Bad News From Spain

Did I already mention, that former mental asylums were a thing that summer. I didn’t? Well, former mental asylums were a thing that summer.

Here we have one beautiful hospital building again from the 1920’s. But wait a second, doesn’t it look like it’s very much in use?

It does indeed. It currently serves as a daycare centre, the largest in the country.

And here is the former women’s hospital. Built in 1939, it now hosts a hospital museum.

This is the old main building from 1959. After the hospital was closed in 1997, a company was founded to develop the area. This building is in office use and the development has actually been so successful, that all premises of the former hospital are full. They have even built more buildings to the area.

Even the former staff apartments have been renovated and are still in use. So what am I doing here?

I came to have look at this.

This building is a former aparment house of hospital staff. When the hospital was closed, the houses were sold to private investors. This particular one was immediately resold to a Spanish lady, who applied for permission to renovate it in 2003.

No renovations happened, and the owner wasn’t exactly too eager to pay the bills. In 2009 both electricity and heating were turned off because of unpaid bills. The owner then paid the bills. There were still tenants, but in early 2010 the town forbade the use of the building as unsafe. The owner had started the renovations, which had been interrupted, and the fire safety of the building was compromised as a result.

New life moved in – birds. Since 2014 neighbours started complaining about them as a health hazard. It was also feared, that broken glass would fall on kids, who had started to use the yard as a playground.

The windows were shut with plywood around 2017 or 2018. Both the town and the investor, who renovated the house next door, have been trying to buy this one, but the owner asks for too much.

Meanwhile the house stays as it is.

Two Schools In One Shot

Every once in a while you spot something interesting while driving. This time it was this.

A beautiful old school building, which had definitely seen better days. Like the older building of the mental asylum I covered in my previous post, even this beauty had been built in the 1920’s as a school for kids in the area.

The school soon became too small and a larger school was built next to it in 1964 – the very same year as the mental asylum was enlarged. School use in this old building ended way back in 1993 and it had sat unused and without upkeep for several years now.

The story was very similar to the mental asylum here, too. The school building was in a very bad shape and in fact had been empty since 2019.

The pupils had been studying in these barracks since then. The newer school building was already destined for demolition while it was a bit unclear what would be done with the older building, which had significant values.

What really struck me was, how nice teenagers were in this town. I mean this building had been empty for around a year, yet there wasn’t a single broken window. The same thing applied to the old mental asylum, which had also stood abandoned for some time.

I guess they have better things to do. Too bad.

Just Another Mental Asylum

Abandoned mental asylums had sort of been the thing of this summer. I had found a nice and useful list of former mental asylums, and as I now was doing a tour on Finland, I decided to visit them all.

This mental asylum had originally been a mansion, which was bought by the town to be used as a municipal home. In the 1960’s a large new hospital building was built and the place became a mental asylum. Even staff apartments were built to the area.

In the 2010’s the hospital had vacated the old mansion, which now housed a unit for alcoholists and other people with difficulties with their living. The 1960’s hospital building was starting to be in a rather bad shape, so they decided to close everything down and move the units to the town centre.

The premises were vacated, the town bought the area and slated several buildings for demolition.

The first building I found in the area was a former auxiliary building and heating facility built in the late 1970’s.

The mansion and former municipal home from the 1920’s. This building is protected and the planned demolition didn’t affect it.

The building was wonderful, but judging by the state of the stairs also in the need of a renovation. The problem was its location. It was far away from everything.

Next to it was the main hospital. Its impending demolition really wasn’t a loss to Finnish architecture.

The hospital was built on a hillside facing a small lake. It had two floors, but the lower one was partially underground.

The building was so long, it was impossible to picture it in just one photo.

This building was behind the old mansion. I first thought that it was a part of the hospital, but it later turned out that this wasn’t the case. We’ll get to this story later.

The staff apartments next to the hospitals were still in use.

One room completely filled with files. I wonder, what was inside them.

The low wing contained some garages and stuff. Someone has even forgotten an old ambulance here.

This is kind of funny, if you understand Finnish. The text says Danger of explosion in this space, but the space could also translate to state – saying literally that being an ex is a state where there’s a danger of explosion.

The two storey part of the hospital was the shape of the letter E with the wings facing the lake.

One thing, which puzzled me a lot, was, that nothing had been broken despite the building having been empty already for some time. Local vandals weren’t very talented, it seemed.

Another thing, which greatly puzzled me was, that a mini golf course was stored in the back yard of the hospital. I mean, where had it come from.

I’m probably not the only one, who prefers the old to the new here.

There was really nothing else to do here apart from my walkaround.

The Forest Cottage

Next to a highway between two rural towns I spotted this.

A tiny cottage with covered windows, such a common sight outside Finnish cities.

Only the windows facing the road were covered. This was a clear sign of abandonment.

The yard was fully overgrown and it was a bit difficult to reach the door through all the burning nettles.

But in the end I did manage to get inside. The interior was very traditional and very primitive. The table and the benches were of a very traditional style. There was even a large baking oven and a bread shovel on the wall.

The destruction was pretty total. Even the floor had collapsed.

There were actually two ovens in the building, the large baking oven and the smaller, traditional stove. I believe, that the baking oven was a later addition and this was the original one.

Like I said, the cottage was very primitive. There really was nothing extra here. The wood plane indicates, that things were done by hand here.

A sign of modern life: an electric stove and oven.

This blurry image shows the edition of forest magazine from 1997. The address behind the magazine was to a row house apartment in the nearby town, so apparently there has been no life in the cottage that late.

