Posts Tagged ‘urbex’

Inside an Incredible Soviet-Era Abandoned Circus in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova

Abandoned Circus

Abandoned Circus

 

An abandoned communist-era circus, located in the middle of Chisinau, the capital city of The Republic of Moldova, is not exactly high on the bucket-lists of travellers around the world. But maybe it should be. The abandoned circus building ticks all the right boxes. Soviet. Mid-century. Concrete. Incredible design. And perhaps the local authorities of this former-USSR land-locked nation won’t like this – but the final check box is easy access.

The Republic of Molodova is a land-locked country, deep in Eastern Europe, wedged between Romania and Ukraine. The circus is located in the capital city – Chisnau. An independent nation since 1991, after surviving through seventy years of Russian communism. To this day, Moldova remains one of the poorest nations in Europe. It’s average income is comparable to nations that are frequently referred to as “third world”. This makes Moldova an interesting, authentic – and inexpensive – travel destination.

Abandoned Circus – Will the Soviet Architecture Go to Waste?

Located downtown, I visited the abandoned circus in Chisinau with an urban-exploration colleague of mine.  Out the front, friendly teenagers sat, chatted, and enjoyed a drink, Inside, we came across a German tourist – actually a middle aged gent, visiting his son who was now based in Chisinau. Although the circus has been abandoned since 2004, the inside remains very intact, and we all had the same impression – that one day, the circus would be tidied up, and rise to it’s former glory as an entertainment icon of downtown Chisinau.

Originally constructed in 1981, the abandoned circus in Moldova is a statement to just how important, respected, and popular circus’s were during Soviet times.  This is no simple canvas tent – this is an architectural statement, in a prime location, designed for permanently entertaining the masses.

Unfortunately for the locals, a revolution and political upheaval destroyed the economy, and this is one of the casualties. However, for intrepid urbex afficionados, this is one of the simplest, easiest, and most entertaining urban exploration sites in Moldova.

The only problem remains, getting to Chisinau.

 

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As always, the map above pinpoints the exact location of the abandoned circus in Chisinau. So, if you happen to find yourself in the area, pop in.  The architecture is pure communist-era brilliance. The circus is located close to the center of the city. As an added bonus, there are some great oil paintings of circus bears. I love a good Moldovan circus bear.

Please enjoy the photo set of the abandoned circus in Chisnau, capital city of The Republic of Moldova.

If you have any updates on the abandoned circus, be sure to let us all know in the comments below.

And feel free to share this article, the more attention that is bought to Moldova, the better.

Enjoy.

Dr Hank Snaffler Jr.

 

PS, taking photos like these are easy – even in dark and dusty environments. It has nothing to do with your camera! I don’t have a fancy camera. I do have a good friend who is a professional photographer, and she has put together something that will change your photography forever. Take a moment to check out  Getting Out of Auto …believe me you will be shooting like a pro by the end of the day – no matter what camera you have. It’s my secret weapon, and my personal recommendation. 

Urbex : Escape From Bangkok : 140 Storeys, 4 Abandoned Skyscrapers, 20 Wild Dogs, 1 Nurse

looking towards one of the three abandoned skyscapers

Bangkok is one of the world’s great cities. Amazing food, smiling people, and abandoned skyscrapers. Sure, visiting abandoned buildings may not be on every travellers “to-do” list. For myself, it was irresistible. So, we entered. Unfortunately for my companion, Nurse Jane, there was a pack of mangy looking wild dogs guarding the exits of the elevator. Yes, an elevator, in an abandoned building. Operational. Well, partially operational.

There is a well-known saying “only in America”. Here’s a new one: “only in Bangkok”. Only in Bangkok, could you walk into a shopping mall, take the elevator to the sixth floor, exit into a dark abandoned space, avoid the roaming packs of very aggressive wild dogs, climb a few rusty stairs, and find yourself outdoors on a concrete podium. The podium level is ten storeys above ground, and sitting on the podium, are three, thirty level, totally abandoned skyscrapers. Next door, is another abandoned skyscraper, around twenty levels high. That’s just the beginning of what this day had in store…

Read On…

Abandoned Stadium – 8000 Seat, Abandoned, Indoor Stadium Exploration. Hell. Yeah.

perth entertainment center - abandoned stadium building

perth entertainment center - abandoned stadium building

Abandoned stadium? Well, the locals down under called it an “Entertainment Centre”. I call it an abandoned building the likes of which I have never seen. With a capacity of over 8,000 people, and an entry in the Guiness Book of World Records, this is urban exploration not to be missed. For over a decade, the Perth Entertainment Centre has remained empty, awaiting its fate with the wrecking ball.

