Monday, October 12, 2015

The abandoned Kilchurn Castle in Scotland

Kilburn Castle was built around 1450 by Sir Colin Campbell, first Lord of Glenorchy on an island inside Loch Awe, in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It was a a five storey tower house with a courtyard, defended by an outer wall. 

During the next centuries, the castle was extended and new chambers were bult. In 1681, the castle was turned into a modern barracks, capable of housing 200 troops by its then owner, Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy, 1st Earl of Breadalbane. During the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite risings, Kilchurn was used as a government garrison. 

The castle was abandoned in 1760, when it was badly damaged by lightning. The remains of a turret of a tower, are still resting upside-down in the centre of the courtyard. In 1817, the water level fell and since then the castle is connected to the mainland, resting on on a rocky peninsula at the northeastern end of Loch Awe.

Today, Kilchern Castle is in the care of Historic Scotland and it is open for visits during the summer months. 

Blogger Tricks

Monday, October 5, 2015

Abandoned Sinai hotels

Between 2001 and 2004, the Munich artist duo Haubitz + Zoche visited the Egyptian Sinai peninsula and took photos of concrete skeletons of abandoned 5-star hotel complexes for their project Sinai Hotels. 

The reasons for the abandoning of these construction projects at resort sites are many and varied, ranging from bad investment and misappropriated state subsidised loans to diminishing tourism as confidence was undermined by the reports of terrorist attacks.

'Sultan’s Palace’, ‘Sindbad’, ‘Sunestra’ and the ‘Magic Life Imperial’ are the names of some of those would be hotels that now remain abandoned against the background of mountain and desert landscapes. 

'Sinai Hotels' won the German Photobook Prize in 2007. 

(Click here for the full post)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church in Detroit

The Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church was built in 1911 in Detroit, Michigan to serve congregants located in what was then the north Woodward area. The church had 163 members. Designed by architect Sidney Badgley, Woodward Avenue Presbyterian is an English Gothic-style church, faced with rough rock and trimmed with a contrasting limestone, and measuring 184 feet (56 meters) long by 104 feet (31 meters) wide. 

In 1921 the church had reached over 2200 members but by the 1950s many of them had started leaving Detroit for the northern suburbs. Only 404 members had left behind in 1971 and in 1981 the church merged with Covenant Church. 

A death of a pastor in 2005 was the end of the Presbyterian church, then known as the Abyssinia Interdenominational Church. with the building left abandoned for the following years. In 2011 the interior was used as a set for the movie Alex Cross. A few years ago there were plans for the church to be turned into a homeless shelter but until today it remains one of the many abandoned buildings of Detroit. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Inside Keranis cigarette factory in Athens

Starting in 1933 and for more than 70 years, this building in Piraeus, near Athens, was the headquarters of Keranis, one of Greece's largest tobacco companies. In its prime, more than 2,500 people were working inside the 28,700 m² (309,000 ft²) factory, manufacturing more than 2.5 million cigarettes per shift and making Keranis the biggest Greek tobacco company. 

Things started to change from the 70s and 80s when more and more Greeks would rather buy imported cigarette brands instead of the Greek ones. In 1998, the family controlling the business sold it to a brokerage firm which shut down a few years later, together with Keranis. Today, the building belongs to an asset management company and it is up for lease. There were plans for the Piraeus courthouse to move inside the abandoned factory but those plans fell through. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Europe's abandoned border crossings

In 1995, the Schengen agreement took effect liberating travel between 7 European countries. Since then, more countries have been added and today 26 countries, members of the Schengen Area, have abolished border controls and share a common visa policy. 

As border checkpoints between these countries are no longer needed, many of them have been abandoned. Spanish photographer Ignacio Evangelista travelled around Europe to take photos of those abandoned border checkpoints for his award-winning project "After Schengen". 

(Click here for the full post)

Rattersdorf - Köszegcs Austria - Hungary

Portalet Spain - France

Hardegg - Cizov Austria - Czech Republic

Eisenberg - Vaskeresztes Austria - Hungary

Ždarky-Pstrazna Czech Repuplic - Poland

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Inside Mussolini's secret bunker

In order to provide shelter to bureaucrats and party leaders during World War II, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini built several secret bunkers under the city of Rome. Now, many of those bunkers open to the public for the first time. 

This bunker was a 55 m (180 ft) long converted wine cellar, deep beneath Mussolini's residence, Villa Torlonia, which housed the dictator and his family from 1925 to 1943. Mussolini ordered its construction in 1940, fearing his house would become the target of an Allied bombardment. 

The bunker had 3 escape routes and was quipped with a double set of steel, gas-proof doors, and a sophisticated air filtering system that could provide oxygen for 15 people for 3-6 hours. Later, Mussolini decided to build another bunker, and then a third, which was still unfinished by the time he was arrested in 1943.

More deserted places in Italy

(Click here for the full post)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The ghost island of Boston

For the last three decades, Boston's Long Island has been the home of a vibrant community: the city's shelter, housing hundreds of homeless people, addicts and troubled teens. During the recent years, Boston's taxpayers and nonprofit groups have spent millions of dollars to refurbish the island's old buildings where until last October up to 700 people sought shelter and other services every day. The community thrived and its two farms were producing some 25,000 pounds of produce a year. Potatoes, parsnips, cilantro, as well as eggs and honey. 

The shelter however fell victim of America's infrastructure crisis. A bridge between the island and the city of Boston was deemed unsafe. To replace the bridge, the city would have to pay an estimated $90 million. An evacuation of the island was ordered instead. With about one-third of Boston's shelter beds for the homeless and about half the city’s detox beds based on the island, the city's social services are now in limbo.

The deserted shelter facilities now complete the scenery of abandonement on Boston's Long Island. With, long-abandoned bunkers that hid gun batteries and Nike missiles, a dusty chapel that hasn’t held services in years, a shuttered morgue, a 150-year-old cemetery, Long Islang now looks more like a ghost island.

More deserted places in the United States

(Click here for the full post)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Kayakoy, a Greek ghost town in Turkey

Close to the Aegean resort town of Fethiye, there's an abandoned village called Kayakoy or Levissi, as Greeks used to call it. Kayakoy was built in the 18th century on the site of the ancient city of Carmylessus. After the nearby town of Fethiye (known as Makri to Greeks) was devastated by an earthquake in 1856, Kayakoy thrived. In 1900 its population was about 10,000, mostly Greek Christians who lived peacefully close to their Turkish neighbors.

It all changed though after the Greco-Turkish war of 1919-1922. The governments of Greece and Turkey agreed to engage in a compulsory population exchange. With the exchange, about 6,500 Greeks were deported from the area and Kayakoy was left abandoned. Today, the site of the village is a historical monument and serves as a museum. Around 500 houses remain as ruins, including two Greek Orthodox Churches, the most important sights of the ghost town. The willingness of the Turkish government to protect the village came into question recently as a plan to lease the village and open it to construction was announced.