In the spirit of Halloween, we wanted to post something scary and sinister like an abandoned haunted mansion. Little did we know what a horrible and hideous hidden history we’d uncover when we came across the Pfaffenhof Mansion.
Known as Fafák, or Veveří, the Pfaffenhof Mansion has an interesting history linking it to the SS Nazis, torture and the Richards’ underground factories of the Litoměřice camp.
The once-glorious neo-Gothic villa of Pfaffenhof (also known as Fafák) now sits as a deserted ruin, the kind that seems made for ghost stories. Villa Pfaffenhof occupies the site of the former Wine Chapel of Saint Nicholas, which was documented as early as the 14th Century, cancelled after Joseph II.
The building was built by architect Ignaz Anton Haube along the road leading from Litoměřice to Radobýl, a basalt hill in the Czech mountains during the beginning of the 19th Century.
An influential and wealthy family, Pfaff, hired the builder to build the villa (which included an outdoor pool) on the sacred site of the Saint Nicholas church.
The villa and its appearance represented the wealth and influence of the Pfaff family.
The builder as well as the Pfaff brothers, Heinrich and Hermann (the first owners of the castle) are buried in the nearby Litoměřice cemetery in a magnificent neo-Renaissance tomb.
But the dead Pfaff brothers are not the only dead associated with this place.
Looking dark, dreary and damning, the darkest and most intriguing chapter in the history of the villa was written in World War II.
During the war, the SS – Führungstab (command) of the nearby concentration camp headquarters were located, specifically the B5 Commando.
Not far from the villa, there is an entrance to the underground labyrinth of the giant Richard factory. Thousands of Jewish prisoners were working deep in the limestone shafts in inhumane conditions on projects speculated to date.
Litoměřice was built on a former artillery barracks and could hold up to 5,000 prisoners. Most worked at the underground Richard Factory.
In the last years of the War, as the German armaments industry was increasingly threatened by Allied air power, the Nazis decided to shift some of their production facilities underground. In Litoměřice, the former limestone quarry beneath the Bídnice plain was to be used for this purpose.
In the Spring of 1944, work began here on the construction of underground factories code-named Richard I and Richard II. A lot of manpower was needed for realization of building project of Richard I and Richard II.
The need for prison work squad was the reason for establishment of the Litoměřice Forced Labor Camp.
The slave labor prisoners lived under very harsh conditions. The barrack blocks were overcrowded and had no sanitation or heating. The daily food rations consisted of half a liter of coffee, a liter of watery soup and 200 grams of bread. Later this mere amount was reduced further.
First prisoners were accommodated in the original large building formerly used as a military riding hall, stables and warehouses. The second section was built at the beginning of 1945 and consisted of wooden huts. The third section was built as further wooden huts in the fields stretching from the barracks up the slope toward the portals of galleries. Each section of the camp was divided by barbed wire supplemented by watchtowers.
The lowest number of prisoners was 4717 on January 5, 1945. The highest number was on February 23, 1945 with 7046 prisoners. In December of 1944 there was a dysentery outbreak which caused the death of 701 prisoners. There was also an outbreak of epidemic typhus in 1945.
The death rate at this hell camp was 12.9 percent which made this the highest of all camps. A crematorium was built to dispel of the bodies and over 18,000 prisoners of different nationalities were burned there.
The Second World War was the deadliest conflict in human history and brought about mass-militarisation on an unprecedented scale. With the terror of aerial bombardments instilled in everyone, many of the factories at the time were built deep underground, where the enemy’s aerial armada couldn’t reach them. A number of abandoned underground factories of World War Two are still crumbling to dust some 70 years later, reminders of one of the darkest chapters in modern human history.
The Czech Republic (then part of Czechoslovakia) suffered terribly in World War Two. Annexed by the Third Reich in 1938, the territory’s citizens were forced by the millions into factories, the army, the concentration camps, sacrificing their liberty on the decaying altar of Nazi ambition. Nowhere can this bleak time be experienced perhaps as viscerally as in Litoměřice.
Here, at the abandoned underground factory “Richard”, thousands of concentration camp victims were forced to build tanks, motors, electronics and communications equipment for the German war effort. Although the Richard factory seemingly wasn’t as deadly as other work at Terezin, the stench of misery and death still clings to its walls.
Examining the abandoned limestone mine’s carved rock tunnels now, it’s easy to see how those dragged there must have felt like they’d been taken into hell itself.
According to some reports, the Germans enjoyed brutally torturing prisoners in the cellars of Pfaffendorf.
The post-war history of the villa is a story of slow deterioration. After the end of World War II, it was dilapidated and in disrepair and was handed over to the national administrator Veverka (hence the sometimes used name of Veveří) and in 1948 it was nationalized.
After the revolution, an attorney named Zdeněk Altner tried to rebuild it but only ten years later, he sold it to a Swiss company. He ended up in jail and was handed over to Slovakia where he faced charges of bankruptcy fraud.
Since the nineties, the villa has fallen into the present terrifying form. The building lacks a roof, and visitors are threatened with falling through the ruined floors or walls. Below are some more images of the mansion as it looks today…
Scarier because of all the atrocities which must have occurred there, today it attracts various morbid occultists.
Apparently there has also been a horror film filmed there, but I could not locate the title of the film. Does anyone know? This sinister mansion once the home of a sacred church sits on private property but if you want to explore via Google satellite, the GPS coordinates are WGS-84: N 50°32′ 10,16”. E 014°06′ 4,8”.