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Berlin, Germany

Ballhaus Riviera

The music is over at the Ballhaus Riviera Ballroom, but the ballroom remains in haunting disrepair. 

The deteriorating husk of the Ballhaus Riviera is all that remains of the once splendid dance halls which personified 1920’s Berlin Grünau.

On the banks of the Dahme River, the formerly regal dance hall is crumbling into ruins, a beacon to photographers, urban explorers, and vandals. Its rotting walls covered in graffiti and broken glass, the deteriorating building still holds the shadows of its jubilant past. 

These dangerously decaying floors were once graced with the lithe steps of Berlin’s hot party scene, the first dance taking place in 1890. Grünau was the bees knees as far as hot vacation places went, known for its rowing clubs and Regattas that attracted crowds of up to 50,000. The huge amount of  carousing party goers called for a place to cut a rug, and the Ballhaus Riviera was the place to be.

It remained a focal point of Grünau party society until its popularity finally took a dive in the late 1970’s, the final nail in its coffin coming in the form of the disco fad. It shuffled along with low attendance until finally shutting its doors in 1990. Now, the dance hall sits unattended, a fire hazard stripped of anything unbroken or valuable. While interested investors hover with visions of hotels or apartment buildings in their heads, the ravaged ballroom crumbles.

Know Before You Go

Visitors should be careful. There is no legal way in, and both buildings are near to collapse.