Blub! Neukölln

Years ago in Berlin it was a big thing: the adventure public pool and recreational center Blub. Now it is a dangerous ruin where tourists, skaters and photographers meet. Although parts of the abandoned complex burned down in 2015, it is still haunted by urban explorers and young adults looking for a thrill.

Since 2005 the Blub! (Berliner Luft- und Badeparadies) is closed. Declining visitor numbers, violent youth gangs and hygiene problems left the operators no choice but to say goodbye. The swim and sauna center was inaugurated in 1985, and in the meantime was even a jersey sponsor of Hertha BSC and a proper institution in the capital. Every year, it attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to the water. Children raved in the wave pool, parents relaxed in the whirlpool, boys met girls. The adjoining sauna area remained open until 2012, but that was the end of it.

I haven’t been in Berlin long enough to visit Blub! while it was still running full operations, but I did pay my dues once it was totally abandoned and before its corpse went up in flames.

An investor from Munich has acquired the site and will soon start demolishing the buildings to make space for more than 400 apartments.


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