Paper Mill revisited

4. August 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 3 - 4 min.

english fotografie urban exploration


In a previous post I reported about an old abandoned paper mill in Germany. This factory was the most impressive object I have ever visited, so we started another attempt to get some good shots there.


Although pictures of this location have spread out of all urban exploration sites I know, the location still is some kind of untouched and not as cluttered with waste as you might expect when you think of a big factory which is decaying for almost 40 years.


The last visit was approximately two years ago and things changed a lot. Nature took back more and more. The most impressive item there still is the giant birch on the top of the really old part of the factory. The roots of it are getting thicker and thicker and they more and more blast the masonry. Unfortunately it was some kind of impossible to document this giant tree in a fascinating way.

Ferns, Paper Mill, Germany

To do photographs in this location is very difficult, because you have extremely dark and extremely bright objects next to each other. And the rotten atmosphere is so exciting that it is difficult to concentrate on image composition and things like that. So when I was back home I had to recognise that the number of good photos was not as high.


The picture set is some kind of the second try documenting the unique appeal of this location. Click here to see the complete photo set on flickr. If you want to compare these shoots with older ones, feel free to follow this link to an older flickr set.

Centrale Électrique

19. März 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 2 - 3 min.

english fotografie urban exploration

This location was a little bit weird. It was the 3rd destination on our Luxembourg-Trip. After we visited le Petit Café and Poussière Rouge this power plant was the next on our list.

Click here to view all pictures of this location or continue reading for a small report.

Monstre de Refroidissement


Usually when we enter an industrial brownfield area we are on our own. Everything is abandoned and quiet. From time to time you meet another photographer. But at this location everything was different.


Control center

10 or 20 photographers plus a lot of teenagers were in that area and in that building. A few played soccer in the basement of the former power plant.


Well I am quite sure that I don’t want my children to play in a place like this. All the broken glass and the unstable ground plates are not a safe place, indeed.


Although there were no machines in there and almost everything was demolished and covered with graffiti, the location was very special and impressive.


Poussière Rouge

17. März 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 2 - 3 min.

english fotografie urban exploration

The Luxemburg-trip was very successful. After le petit Café we started over to an abandoned iron ore production site. One of the remaining buildings of that site was some kind of huge silo hall.

Water Pit

Poussière Rouge

The silo was divided into two parts: one was crossed by red dust of the iron ore (see above) and the other part was maybe colored by the lime which was mixed to the ore (see below).

Poussière Blanche

Seaux Surexposées

Down in the basement there was a water pit and some kind of outflow device for the ore. I have completely no idea, how exactly the ore was produced here but the decaying remains of this structure were a very impressive experience. We were very lucky because the weather was fine and so we got the first sunny days of the year… and the sun gave us a very special light condition there.

Down the Drain

Éclat vert

Click here to take a look at the whole photo set on flickr.

Le petit Café

12. März 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 3 min.

english fotografie urban exploration


Last weekend we did a short trip to Luxemburg and Belgium. The first location of that two-day photo trip was a little old Café in Luxemburg. It was abandoned a couple of decades ago and not only had a small banquet hall but also a nine-pin bowling alley and some old moldy guest rooms in the first floor.


Above you can see the old piano, which was situated in the banquet hall and an old commode standing in the floor below. The strings of the piano were rusty and all keys were gone with the humidity of the room. That’s some kind of pain to see an instrument like this in that constitution.


One of the guest rooms in the first floor:

Lueur rouge

Abat-jour rouge

And as a highlight: the attic with some relicts of a agriculture background of this building – shoulder collars.

Collier d'épaule

Above there you could see, that a lot of photographers have been there, because they draped the items in that room to a plenty of Still Lifes. I usually don’t like manipulating the scenery I see there, but I think the Still Life below was the most unconventional.

Papillon et bouteille

Follow this link to see the whole photo set.

Tiger and Turtle

14. Februar 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 3 - 4 min.

architektur english fotografie reisen


Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain” is the title of a huge walkable sculpture in Duisburg, Germany. It was designed by Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth and was constructed in the course of the project Ruhr.2010 – European Capital Of Culture.

Tiger and Turtle

In this region of Germany – the Ruhrgebiet – and especially in Duisburg many mining and steel production sites are situated. In the 1990s the number of those production sites decreased drastically and people had to be creative in managing the structural change from an industrially dominated region to a tertiary dominated.

So you can find a lot of projects like Tiger and Turtle in the Ruhrgebiet, which try to reuse industrial brownfield areas and are developed as a reminiscence of the historical usage.

The history of those industrial days is perceived as a cultural asset which has to be honored.

Blue Sky

The sculpture was constructed on a former clinker dump of a Zinc Smelting plant and is a landmark which is formed like a big roller coaster. If you travel to this well worth seeing point of interest, you are able to enter the sculpture and walk around on it.

