Abandoned buildings have an alluring air, urging you to explore their empty hallways, once-grand ballrooms and decaying design elements. Hotels, theaters, office buildings — the image of the bustling life that used to pulse through the property contrasted with its current state of peeling paint, piles of discarded equipment and layers of dust prompts investigation of each corner of every room. Why were these places left to rot?
Photographer Christian Richter chooses to explore these wonders, and has produced an incredible selection of photos of derelict places all over Europe, some of which you can see here.
Richter particularly likes staircases
He grew up in the former German Democratic Republic, which after reunification provided old, empty buildings ripe for exploring.
He travels all over Europe to photograph buildings
When he was gifted a camera from a friend, that started his passion for photographing these places.
He has a network of contacts giving him pointers
It takes time to find places to photograph, he says. “It is a puzzle to find some places. I visit a lot, and I mean a lot, of buildings to find a great place to take a photo. Over the years I have developed networks of friends who help me sometimes.”
“It is a puzzle to find some places”
He has a deep respect for these locations, and particularly enjoys capturing staircases.
He keeps locations secret to avoid vandalism
He also keeps the locations he shoots secret, to avoid them being vandalized in the future.
“I simply adore old decaying architecture, the patterns and textures. They remind me that everything is impermanent.
“I don't share the places in public to protect them. Many of these places are destroyed by vandals or sprayers after they become famous on the Web.”
“These buildings remind me that nothing is permanent”
The locations are mainly in Europe, which Richter enjoys because of its old architecture.
But if he could travel anywhere to take photographs, he’d travel to America, where there are great abandoned sports venues, like Michigan's Silverdome, which BMX rider Tyler Fernengel explored recently.
He will continue to look for more wonderful places
As well as derelict buildings, Richter enjoys landscape photography which he posts on his Instagram alongside his images of old structures.