While planing Stefanies dreamshoot we were looking for nice ruins around Vienna – and there is no shortage of them! While being on the hunt for the perfect location for her gothic inspired dreams we stumpled across Döllersheim – an abandoned little village in Lower Austria near Ottenstein, about a one and a half hour drive from Vienna. Thanks to our amazing driver we didn´t even get lost!
Döllersheim had to be abandoned in 1938 to make way for the training ground of the Wehrmacht, along with several other neighbouring villages. Even so this little town was lookig back on a long history, first mentioned in an 1143 „deed issued by Duke Henry XI of Bavaria, whereby one Chunradus (Conrad) of Tolersheim appeared as a witness.“ (Wikipedia)
Adolf Hitlers father was born nearby and his birth recorded at the parish of Döllersheim, his grandmother is supposed to be buried in this area – nevertheless „In the period up to 31 October 1941, Wehrmacht troops forcibly resettled all 2000 villagers before bombing their houses as part of the training exercises.“ (Wikipedia)
After World War II the Soviet army used the area as training grounds and it remained a military exclusion zone used by the Austrian Army today (Truppenübungsplatz Allentsteig).
Since 1981 the main square, the church, the graveyard, the ruins of the parish, of the former school and hospital have been made accessible to visitors.
It´s an incredible beautiful place but also feels chilly, out of this world – haunted in its beauty. Most of the former houses have been overgrown with trees, bushes and stunning yellow plants and are almost invisible.
Turning around the corner, to the church, school and parish:
We make our way back down to the street and onto the former hospital, always remined not to step into the forbbiden zone..
At the hospital
We end our visit with a look back on Döllersheim before 1935 found on Döllersheim.at.