Exploration Destination: The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin

To step foot into the Iraq of Saddam Hussein is still possible, but in order to do it you must cross the barbed wire fences of the abandoned Iraqi embassy in Berlin.

Photographer Adlan Mansri snuck into the inside of the abandoned embassy located in north Berlin. Well known by lovers of urban exploration, the embassy is proof of a time period not yet passed and of tense relations between East and West, tensions still ongoing a quarter of a century after the first Gulf War.

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

Where is the Embassy?

The Embassy, abandoned since the beginning of the 90s, is located in Pankow. You must take a Tram from Rosenthaler Platz. When you exit the Tram, walk 500 meters, which turns into Tschaikowskistras street, turn left, and the embassy is on the right.

Barbed wire fences block the entrance. Luckily, there are people who have already visited, so the wire is cut and you can easily sneak inside. The embassy is not visible from the metro station or the tramway, but it is not very hidden. You just have to walk a little to get there. It’s outside of the city center, so the area is very residential. There is not much else going on in the neighborhood.

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

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The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

What is the architecture like?

The architecture is all concrete. While it’s quite classic looking, it’s not very distinctive—it’s much better to go there for the interior ambiance.

What’s the interior ambience like?

You get the impression, even twenty years after, that the place was left only the day before. There are still pots and pans, furniture, etc…Everyone left in a rush, without taking anything with them. I think that it is this palpable feeling of precipitancy that distinguishes this place from other abandoned buildings.

When you are upstairs, it’s all illuminated, so everything feels safe. Things are a little gray and the ambiance is of an urban jungle, but still, you feel fine. Once you descend into the basement though, it’s much more eery. You see all the machinery, metal tubes and pipes, which create a particular feeling. It’s much darker, more chaotic, with paper strewn along the ground, old desks…Magazine photos of Saddam Hussein still line the walls.

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

It’s pretty heavily vandalised. There are tons of tags and graffiti. It looks like many people come here to blow off steam, taking a baseball bat and smashing everything in sight.

As for photography, what is distinctive about the place?

It was interesting. The lighting and the ambiance was peculiar. There were long empty corridors and at the end an open door that let the light flow in, giving the impression that you are sinking into the hallway. When I went, autumn was turning into winter. The day was overcast, lightly raining, but still the lighting was interesting because there were rays that passed through the doors which were cast onto the walls, giving a spookier ambiance to the visit.

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin by Adlan Mansri

Do you recommend it?

Yes! You can go there with a group of friends and do some amazing stuff, make a film for example. I heard a story about some dudes that got arrested there because it’s an abandoned place and you’re not supposed to trespass, so be careful. It’s obvious people have already had parties there, though. There were broken bottles of beer all around.

Tschaikowskistraße 51, Berlin 13156, Germany

The Abandoned Iraqi Embassy in Berlin

Tschaikowskistraße 51, 13156, Berlin, Germany

Julien Lacheray Founder of HEREYOUARE, he loves dollar pizza, especially after a night spent on a rooftop or in a basement, always up for a bike race in the city before going back home.
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