Requiring two visits (one to have a peek around and decide that, nope, we didn’t actually feel like climbing around the barricade 30 meters above the ground outside a rusting pedestrian tunnel just to get into the Kaue (changing house), and one to actually get into the Kaue once we figured out how), Lohberg’s been on the radar ever since we heard that it was being torn down. We saw a little more of it than was strictly planned, ending up in the interminable cable tunnels underneath as we tried to enter some of the locked buildings. Yum, asbestos.
One of the bigger coal mines in the region, the sad debris that’s left is a shadow of its former size, but still, the impressive brick work rises, dusty and broken, above the countryside. Some of the buildings are occasionally used for art projects – freaking me out while I was photographing (in violation of both the “no tripods” and “no flash” rules posted everywhere) with the human figures painted on the walls. More than once I started calling out to one of my associates…oops. Dammit.
Getting where we were going required a bit of climbing and improvisation with ladders, just to enter an indoor moonscape of black dust and destruction underneath the A-frame lifting tower – just to climb the damn thing. As I kept an eye out for badly rusted steps, while trying to stay out of sight of the still occasionally manned security guard’s booth at the front, I kept repeating to myself, why the hell am I here? Apparently the hawk nesting in the tower thought so as well – I don’t think I’ve ever been attacked by one of those before. The mine employees used to settle these birds in the towers to deal with the inevitable pigeon plague, and someone forgot to tell this particular specimen that the fun was over and done a few years ago.