Urbex or urban exploration

Wall closet with many doors in abandoned building

Urbex is an abbreviation of Urban Exploration and is all about discovering the stories that are to be found in old forgotten and abandoned buildings. Standing in front of an abandoned building, it is difficult to resist the call of curiosity. What is hidden behind those walls, what stories are there to be found. The excitement of entering a space, entering a memory by climbing fences and walls, crawling trough open windows and explore hidden jewels of the past. If you listen carefully you can hear walls speak, the wispering of lost glory. The joys and sadness of the ones who left it behind, the spirit of forgotten lives.

deserted bed room and sleeping place. Old vintage wall paper peeling off. Urban decay and exploration. Urbex photography Belgium, abandoned house interior

The beauty of decay, the mystery and history of old abandoned buildings, houses, castles, churches, industrial sites and more. Left behind and forgotten, often waiting to be demolished and to be forgotten for ever. Some of the buildings are incredibly beautiful, sometimes it looks like people just disappeared and left everything behind, rooms full of memories. A time capsule of the past, the clock just stopped. But this is only an appearance, the clock never stops entirely. You get a peak into forgotten times but the memories are fading, sometimes fast sometimes really slow. As soon as they are left behind, nature tries to claim its ground. This results in spider webs, dust piling up, mold growing where moist enters the finest cracks, rotten floors, colliding walls, broken windows and plants reclaiming the space it once lost. If you’re lucky everything stays untouched but a lot of times these locations are vandalized. Trown in windows, graffity, valuables stolen and memories wiped out for eternity. Anyways these locations are alife in one way or the other. The process of decay can go fast or slow depending on the various actors. You never know what to expect, a lot depends on who already visited the location.

Pathway around insanity. Abandoned and neglected mental institution. Deserted old building. Urban decay and exploration at Manicomio di R, Italy

We always respect the buildings we are entering. I say we because I never enter a building by myself. There are some risks in exploring these ruins and I want to play it safe. A risk to injury due to broken glass, unsafe floors, unstable walls or the presence of harmful chemicals. Next to that there’s always the risk to be discovered by the owners or security patrols. All this adds up to the excitement of visiting these forgotten places.

the bathroom next door. Bath tub in abandoned house. Urban exploration, Chateau des Singes, France

We never damage a location. If there’s no open window, door or another enterance we stay out of the building and quite often we arive at a building without being able to enter, that’s just part of the experence. Maybe next time, maybe never again. Quite often these locations are being torn down and lost forever. We want to capture the last breath of this architectual heritage and try to freeze the memories that still lay within their walls. “Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints”, this is the anthum of real urbex photographers. My thrill doesn’t lay in the excitement to illegally enter a building, I find my passion by the hidden gems that can result in amazing images.

Old vintage dentist chair in abandoned building of mental institution, Dental care horror nightmare, Urban decay and exploration, Manicomio di R, Italy

Don’t try to ask an urbexer to reveal the exact location of an abandoned building. There are far to many people with wrong intentions. Vandalism, graffity and theft are quite common and they go against the phylosophy of only taking pictures and leaving nothing but footprints. The fewer people visiting a site, the longer it will be preserved. For more urbex images visit my gallery.

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3 Comments

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