A Taste of Education

In the 1950’s a workers’ institute was founded in a small village. The main aim of it was to provide education to trade union actives and to weaken the strong pro-communist opinions in the area back then. The institute received funding from the USA. It has been rumoured, that even the CIA was involved, but this may be just a rumour.

The institute was very active still in the 1980’s and a new canteen was built alongside the 50’s buildings. By the mid 90’s the amount of students had fallen dramatically, and the old buildings had become expensive to keep. The trade union sold the buildings and activities to a local organization providing similar education.

Although the buildins were elegant and valuable, their location became a problem. They were in a small village in the countryside some five kilometres from a major village and 25 kilometres from the nearest city. In 2002 the organization moved its activities to the city. The buildings found new use, but were later abandoned and have stood empty since 2010. The local museum wanted to list them as protected, but years of neglect and vandalism did their job.

When I arrived on the scene, demolition permit had already been granted, but nothing had yet been done. If vandalism isn’t counted as pre-demolition.

The original institute consisted of the light coloured main building and two darker wings in a wide U-shape.

The looks of the wings are deceiving. They look like wooden, but are actually made of bricks underneath.

The other wing. The wings and the main building are not actually connected. A shelter has been built between the doors so, that you can get from one house to another without getting wet. The bluish building on the left is the canteen which was built in the 1980’s.

This is what it looked like in the lobby.

The lobby from the other direction.

A sawmill was originally located on the grounds of the academy. The river flows right behind the last birches.

It was getting dark outside and my camera really wasn’t that good, so I decided to leave photography to another time. I didn’t want to use the flash, as there were houses right on the opposite side of the road running past the place.

We explored the main building and entered one of the wings. We then discovered a mattress and some food remains. Someone had very recently spent a night in the building, and we really didn’t want to meet him. So much for the adventure this time, then.

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