The Leuna Refinery, former East-Germany

Photographed June 2001


It's huge! It's gigantic! It's corroded and silent. The old refinery in Leuna (near Leipzig , in former East Germany ) is being destroyed.

There is no entrance to this place without permission. An active refinery operates on the premises and security is strict.

Demolition is in progress. Bulldozers chew large bites out of the factory buildings and silos, every hour, of every day.
There are many acres of flat, desolate terrain with scattered brick, creating a stony urban desert.

The oldest part of the factory dates back to the 1930's. Hitler built this refinery beyond the reach of allied bombers. The Germans made kerosene (and many other products) from brown coal. The plant later refined Russian crude oil.
Operation ceased completely in 1997. Many buildings have been destroyed, but some still stand. 


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