Seeing decrepit and abandoned buildings does something to my soul. It’s not every abandoned building, mind you, but some are interesting. It’s often the mix between old and new, deserted and party sites, graffiti and trash that move me. One such place is an old abandoned army base called Beit Zeit Camp. It is situated between the town of Beit Zeit and Ein Karem in the Jerusalem forest. Easy to get there, and beautiful.
In the early 1950s this was an army base built as a huge emergency storage facility for the Jerusalem brigades in cases of a Jordanian incursion into Jerusalem or its environs. The equipment was all removed during the 1967 Six Day War. Later on the base became a general emergency storage facility and was used by the Logistic Brigade until it was finally abandoned around 2012.
A mixture of half-destroyed buildings, trash, and graffiti.
As you take the winding road, you will pass many heaps of the buildings on your right. Keep going, after about 1km, you arrive at the area where the army did not demolish the building.
As one moves further down the road, the buildings are still standing. They are a mixture of decrepit and abandoned structures and hang-outs.
If you want to venture in and take a peek, these are very long buildings, built into the hillside, and are sort of bunkers. Inside, you will find a mixture of different things. You have some tables and sleeping areas, apparently inhabited by passers-by.
These long, cavernous bunkers are filled with interesting art, and apparently some interesting installations.
And for some reasons, heaps and heaps of bottles.
All of these structures fit organically into the beautiful landscape. It’s a mixture of beauty and filth, old and new, utilitarian and stoner-heaven. Definitely worth a visit.