The Forbidden City

A large staircase to be seen inside an elegant stucco edifice in the imperial architectural style, guarded by a towering statue of Lenin, that formerly housed the officers' club in a russian military base. Shot in high dynamic range and post-processed along a sepia concept.

The history of this place spans almost a century and covers events which strongly marked the history of the 20th century. At the beginning of the century, the german emperor decided to build a military camp outside of Berlin. Throughout the two Great World Wars, the Nazis quickly developed the camp in one of the largest in Europe, with the purpose of testing new weapons in the facilities. However, one of the greatest achievements of this place was the creation of the most secretly hidden commando and communications center to date.
The people who worked there went through thorough security checks. It is believed that the area was even better protected, hidden from the public, and secured than any other military project including those secret weapons-factories.

After the Second World War, the camp was occupied by the russian forces, which, as required by the post-war agreements, destroyed most of the german infra-structures, leaving however the communication center intact.

When the cold war started, the Russians rebuilt the area and transformed it into the most secret military place in Europe again. Among its new infrastructures was the russian center for strategic western european operations, from where the Russians controlled the entire eastern European region, including telecommunication and air traffic control.

About 60.000 russians live in the area, which was completely secured and tightly closed off by heavily guarded fences. The German citizens who lived in the vicinity did not have any knowledge about the activities that the russians carried on there.
Due to this secrecy and off-limits character, the entire area became known as “The Forbidden City”.