An old favorite

Visiting abandoned buildings is something I used to do a lot, but haven’t done in years. Revisiting an old favorite for the third time (Chateau MirandaWinter Camping) was an absolute treat. It was so nice to walk around this beauty, even though it’s state of decay is getting worse over the years. Especially the balustrades that made it’s staircase so special, have completely fallen to pieces.

It felt like a homecoming to walk around here again, and feeling so familiar, after so long. Maybe it’s time to start doing this again. I guess I once stopped visiting abandoned places because I thought I had already seen the most beautiful place I would ever see (this gorgeous thing, in my memory the amazing), and that every other place would not live up to it. But I have been missing the feeling you get when walking around an area you are not really meant to be, and where you can only imagine the history of the place before it was left to be forgotten. And apparently, I still enjoy taking photographs of these places, even if its a place I have seen often before. So let’s see if I pick up this old hobby of mine again in the new year :).

 

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FujiChrome Provia 400, Pentacon six TL.
Belgium, November 2015.

Greasy Monkey

Abandoned industrial buildings in Holland, a rare find. And right in the middle of a suburban area. This place was completely and entirely covered in a greasy substance. It once was a Vaseline factory and left for quite some time now, not sure how long. We were here more than a year ago. I’m sure by now its being demolished for something else to be built there instead.

Some photo’s





April 2010.

The Office

I’m proud to let you know that this photo has been selected for the Art of Photography Show competition, based in San Diego, US. There will be an exhibition of the 111 selected works in the Lyceum Theatre Gallery in San Diego from August 28th until November 7th, 2010. The opening reception is on August 28th from 6 to 10 pm. If you have the chance and/or are in the neighbourhood; have a look and see my photo on display! Cheerios!

 

 

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Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia 400, Full Frame.
Abandoned factory, Germany

Het Takkenhuis

Somewhere in Spring 2009, Belgium. A beautiful house, completely covered up by branches and leaves, this time of year. Inside its a total mess and all the layers of floors have fallen down. Ouside it looks stunning.







All photos made with a Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400.
April 2009.

T H E * A M A Z I N G

This has truly been the most beautiful castle I have ever seen in my life, and I have seen some stunning places… It was also quite the adventure. We first arrived on this terrain somewhere around sunset. We walked all around the forest to find an easy and quiet entrance but getting through the forest and finding the castle was quite easy. When we saw this beautiful spot we decided to camp on the terrain. We wanted to go back to the car and grab our gear and thought that we could find an easier way. So we walked into the forest where we thought the quickest way to the little village was. This was a bad idea…
First we were walking on a path, and slowly but surely all the paths we had walked on were nowhere to be found, or completely blocked off by fallen trees. After about half an hour we had really lost all sense of direction, and in the mean time it had gone dark and birds all around us were going mental because of all this forest action. Blair witch project came to mind, but we didn’t speak about this until we were almost out, to spare ourselves the stress…
Eventually we found an exit and then we had realized how far we had gone off track, and how huge this forest really is. We went back to the car to get our stuff. We had a small moment of doubt, should we really go back in there? But we hadn’t seen it from the inside, and we had this great idea of getting up at sunrise to photograph this place with the morning fog. So we decided to go back and we did. We went back in the way we knew best, found a good spot and set up base camp. We enjoyed a really nice evening with a lovely bottle of whiskey, wondering what the history of this amazing castle is. We went to sleep and set the alarm for sunrise. That was a bit rough, but oh soo worth it.

The surroundings of this castle on a foggy morning in fall are simply breathtaking, but inside the history and the feeling that is left here by its previous owners is incomprehensible. When I walked into one of the bedrooms I saw all the stuff lying around there. The beds still made. Slippers on the floor. Clothes rested on one of the chairs, as if someone went to bed with their clothes hanging there ready for the next day, but then never showed up to put them back on…
It was an overwhelming feeling I felt at that moment, quite a sad one as well. I remember saying to my friends that I was so speechless that I simply didn’t know where to start with taking photos, there was just too much beauty. After being inside for about, what I think was 20 minutes, we heard a motorcycle from very close by. We went to peek out of one of the windows and we saw a man looking inside the building. I was quite amazed because I thought we had walked on all the paths in the forest, and all of them were blocked off. Apparently I was wrong. We waited in complete silence until this man had left, then we ran to make our way out. We were sure that he would come back. We went outside where we had hidden all of our packed gear, and waited there again for a while. We heard stuff coming from the forest, but weren’t quite sure if it came from animals or humans. Finally we made our way out of the forest and back to the normal world. We arrived at the car and had to sit on the curb for a while. Lying in the morning sun and realizing what we had just experienced. This was fucking amazing….

