Haunting Photos of Abandoned Châteaus by Bas van der Poel

Bas van der Poel is a Dutch photographer who’s passionate about urban exploration, a hobby and type of photography that takes dedication and courage. Urban exploration means entering neglected buildings, usually off-limits and hidden from the public, in order to capture the beauty of natural decay before the buildings are trashed, demolished or renovated. Bas has explored a variety of deserted buildings, including factories, hospitals and churches, but his most striking photos show the decay of abandoned châteaus and mansions. These monuments to idle grandeur are haunting, with so much beauty contrasted against emptiness.

These photos show some of the abandoned châteaus and mansions he has visited. He also gives a short history of each building, including why it was neglected, if he’s been able to discover that information. The names have been changed in order to protect the buildings from vandalism, since the golden rule in urban exploration is: “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos.”

Château des Singes
This castle was built somewhere in the 17th Century. Must have been left abandoned for a lot of years. Some parts of the roof already collapsed. The weirdest thing is that almost all the windows are intact. A wonderful place with an amazing staircase.

Chateau des Singes

Château des Singes

Chateau des Singes

Château des Singes

Schloss V
Somewhere in Germany lies this amazing castle. Dates from the late Middle Ages and destroyed in a fire around 1500. After it was rebuilt, over the years it transformed several times and changed owner a lot of times. Because of insolvency the castle was foreclosed in 2004. Nowadays the castle is abandoned.

Schloss V

Schloss V

Villa Beethoven
This villa was owned by a very wealthy family that is deeply rooted in the city. When the wife died, the rest of the family fought over the inheritance. A few years later, a real estate investor bought villa Beethoven. The plan to renovate it failed.

Villa Beethoven

Villa Beethoven

Château Pol
Found this castle a few years ago. At that time it was still inhabited. After it was abandoned, the castle was sealed for a long time. Until we got a tip. There was a way in… The castle was originally built in the 13th century. Midway in the 15th century, the castle was destroyed and rebuilt. The castle is severely decayed nowadays. But there are so many wonderful details.

Château Pol

Château Pol

Château Clochard
Finally had the chance to visit this beauty. The castle was built at the end of the 14th century to guard the French against the English. In 1412 it was taken by Philip of Burgundy and the castle was set on fire. It was restored later on by the English and used to house very important British aristocrats. It was rebuilt in the 19th century after it had been destroyed. The current owner has no hurry restoring the place, and that is what the community would like to see the most. This beautiful piece of French heritage should get the chance to have a second life. Or a 3rd or a 4th….
Unfortunately, 3 weeks after we visited, the place was burned down to the ground. Hard to believe that maybe we were the last visitors before it was destroyed completely.

Chateau Clochard

Château Clochard

Villa della B.
A villa with lots of kitschy rooms. From the outside the place looks like a big gray box. But the inside surprised us a lot. We couldn’t find any info about the history of this place.

Villa della B

Villa della B

Villa la B.
This villa was built in the 18th century on one of the most beautiful places on earth with a killer view! This view alone would add a million dollars to the price of these grounds. It was built by a wealthy baron as his summer house. When the baron left, rumours say that the villa was owned by anarchists, Utopians and agitators. At some point even they left and currently the place is awaiting to be bought. Probably for some several millions…

Villa la B

Villa la B

Maison de Viron
Maison de Viron was build in 1925, commissioned by the Baroness de Viron. The baroness still lives in the house next to it. For how long this building has been abandoned, I don’t know. But by the look at it, it has been a long time.

Maison de Viron

Maison de Viron

Palazzo di L. dei Conti M.
Nature is really taking over as the plants are entering the large building on the ground floor already. Since the trees are really growing inside, you have the feeling that you are surrounded by dense forest.
At one point I was busy, concentration at 110%, when I heard something. Through the forest I heard Italian music from far, far away. It sounded a bit eerie, coming from the woods and sounding like a small transistor radio with cracks and peeps. It seemed like it changed position too! I listened to it for some minutes until I decided that early morning music is nothing for me and this is a waste of my time: I continued the shoot! Unfortunately no historical facts found yet…

Palazzo di L dei Conti M

Palazzo di L dei Conti M

Villa L.
It was a hot sunny day. We parked our car and arrived at a larger type of farm. Italian style! But not very impressive on the outside. We walked through thorn bushes up to 2 meters in height, in the blazing sun, but could not find a way in. After some more checks we finally found our way in. At first, I was still not impressed with what I saw: empty rooms with… Nothing. Until we found the rooms we were looking for. Two rooms inside are beautifully decorated with frescos, something you would not expect in a farmhouse. We got what we were looking for!

Villa L

Villa L.

Château Cavalier
Built in early 18th century, this castle is way beyond its glory days. With a driveway in the shape of a wine glass. it used to be a wonderful place. Unfortunately we were just a few weeks too late… They removed all the furniture. 🙁 But still a wonderful location with an awesome staircase.

Chateau Cavalier

Château Cavalier

Château du Procureur
This castle hidden in a sleepy town in France was built somewhere around 1830 by a wealthy family. They still own the castle. The castle is in a very bad state…. In some places, the roof has collapsed. And the floors aren’t that good either. Although it’s empty, it was still worth a visit.

Château du Procureur

Château du Procureur

Château de la Forêt
This one was on my list for a long time… Finally we had the right info to get in. Built somewhere in the 19th century at the request of a Marquis, the castle is still in the royal’s hands. The story goes that the current owners cannot agree on the heritage, and therefore the place is left without being cared of.

Chateau de la Foret

Château de la Forêt

Château de la Forêt

Château de la Forêt

House of Wheelchairs
In 1616, a small monastery was built on this place. What happened to it, I don’t know. But at the very beginning of the 19th century, this beautiful castle was built. When the 20th century started, the castle was converted into a rest home. We had some wonderful light inside because of the sunset that day. For how long this place has been abandoned, I don’t know.

House of Wheelchairs

House of Wheelchairs

Rittergut V
This beautiful mansion in the former GDR was built at the end of the 19th century and was first used as a children’s home. During World War II, it was used as a rest home for the elderly, and during this period the mansion got its beautiful decorations. Especially the ceiling is stunning! Some years later, still during World War II, it got new inhabitants being young women who worked in working camps to serve the German Forces. After the war, the state of the mansion was already deteriorating, but still the beauty attracted several new owners until nobody was interested anymore…

Rittergut V

Rittergut V

Rittergut V

Rittergut V

Château Congo
Whitewashed brick building in neoclassical style, dating mainly from the 19th century, this castle was owned by numerous barons. The front of the castle was built around 1820. Over time, the castle underwent numerous restorations and transformations. It now has whimsical architecture, which gives it an original and even a little disturbing atmosphere in foggy weather. It is possible that the castle was built on the site of an ancient Roman villa.

Chateau Congo

Château Congo

Chateau Congo

Château Congo

To see more of Bas’s photography, visit his website, Facebook page, or Flickr photostream.




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2 Comments on "Haunting Photos of Abandoned Châteaus by Bas van der Poel"

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Ritchie Roesch
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I love these images by Bas van der Poel. House of Wheelchairs and Chateau Congo are my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

These photographs are great inspiration for me, as I also love photographing abandoned locations.

http://roeschphotography.blogspot.com/p/abandonment-series.html

k.r.mamatha
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Very impressive photographs! The descriptions are explicit. Hard work put in should be appreciated.Each photograph takes the viewer’s imagination to the peak period of the building’s glory.

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