On this stage, once stood Bob Marley, Bono, Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi, The Beach Boys, AC/DC, Queen, and Sting. Not to mention, the Harlem Globetrotters, or Tony Alva. We are the world? We are the people? Today, Dr Hank Snaffler Jr and one of his esteemed colleagues, R.F. Digga III (“ratty” – for his ability to get into any abandoned building), took the opportunity for a little urbex. We’re making the world a better place, for you and me. Read On…

Abandoned Buildings in New Zealand – Hokitika Former Government Offices

abandoned building new zealand

abandoned building new zealand

When I first booked my flights to Christchurch, little did I know what the South Island of New Zealand would have in store. After travelling over the North Island, and seeing some incredible abandoned buildings that just didn’t want to allow me to explore them, today, in the small town of Hokitika, the South Island of New Zealand showed me that there is far more in this part of the world than just glaciers and mountains.

There are many historical buildings in Christchurch, which I visited in the days leading up to my adventure in Hokatika. Unfortunately, this list of historical buildings in Christchurch that collapsed was extensive.  Such heritage buildings  as the Durham Street Methodist Church, the Stone Chamber of the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, the Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, and the Sevicke Jones building in Cathedral Square – all fully collapsed during the destructive Christchurch earthquake.

Other listed buildings partially collapsed in Christchurch, and made for eerie viewing. These included the famous  Christchurch Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, and Holy Trinity Avonside.

The Christchurch earthquake may have been recent, but the history of this featured abandoned building began over one hundred years ago. On the 7th May, 1908, the then Prime Minister of New Zealand, Sir J.C Ward, travelled to Hokitika and laid the foundation stone. I can only assume, from some of the evidence and signage still in place, that the building was used as government offices.

Founded in the mid 1800′s, the small town of Hokitika was the centre of the West coast gold rush in New Zealand. Buildings of this size seem out-of-place in a town like Hokitika, as the population is currently only about 3000 residents. However, in 1866, the town was one of New Zealand’s most populous centers, and there remains many striking examples of fine architecture, reminding visitors that Hokitika is a town with a glorious past.

Located on Sewell Street, the building itself consists of two main levels, with a central corridor from one end to the other. There is a grand entrance and staircase at the center of the building. Most of the rooms are small and office-like, however, there are grand rooms at the end of each wing of the building.

The building showed all the signs of the era it was constructed in, such as high quality carpentry, and ornate plaster work. The peeling paint provided a wonderful patina, and combined with the dappled light entering the premises, everything was right for a good dose of exploration as well as photography.

Fortunately, a local resident, “John” that I bumped into whilst poking around on-site, had access to the building, and was more than happy to allow me entrance. He unlocked a couple of doors, and left me to my own devices.

Being in a relatively remote location, the building was remarkably intact. The windows weren’t broken, and apart from some scratchings dating back to the 1960′s, no graffiti was present. It was an “honest” abandoned building. John advised me that the building has been vacant for “oh, quite a long time now”.

Currently for sale, the future of this grand building is up in the air. I could think of many uses for such a structure, and I’m sure one day a new owner will give it the attention it deserves.

I will soon be leaving New Zealand, to continue my exploration of abandoned buildings around the world. If you haven’t already joined, please feel free to follow along by entering your email address over on the side of the page.

Enjoy.

Dr Hank Snaffler Jr.

 

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abandoned building new zealand - hokitika

abandoned building new zealand - hokitika

abandoned building new zealand - hokitika

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abandoned building porn - new zealand - hokitika

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Abandoned 1940′s Power Station – Beautiful Decay by the Indian Ocean…and Possibly, a Murder or Two.

abandoned power station building

Abandoned Power Station Building

Abandoned Fremantle Power Station, Australia. Construction of the spectacular building commenced in January 1946. By the 1980′s, after just 34 years of service, it was left rotting on the coast of the beautiful Indian Ocean. Much of the Power Station internals were designed and manufactured in England, with skilled contractors sent out from England to assemble the plant on site. These days, the only visitors are intrepid urban explorers, talented graffiti artists, and a few curiously brave locals. The seaside location of this abandoned building has lead to some seriously stunning patina. One of the reasons for choosing this buildings location was the ease with which seawater could be utilised for the cooling system. Now, the saltwater spray contained within the daily Indian Ocean winds are speeding up the incredible rate of beautiful decay.  On this abandoned journey adventure, it was myself, Dr Hank Snaffler Jr, accompanied by my trusty colleague, Nurse Jane. We had to be careful on this one, things could get nasty.

