Extraordinary Abandoned Buildings by Sylvain Margaine [Gallery]

Have you ever wondered what’s behind the bricked windows of that grey building or the tunnels swarming beneath your feet? Sylvain Margaine did.

  • Governor's Tower, Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Sylvain MargaineGovernor's Tower, Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Sylvain Margaine
  • Salle Sthrau, Maubeuge, France. Photo: Sylvain MargaineSalle Sthrau, Maubeuge, France. Photo: Sylvain Margaine
  • Stock Exchange, Antwerp, Belgium. Photo: Sylvain MargainStock Exchange, Antwerp, Belgium. Photo: Sylvain Margain
  • Crespi d’Adda power station, Crespi d’Adda, Italy . Photo: Sylvain MargainCrespi d’Adda power station, Crespi d’Adda, Italy . Photo: Sylvain Margain
  • Aegidium Cinema, Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Sylvain MargainAegidium Cinema, Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Sylvain Margain
  • Castello di Sammezzano, Reggello, Italy. Photo: Sylvain MargainCastello di Sammezzano, Reggello, Italy. Photo: Sylvain Margain
  • Bulgarian Communist Party Headquarters, Buzludzha, Bulgaria. Photo: Sylvain MargainBulgarian Communist Party Headquarters, Buzludzha, Bulgaria. Photo: Sylvain Margain

Famous urban explorer, Sylvain Margaine, does have his own aim and goal and destination of his life – he brings back to light forgotten witnesses of times that wentmany years ago.

And sometimes, as he says, “it takes is to simply flip the coin to allow us to take a glance behind the curtain and contemplate the colossal mechanisms of the city-monster, never quite asleep nor dead.”

Margaine shows and unveils new old buildings, prooving one more time that we live in a place full of magic and mysteries we too busy to discover it.

The urban explorer and photographer has started displaying his trips on a website back in 1998 and since then he’s achieved much progress, as Sylvain is currently publishing his second book on the subject.

“Forbidden Places Volume 2” is full of colorful pictures showing once-grand projects that either ran out of money, fell out of fashion or were left because of being in no need.

Probably, the title of “Most expressive and impressing building” goes to the Bulgarian CommTheunist Party Headquarters, which is situated ont the very top of a peak in the Stara Planina, a range of mountains in the Balkans.

Margaine believes that the construction was built between 1974 and 1981 by wbout 6,000 workers. The headquaters feature frescoes and patriotic engravings. After it was abandoned after the Soviet Union crushed, now stands derelict and ravaged by the elements – a fitting tribute to a failed ideology.

One more hero of Margaine’s new book is the sanatorium in Tarragona, Spain/ Initially it was constructed as a hospital for tuberculosis patients but, from the end of the Spanish Civil War until 1976, it hosted generations of orphans from the Franco regime who were badly mistreated.

“The atmosphere can be very powerful in somewhere like an old hospital or jail,” says Margaine. “You can really feel the bad things that happened there. I don’t believe in ghosts but sometimes at night, your imagination can play tricks on you.”

By the way, Margaine often receives tonns of letters from seekers for paranormal activities, or people who say they’ve seen a ghost in his pictures.

“In one photo from an asylum, they think they see a blurry image of a man working at the far end of a corridor,” he says. “But it’s not a ghost; it’s the shadow of one of my friends. I have been doing this a long time and haven’t so far seen anything I couldn’t explain.”

Like all urban explorers, Margaine, who is an engineer for the Brussels Metro, has his war stories. Over the years Sylvain has taken on wild dogs, hobos and drug addicts in pursuit of his photographs. He has also outwitted many a security guard.

“At Battersea Power Station, I was told I was not allowed to visit, so I went unofficially late at night,” he says, an unmistakable note of pride entering his voice. “There are guards there 24 hours a day, but I managed to sneak past. It just requires a bit of creativity and good timing.”

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