37 monuments in 30 days, and what I learned along the way.
Friday 5 August 2016
Sometimes I like to think of my articles as eulogies. When I share posts about abandoned factories, forgotten monuments, crumbling state facilities, I’ll feature photographs that (hopefully) celebrate the beauty still to be found amidst the ruination – and I’ll research the human stories, the little details that once made each structure special; that made it more than the sum of its parts, a place rather than merely space.
Other times though, my research runs into dead-ends; and I find I just don’t have that much to share, beyond describing – in words and pictures – the experience of visiting these places as they are now. That was certainly the case for this location, a large, abandoned industrial complex not a long way from the centre of Bucharest, Romania.
My Romanian friend told me that the place was known as ‘Assan’s Mill’ – though who Assan actually was, I cannot tell you. Instead, what you’ll find below is a series of images capturing the decline of the site: rotted, skeletal structures, collapsing roofs, the carcass of an industrial powerhouse where weeds have replaced workers and the walls that still stand are scratched deep with graffito marks.
It would be easy to assume that the mill – as per the trend, here in the former Eastern Bloc – was abandoned sometime around 1989, a victim of the ‘Changes,’ as the old system gave way to times of economic and industrial upheaval. Looking at the state of these buildings now, it’s a plausible theory… though in truth I have little in the way of historical fact to offer, and so I’ll simply let these melancholic scenes of industrial decay speak for themselves.
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