There were various tales of unconfirmed murders at the abandoned Power Station. In the dark labyrinth of tunnels beneath the complex, it was not hard to imagine the heinous crimes that could be easily hidden. Genuinely, brutally, this was a spine-tingling place to be. Indeed, there was a feeling of alarm during various traverses of the underground maze.

Read On…

Abandoned Skyscraper – “Sathorn Unique” – Fifty Levels of Awesome Abandoned Building

Abandoned Skyscraper - Sathorn Unique, Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand. Just fourteen years ago, the Sathorn Unique skyscraper was being built, destined to become one of the city’s fanciest residential addresses. Now, it is an  abandoned building. Never completed, it remains as yet another “ghost tower” of Bangkok.

A tangle of trees and vines are beginning to take over the lighter parts of this monolith, such as the four storey archways and romanesque feature columns. Amazingly, this building is located in the central area of one of the worlds largest cities. These towers were built during the mid nineties, when the Thai economy was booming. In 1997, the Asian Financial Crisis changed all that.

Developers stricken with debt were unable to finish many projects. In the case of Sathorn Unique, the main concrete structure made it all the way to the top. The apartment fit-outs had begun in earnest, with wooden floor boards installed and polished. Connected bathtubs, wardrobes, and electrics show just how close this one was to completion.

At ground floor, two escalators have been installed, climbing to nowhere in particular, the remnants of protective plastic still clinging onto their stainless steel sides.  With an amazing location close to the Chao Praya river that snakes it’s way through the center of Bangkok, it’s easy to see how this abandoned building would have been luxury living at it’s finest.

After a tip off from some of the locals, a small climb got me into the lobby area. Inside, a man had set up a shrine, and was providing offerings to his God. Children who were playing around the outer area of the building had clearly been warned of the dangers inside.

Although they were smiling, they were clearly fearful of the building, perhaps due to the ghost stories and other tales of fear their elders had instilled in them. For good reason too – this is a particularly dangerous site, with plenty of opportunities to take a 40+ level fall through one of the many unsealed shafts that exist, often in total darkness. Throw in a pack of wild dogs, some quite unusual smells and sounds, I quickly realised this abandoned building was not to be taken lightly.

From the brochure: (conveniently,  there was various sales materials still floating around the building):

Sathorn Unique Tower is our first residential project in downtown Bangkok. The tower is 49 storey with the total of 659 residential units and 54 retails, located only less than 200 meters from BTS : Taksin station. Sathorn Unique Tower is also located at the edge of old commercial town of Charernkrung meets the new international business zone of Silom-Sathorn roads. It sits on the a horse-shoe blend which is considered as the best place for overlook at the Bangkok’s grand cityscape and the charm of the Chaopraya river.

Bangkok probably has more abandoned buildings and modern day ruins than any other major city on earth. In the 14 years since the Asian Financial Crisis, the Thai economy has recovered, and many new gleaming skyscrapers have been built. Still, there remains a number of the abandoned ghost towers like Sathorn Unique. Earlier this same day, I scaled another forty storey building, an abandoned complex of three near-identical towers, with another abandoned building next door for good measure! Story and photos, coming soon.

I wouldn’t recommend visting the inside of this abandoned tower.  Truly, it is an incredibly dark and dangerous site. There are many holes for you to fall down a very, very, long way. Not to mention, the locals insist it is haunted (they were really quite insistent!). Of course, trespassing is illegal. However, it is an incredibly easy building to get to, and take a look around.

Information for “Sathorn” Unique Abandoned Skyscraper, Bangkok:

Getting there : Take the train to BTS Saphan Tak. The tower is located close to the cross road between Sathon Tai and Charoen Krung. Look up, you won’t miss it. Check the google map on this page…the pin is right on top of this abandoned skyscraper building.

 

PS, I used a very cheap camera to take these photos. There is a secret though – if you want to take photos like a pro, a better camera won’t help. Your instruction manual won’t help. No matter what camera you have – you need to learn how to get out of auto . This is my secret weapon to taking amazing photos – in no time at all. I 100% recommend checking this out, right now (before the price rise).

 

 

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Abanoned Skyscraper Building Bangkok - Sathorn Unique

Abandoned Skyscraper - Sathorn Unique, Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Abanoned Skyscraper Building Bangkok - Sathorn Unique

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Building Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Sathorn Unique - Abandoned Skyscraper Bangkok

Abandoned Building Bangkok - Sathorn Unique Skyscraper

Graffiti Bangkok

Abanoned Skyscraper Building Bangkok - Sathorn Unique

Abanoned Skyscraper Building Bangkok - Sathorn Unique