10 Extraordinary abandoned buildings

1. Stella Brewery, Leuven, Belgium

Stella Artois beer has been brewed in Leuven since 1366. In 1708, Sebastien Artois, master brewer, bought the “Den Hoorn” tavern and gave this drink a real boost, creating a slightly bitter beer for the Christmas trade. The Stella Artois brand, a blend of the founder’s name and the word “star” (in Latin), was launched in 1926. Production is carried out in Belgium, at the industrial brewery in Leuven. Ever-increasing demand requires modern facilities and space. Sites multiplied in the second half of the 20th century, as breweries were built around the world. Leuven could no longer quench the European continent’s thirst. Production stopped and a new modern brewery took over, right next to its predecessor.

Picture: Sylvain Margaine

Geozavod 3

2. Geozavod building, Belgrade, Serbia

One of the most beautiful architectural monuments of Belgrade, Serbia. “Belgrade Cooperative for mutual help and savings”, was actually the full name of the joint stock company founded in 1882. It was designed for small and medium traders, artisans and clerks.

There’s Department of Banking and Insurance Department, which represented the first domestic insurance company, formed in 1897.

Geozavod 4

When it comes to the building, angled three-winged palace was built of reinforced concrete, which is the most advanced technique at that time. It is adorned with artistically worked stone sculptures and ornaments.

This is the first building in Belgrade with representative hall with a monumental staircase, the German sculptures, ceremonial hall.

Geo 5

A new spirit of innovations was present at the time, using new technologies and materials as  reinforced concrete, wide glass areas, sections in wrought iron. Serbian architectural culture tended to create its own Serbian architectural style.

geozavod interior

The interior is characterized by representative three monumental staircase. The luxurious counter hall on the mezzanine level is reachable by a central arc and from here two side arcs reach the first floor and the reception and conference hall.

Stylistically – the eclectic building belongs to Baroque and Art Nouveau. In short, the building of Belgrade Cooperative is aesthetically well resolved and it dominates not just the small crossroads of several streets but the whole environment.

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 It’s located in “Karadjordjeva” Street, which will be restored in the entire reconstruction of the former Savamala area, as well as the construction of a future project named “Belgrade on the River.” Building of the “Belgrade Cooperative” was built between the 1905 -1907.

Sources: Panoramio; Stillinbelgrade; Wiki; Blok; Blic;

Diurno Venezia, Milan, Italy.

3. Diurno Venezia, Milan, Italy

These public baths below the streets of Milan were built in an Art Deco style typical of the interwar period. Besides baths, barber shops and sundry recreational facilities, customers had a choice of services ranging from post office and travel agency to shoe-shine boy. A central boiler maintained a comfortable temperature. After the subway was built, the original entrances were used as access points for the new means of underground transport. As the layout of the baths become more confusing, the Milanese gradually lost interest. More and more business left the premises. Despite several attempts at restoration, the site is sinking into oblivion.

Picture: Sylvain Margaine

Governor's Tower, Barcelona, Spain

4. Governor’s Tower, Barcelona, Spain

The “Governor’s Tower” is a building of eclectic architectural features, thanks to a series of modifications made over the centuries by the owners. Built on the outskirts of Barcelona in the 16th century, it was originally the residence of the Governor General of Catalonia before it was taken over from the 17th to the 19th centuries by the counts of Santa Coloma, viceroys of Catalonia. It was then acquired by the banker Antonio Borrell Folch. He commissioned Guitart i Lostalo, a modernist architect, who added two square towers flanking a Gothic bridge to the entrance. On his death Borrell bequeathed the estate to the order of Friars of the Pious Schools, dedicated to teaching poor children. The buildings were run as a school until the late Seventies. As they became unfit for purpose they were put to other uses. The Borrell Institute closed down permanently in 2000. The property was resold but has since fallen into a state of neglect.

Picture: Sylvain Margaine

Salle Sthrau, Maubeuge, France

5. Salle Sthrau, Maubeuge, France

Salle Sthrau, in the Maubeuge commune of northern France, was built in the 17th century and was originally the chapel of a Jesuit college. The building was partly destroyed during the First World War, then renovated in 1923 by a Monsieur Lafitte. The exterior walls and pediment were preserved. The interior concrete and ornate wrought-iron and glass ceiling is typical Art Deco. The venue served as a concert hall, a ballroom and for fencing practice, as can be seen in the murals. It was closed in 1998 for safety reasons, but the restructuring work due to be completed by 2015 will allow Maubeuge residents to enjoy this hall again.

Picture: Sylvain Margaine

Stock Exchange, Antwerp, Belgium

6. Stock Exchange, Antwerp, Belgium

The Stock Exchange was the first to be built in Antwerp, which had replaced Bruges as a major economic hub. The existing structure dates from the 19th century. Rebuilt over the charred ruins of the 16th century commodity exchange, the rectangular hall is enclosed by four covered galleries, thus altering open and closed spaces. The decline of the exchange coincided with that of Antwerp, as the city’s financial centre lost its standing. In the early 2000s, a property company wanted to convert the exchange into a luxury resort but the financial crisis put an end to that.

Picture: Sylvain Margaine

Crespi d’Adda power station, Crespi d’Adda, Italy

7. Crespi d’Adda power station, Crespi d’Adda, Italy

Established to supply electricity to a pioneering “workers’ village”, the power station found itself surplus to requirements when the village’s owners went bankrupt and its inhabitants left in the Twenties

Picture: Sylvain Margaine

Aegidium Cinema, Brussels, Belgium

8. Aegidium Cinema, Brussels, Belgium

Behind the white, very regular and typically neoclassical façade, the Aegidium covers four floors of magnificent interiors in an eclectic style. Built in the early 20th century by the architect Guillaume Segers, this is one of the finest features of Saint-Gilles, a district south of Brussels city centre. From the elegant foyer to the imposing oval glass roof overlooking a wide marble staircase, everything seems to have been aesthetically thought through. Several eras merge as you cross an Art Nouveau entrance hall to reach a Louis XV conference room or a function room decorated in Moorish fashion, which was once converted into a cinema by architect Leon Denis. The Aegidium has been unoccupied since 1985, so needs restoration before it can reopen its doors to the public. The current owner, a community group, has decided to sell and a number of investors are now interested.

Picture: Sylvain Margaine

Battersea Power Station, London, England

9. Battersea Power Station, London, England

The coal-fired power station in Battersea, south-west London, was built in two stages: the first unit, completed in 1939, was overseen by the renowned architect Giles Gilbert Scott, who gave it an Art Deco interior. The plant took on its existing aspect when the second unit was built in the Fifties. It was finally decommissioned in 1983. Battersea Power Station became famous after Pink Floyd pictured it on their “Animals” album cover. Its characteristic silhouette was also picked up by other artists and filmmakers. The “cathedral of power” and land around it is now the subject of an £8 billion redevelopment which will restore the building to its former glory as well as create 3,500 new homes, offices, shops, restaurants, a theatre, a six-acre park and a £1 billion London Underground link

Picture: Sylvain Margaine

Castello di Sammezzano, Reggello, Italy

10. Castello di Sammezzano, Reggello, Italy

Sammezzano castle was built in the early 17th Century in the Tuscan town of Reggello, 19 miles from Florence. Its remarkable Moorish architecture is a succession of domes and arches in an array of colours. In the 19th century, Marquis Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona renovated the interior galleries and added to their general eclecticism. On former agricultural land around the buildings, he designed a vast park filled with exotic plants. The castle was auctioned in 1999 to be converted into a luxury hotel complex, but later abandoned and inevitably fell prey to passing looters.

Picture: Sylvain Margaine

Source: Telegraph;