Orbit Muddle

All in all it is about 20 meters high and it refers to the historical location because it was constructed with galvanized steel. When you arrive after sunset, you will see, that the landmark is illuminated and creates an outstanding atmosphere.

Misty Edge

Tiger and Turtle Stairs

Misty Bend

If you plan a visit, take Line 903 to Hüttenheim and exit at “Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain”.

My photos on Deutsche Welle

6. Februar 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 1 min.

english fotografie gedanken urban exploration

A few of my photos have been published on “Deutsche Welle Farsi”. You can take a look following this link.

Destroying Buildings

28. Januar 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 3 min.

architektur english fotografie gedanken urban exploration

Buildings are constructed by humans and intended to last for a very long time. If you think about a force that may destroy buildings around you, you may think about explosives or devastating weapons.

When you walk through a decaying piece of industrial brownfield, you get to know a different type of destructive force: mother nature.

When a building is constructed, nature loses some area wich is now occupied by human beings. When those buildings are abandoned and left-behind, nature slowly takes back the area step by step.

Plants and moss

First you can see a few colonies of moss on the masonry or on the roof tiles. Ferns follow and after a few years, other plants like grass of even trees are growing all over.



While grass, plants and moss break down the masonry very tardily, the roots of a tree (i.e. birches) can disintegrate a wall within a few years.

Once I saw a building with a few trees on the rooftop. When I entered the building on the ground floor, I saw that the roots of the birches thrilled down from the roof to the joints of the masonry in the ground story.

Trees and masonry (zoom)

So as time passes by, those mosses, ferns, plants, trees and other vegetation are able to dismantle huge buildings and raze them to the ground.

By the way, sometimes people help nature destroying those buildings like in this bakery:


A police squad did an exercise with explosives in this building. Fortunately we weren’t in there when they did that ;-)



Coking Plant

14. Januar 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 3 min.

architektur english fotografie urban exploration

Some months ago I visited  a former coking plant. These of the pictures try to show the the incredible atmosphere


This coking plant and the surrounding area looked like a cathedral which was bombed in World War III. Those two huge chimneys of the former coking plant have been blown down to secure this brownfield area but they were expected to fall down to the grassland and not into the building. On the picture above you can see the damage of the building due to that fallen chimney.

This is the blasted chimney.

Warzone Cathedral

Walking on this area felt like walking within a ware zone. Everything looks like bombs have fallen down and huge relicts of the former industry buildings are getting overgrown by vegetation.

Going up to the control tower was a very special feeling with a beatiful view of that building and the swath of destruction which was reclaimed by birches, bushes and buzzards.

birch cathedral

Out for a break

The entire factory was disassembled in Germany and rebuilt in China in the 2000s.

Chinese Handcart

Coking Hallway


You can see the entire photo collection on the flickr-set.

Military Museum

8. Januar 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 3 min.

english fotografie technologie urban exploration


Last November we visited an abandoned museum. It was about military technology and a lot of exhibits were just standing on an acre or a yard like the soviet-designed medium twin-turbine Transport helicopter Ми-8 (Mil Mi-8, see above).

Lots of tanks (mainly German Bundeswehr or Former Warsaw Pact army), police trucks, a few combat aircrafts, military helicopters as well as civilian helicopters are just standing there under the open sky and are fully exposed to wind and weather. The pictures show, what all the corrosion made to those former high tech military products.

When you approach to the location, you can see the MiG-21 (МиГ-21, called “Fishbed”) from far away.


In the front garden of the neighbor’s house you can see an old police-vehicle with a water cannon on it. Wasserwerfer 64 was designed by the police of West Berlin in 1964. “Bitte Abstand halten” means “Please keep your distance”.

Wasserwerfer 64

The BTR-60 (below) was an armored soviet personnel carrier. The vehicle was used by the NVA (East-Germany).


A second exemplar of a Mig 21 was standing in the yard. The soviet supersonic jet fighter once was owned by the NVA and became a Bundeswehr machine after the German reunification.


On the image below you can see the soviet 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled artillery vehicle.

2С3 Ака́ция

The image below shows a German Kanonenjagdpanzer 4-5.


You can see all pictures on the flickr set. Thanks to Patrick for all the technical infos.

Old Bathhouse

5. Januar 2014 - gesus - Lesezeit: 2 min.

architektur english fotografie urban exploration

Grand Pool

This old bathhouse was built in 1929. It consisted of two pools originally intended to have separate pools for men and women.  After years passed by, one pool was covered with hardwood floor and it was used as a gymnasium for the school next to the building. The floor at some point was demolished as there were multiple fire incidents probably due to some vandals.

Balcony and Pool



Even today you can smell a touch of chlorine when you enter the building. Because of the fires, this smell changes if you are in the ‘dark pool’ room (below). The basketball board is a relict of those times, the room was used as a gymnasium.

Basket Ball Pool

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