rob Dedrick

    That Prison was in Amazing Shape . Glad to hear some of it will survive and be repurposed . Tks for Sharing . Safe Travels Folks .

  • Raul Alejandro Bastilla Pedro

    The wheeled vehicle is an OT-64 SKOT armored personnal carrier.Was a joint development from Czechoslovakia and Poland back in the '60s -early '70s.If i'm not mistaken ,this is a SKOT-2AP variant it had a 14,5mm heavy machinegun and basically it is an anti aircraft vehicle.The turret can elevate almost 90°high to track aircrafts.The tanks are T-54/55s.( The other APCs in the park are a BRDM-2 another SKOT-2(normal variant) and an Antonov AN-2 double decker utility and agricultural aircraft.

  • B. D.

    I feel you guys are recording history for the future. Most of these places will not be here much longer, and these videos will remain long after you and I are gone.

  • bier00t

    if you guys want to do some more armchair urbex of the prison then you are welcome:
    https://earth.google.com/web/@50.29964304,18.78561834,258.13308038a,178.98330937d,35y,43.63377357h,53.97428485t,-0r

  • Irish Raine

    Your team is fantastic, the research, narratives,
    that VOICE 😻 meowwww..love to hear the soothing yet articulate voice, information, visuals, you are TOP NOTCH. WELL DONE always! 🤗 PS.. cant wait for that castle.. beautiful…

  • edi

    I´m not an expert, but my guess would be that it´s a T54.

    I found the busted barrel muzzle intriguing. It would be very difficult to shoot it like that. I assume that it was rather exploding because the cannon got fired while something was partially obstructing the muzzle.

  • Brutus Pequenus

    You guys are becoming more and more professional. Fantastic images and interesting story-telling. Well done! Keep it up! Cheers from Portugal!

  • Kimberly van Helden

    Wow I absolutely love when your video pops up. You guys are one of my most favorite explorers. I really enjoy that we not only get a wonderful video but history of the place as well. I am really looking forward to your next video, the wait is so hard. Keep up the wonderful work and be safe out there. 💜

    PS: What a beautiful sight waking up to those old tanks! And I am glad that the MP's took it easy on all of you. Then the prison was so interesting to see. It's a good thing you guys got in there just in time to filmed it.

  • Marc Maraccini

    I was out and about all day today but knew this was waiting for me.Once again BWT did not disappoint!! This was a wonderful expression of both art and music. Thank you so much for what you do.

  • Kristy *

    I dig all the artillery! Super interesting! Have no idea about what they are doing there. But glad to see them up close. The detention center was still in decent shape. Glad they will repurpose it. So many lost dreams there. I totally understand your narrative. I can't wait till next video of that castle! You guys always leave me wanting more! Brilliant as always guys! More please! Stay safe n God bless from Nevada, USA.

  • Autumn Dawn

    I find my self wishing for a grayscale coloring book of these historical locations and stories. There is only a couple on Amazon and by the reviews nothing worth buying. Have you ever considered it?

  • Kim Kovach

    Excellent video! I understand you quite well. Thank you so much for exploring and explaining what you know. Many blessings to you and your team 💗🙏🇺🇸

  • Gig Tee Vee

    You're videos are great but would be better if the German only to English speach was was hard coded subtitles into the content.

  • Raoul Duke

    Greetings from the Southern US. Found your channel this morning and am a new subscriber. Love your channel so far! Great job!!!

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