Whenever visiting any village that summer, I tried to find something to photograph. In the more modest villages it was perhaps the church, so anything more interesting than that would do, really.
I usually just looked up the biggest building of the village, which often was a school. That was ok, school architecture up until the early 1960’s is really beautiful and nice.
I was travelling to a village some 10 kilometres from a nearby town. There was one major building, and I expected to find another school. But as soon as I saw a block of flats way oversized, I realized that I had found something else. They didn’t build such things next to schools. They built them next to hospitals.
I parked my car by the road and approached carefully by foot. There were cars on the parking lot, but they all had their plates removed. Especially the one on the right looks like it will never move again. The place did seem deserted enough for me to get closer.
The first buildings had been built in the early 20th century, and the place had been enlarged numerous times during the following decades. Originally it had been a municipal home, but in the 1950’s it specialized.
It felt pretty strange to find opening hours in English in a place like this. And although the sign said that they were open, I had serious doubts about it.
There are some buildings, which can be recognized by their architecture. This building had been a municipal home and it had later specialized in treating the mentaly ill. I had accidentally stumbled upon a mental asylum.
The complex was huge and it seemed abandoned enough for me to approach. There was a camping trailer parked next to it, but I saw no life. The building’s windows and doors were intact, though, and somebody had cut the grass this year.
I admit I had trouble entering abandonements that summer. I had found many, but retreated before I got any closer. I had already missed a lot of opportunities, and that Hell’s Angels sticker was so unwelcoming, that I left.
The road to the parking lot had been blocked by large rocks. When I got back to my car I started researching the history of the place.
It had indeed been a municipal home, which had been enlarged in the 1950’s to a mental asylum. In the early 2000’s they started slowly moving functions away from the place and the hospital was closed down in 2006. After that several organizations providing rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abusers or mental illness patients were housed there, but the property has been empty and for sale for years.
Especially the building’s last use puzzled me. Since when have the Hell’s Angels been a mental illness rehabilitation organization?