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All photos made with a Pentacon six TL, Kodak Ektachrome 100Plus.
End of september, 2009.

Germanness Randomness II

…continuation from last post
Germanness Randomness I


The second location was on my list of things to do because what I had seen of it reminded me of Beeltiz Heilstätten (Beelitz & Elstal), up to date one of my favorite locations visited. The beautiful tiles and long halls. The sereneness. This place is also very nice, and did have a bit of the Beelitz feel to it, but in a different way. This time we where accompanied by Anna Bas Backer and her friend form Argentina. Anna is an old colleague of mine who is now part of our little explorer nerd group :). Anyways, here are tha last photo’s yo.



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400

Eastern germany, August 2008.

Germanness Randomness I

These are more photos taken on the germany-trip I was talking about earlier in the posts Sleeping with Lenin & Sanatorium S. The Urbexweekender in august 2008. In the mean time I’ve had another one of these weekends, august 2009, but I’m just a bit slow on my scanning and posting material… So your gonna have to bear with me, and read stuff that happened ages ago :).

These are the last photos form locations in eastern Germany from that weekend. The first location is a bit of a lucky shot. My friend martino was scanning through google earth in preparation for our weekend, looking for locations. Found some rooftops with black spots on it and named it Bingo. We drove there and it turned out to be a massive location in the middle of a forest next to this beautiful lake. Well done Martino!



Pentacon six TL, Kodak EktaChrome E100VS



Pentacon six TL, Kodak EktaChrome E100VS



Pentacon six TL, Kodak EktaChrome E100VS

Continues in next post…
Germanness Randomness II

Chateau Miranda

June 2008. Me and some friends had a really nice weekend planned of exploring some abandoned places in Belgium. On our first night away, coincidentally on a friday the 13th, we were going to do an Urbex-hotel. For me and Martino being virgins to this kind of sleepover, it was quite exciting. The location was chateau Miranda, a huge castle in Belgium in the middle of a forest. We arrived on the base of the hill in the middle of the night after a detour through France caused by a faulty tomtom. We packed the bare necessities for the night and started our uphill hike through the forest. When we finally found the castle it was like magic. Through the darkness we first only saw the tips of the towers and slowly but surely we saw the whole building.

To celebrate our arrival we poured ourselves some whiskey, made some nightshots from the outside of the building and chilled for a bit. Then all of a sudden we heard loud noises coming from a distance. It took us quite some time to figure out what it could have been. We heard the sound again but this time much closer. Tjarko figured it must have been a wild boar. I remember getting a bit scared now because all our stuff was scattered around on the ground outside, so it was hard to go for a quick sprint inside the building. Martijn was good at calming me down by getting us all to stand close together and saying that shining our lights in the boars eyes will make him go another way. When we heard the boar again from a further distance we made our way inside with all our stuff to find a decent sleeping spot. The chateau is in a pretty bad state now; the banister of the staircase is really falling apart and the ground is basically just a bunch of beams. We found a spot for sleeping and got our beds prepared for sleepytime, but before calling it a night we had to get the full view of the area by going all the way upstairs and have a look from the towers. This view must have been the best i have ever seen. The sun was already lighting up the skies in the distance and the fog over the surrounding forest made this fairytale castle experience complete!

The next morning we got woken up by the caretaker of this decaying castle. Asking us what the hell we were doing here and telling us to leave asap. Luckily he left us to our own devices after that giving us some time to make some coffee in the morning sunshine and the chance to make some photo’s of this amazing location before leaving. See for yourself.



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Noisy
Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400

Belgium, June 2008.

SanatoriumS

Apparently this place is really close to very observing villagers. People live and work right next door to this place, although its located in a very peaceful and beautiful area.
It is meant to be difficult to enter, but once we found the place to get in (all windows and doors were covered by wooden panels), we managed to get in quickly and unnoticed.
Inside we had to be very quiet so people wouldnt notice our presence and kick us out. We were a little bit disappointed that the whole building was empty; no furniture, materials, objects, books or traces of it being inhabited whatsoever… But the place itself was very peaceful.



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



Pentacon six TL, FujiChrome Provia400



The next photo was taken in a different building then the shots before, but still part of the same sanatorium. It was more in the woods down a hill. Here it was completely trashed. The stairs to the top floor had completely disappeared. So the only way up was a rusty little fire escape on the outside of the building… Luckily I went up, because there I found this little beauty of a room!



A room with a view
Pentacon six TL, Kodak Ektachrome E100VS

Germany, August 2008.