Photographer captures Europe's decaying ruins in haunting photos

Hans van Vrouwerf Ruins PhotographyHans van VrouwerfAn abandoned building shot by Hans van Vrouwerf.

There’s a perpetual air of mystery surrounding the abandoned buildings of the world.

Intrepid photographers like Hans van Vrouwerf aim to clear that mystery. They explore the rotting, decaying buildings left to the wild for decades so you don’t have to.

Netherlands-based ban Vrouwerf has explored dozens of abandoned buildings all across Europe and shared with us a few of his favourite shots of asylums, factories, churches, and more left to the elements.

In an interview with Curbed, he explains a bit about his technique and experience photographing the buildings.

Hans shared his photos with us, along with the captions, which are in his own words. For more of his photography, check out his website.

Netherlands-based photographer Hans van Vrouwerf searches all over Europe for decaying buildings to photograph.

Faith is what you will find in almost every house I visit. Only the thoughts remain in this bedroom.

According to his interview with Curbed, he finds the buildings by going through old news articles and finding the sites on Google Maps.

A big university complex with lots of rooms. This (room) was in a better state than the rest was.

He's travelled from France to Poland and all across Europe in search of these abandoned buildings.

An old abandoned paper factory where nature is taking over.

Once he finds the hidden sites, they're usually locked down tight.

An old theatre where they started to clean up ... but never finished

To get the interior shots, he often finds himself climbing in through broken windows.

This theatre was closed for years. It was mainly stripped of all the good stuff, but you can still see it is of a very old age.

He told Curbed they are 'almost eerie places that seem to grab you and just show you what happens when people leave and nature takes over.'

(Van Vrouwerf) found this couch in a very small house ... cracked and worn out.

While 'all of them have their own charm,' van Vrouwerf counts small houses, churches, and monasteries as his favourite buildings to photograph.

A part of a home with lots of stuff left. It was actually built on the bottom of a mountain, which is why you can only see a natural wall through the window.

The favourite building he's ever photographed was a monastery in Belgium.

An old abandoned chapel, slowy crumbling somewhere in eastern Europe.

Van Vrouwerf called it a 'real joy to explore and photograph' the building.

A very small and low built house. An old man used to live (here.)

He says that religious buildings are great because they are so accessible.

(Van Vrouwerf) went up the creaking stairs in this old abandoned mansion and found this scene.

It's now been re-converted, but the old building had character and its corridors were set up like a maze.

An endless hallway in an old school. This place was like a maze.

'Almost every building has its own character, and with the right amount of time and the correct light it can become extraordinary,' he told Curbed.

We entered this 'chateau' and didn't expect much of it until we got upstairs and saw this scene.

Of course, van Vrouwerf doesn't hit the jackpot every time with his abandoned building exploration.

An old movie theatre.

Buildings completely ruined by graffiti or destroyed by local trouble makers are van Vrouwerf's least favourite places to explore.

At this moment totally reconverted. Used to be a veterinary school

Van Vrouwerf told Business Insider he never stages his photographs.

Found in an old mine, the baskets seen in this image are for the clothes of those that worked there.

This serene scene bedroom scene was captured exactly as he found it.

Looks like somebody needed to be remembered. An old bedroom in a huge villa.

Van Vrouwerf has actually been caught many times while taking his abandoned buildings photography.

An old metal plant.

He told Business Insider that, one time, two police officers holding their guns caught him poking around an old cinema building.

Found this in an old nursing home with a church attached to it. This was most likely the main hall where people entered.

Lucky for him, he wasn't arrested. Instead, the police officers heard his story, looked through his photos, and told him to be careful.

A very old factory where they made tiles for roofs. It was a really rotten place with a great atmosphere.

He's actually been caught many times, but luckily has still never seen the inside of the police station.

Sun rays light up an old abandoned swimming pool.

For all the eeriness of his photography, van Vrouwerf doesn't believe there's anything spooky going on. 'I'm actually really down to earth and I don't believe in a higher power or what so ever,' he told us.

Shot in an old abandoned swimming pool where woman and men had a separate entrances. The doors you see lead to small rooms with bath tubs or tanning (beds).

Looking for more photos of abandoned buildings left to the elements?

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