So much for that little hut, then.

A Dream Vacation

Here we go again. The road ends in a cape in a remote location. I’ve received info about a location I should visit from a friend, and it looks like I’ve found what I’ve been looking for.

We are literally in the middle of nowhere, and there’s a tennis court here. It looks like it just needs a net and it would be all set for playing. Even the lines are there.

Oh! Will there be someone receiving me?

Not just a reception but a large restaurant complete with a terrace. The place I was tipped about was an old camping site, and it looks like the services have been pretty good out here back in the days. Now it’s all closed and rotting, of course.

It looks like the place is very much accessible.

The chairs did look pretty comfortable, too. They had been used to break the windows, but I still had to be careful when going in. I was again totally unequipped wearing mini shorts and flip flops.

I eventually managed to gain entry by sitting on a window board and hauling myself over broken glass.

The place looked really cozy. So cozy, that I’d probably have fancied a beer here. There had even been a small stage for performers, so probably one or another favour former star had performed here.

It also looked a bit like the restaurant had been enlarged at some point. The windows on the back of the room might have previously led outside.

There was even a small cloakroom. I doubt that it had ever been properly equipped with bouncers and stuff.

I can just imagine a midsummer night with a good band and some dancing.

Welcome to the dark side of the restaurant. With a nice bar and stuff.

The view from behind the windows. I believe this to have been the original part of the building with the larger pavilion added later on. Don’t ask me why, I just got the impression.

So the reception really is in a separate building from the restaurant? Well, I guess it works this way too.

Even the reception building had a large terrace. A band could have played here, too, and we really could have had a nice ball.

It looks like the reception has originally functioned as the bar of the area, but that has been insufficient and a new building has been built. I mean, why would a place like this otherwise have two bars?

The other side of the reception as seen through a window. I couldn’t access this building, as the door was still locked, and the broken glass in the lower parts of the windows prevented entry in the same manner as to the restaurant.

And this is why I felt uneasy the whole time. I already saw all the cars when I came to the location, and apparently all the people were having a party on the beach next to the area. But still I couldn’t be too sure about not meeting all these people in the buildings.

Well, I survived, the buildings did not. They had both been demolished by 2022, when I returned to the site.

The Yellow House

I originally spotted this location next to a narrow road on the outskirts of a small town, when I realized that it looked overgrown and abandoned. I didn’t have time to explore it back then, but when making my way up North on another journey, I gave it another go.

Trees and bushes covering the yard and house plus broken windows. They’re clear signs of abandonment.

Definitely abandoned. It looks like a former residential building, but some details are a bit puzzling. Normal, rural residential buildings don’t have doors or porches like that. Yet I couldn’t figure out what else this could have been if not a residential building.

Even hours of digging through the Facebook group of this town have shed no light to the mystery. So let’s just agree that it was the home of a very wealthy family. Or then it contained several smaller apartments.

As the door was sealed, I had to climb in through a window.

Large doorways were a thing in this house. The round shape of that one is a later addition.

The fireplace does look somewhat strange. Perhaps the original fireplace had been removed and a brick wall built instead.

The other room featured lots of trash and a trashed cupboard.

The house would have been very beautiful if it had been taken care of.

On the other side of the main entrance was a large bathroom. It was definitely a later addition, not an original feature.

And why I believe things to be that way? Because this was the bathroom window.

Another room featuring lots of trash and a smashed fireplace.

Another reshaped doorway. The one who renovated this place clearly had a thing for them.

Back at the room where I started from. I wonder, where that beautiful old door is from.

Upstairs we go then.

Somehow I came to think, that this building was undergoing a renovation, which had been interrupted for some reason. Everything was looking so incomplete.

The mess continued upstairs. All the leaves and stuff must have come off the trees during countless autumn storms.

The feeling of interrupted renovations just grew here. Either that or the vandals have done a proper job.

This room had been stripped to bare wood. Also the roof was leaking and the leak had already damaged the floor.

Another indication that renovations had started. This has apparently been a kitchen, but the kitchen is missing.

It is also a bit puzzling to me that the kitchen was upstairs, as this is highly unusual in Finland. This further makes me believe, that the building had been divided into at least two apartments, one on ground floor and one one floor up.

Another photo from the former kitchen. The missing floor board is a rather scary feature.

So much for this house then. The bathroom window can be seen on the right.

It is kind of sad that the building is in this shape. After all, it was a nice looking large house. But with the leaking roof, I think that its days are numbered.

The Fish Finger School Part IX

As we reached the basement, we had gone through the whole building accessible from the main entrance. In addition to the school and the stairway with the former teachers’ apartments, there was another stairway, which was only accessible from the outside. The door to it is the one on right.

The balconies featured some of the largest and best made graffiti in this building. Especially the one on the middle balcony was nice.

The stairway was basically a mirror image of the other one, except there was no entrance to the main school here.

The apartments here were larger and lighter here than in the other stairway.

Even the kitchens in this wing were original. They have gotten large graffiti pieces on the walls.

At this point we were distracted by a family of three picking flowers on the field on the opposite side of the road.

But even these apartments had been used as classrooms. The blackboard solution is rather innovative here.

These classrooms were much smaller than the ones in the school. Although the kitchens are original, some renovations have been made during the years. The lamps and the roof are not original.

Another kitchen in its original shape. They have really gone where the barrier is the lowest. Living rooms have been changed into classrooms, other rooms have been retained as they have been.

In some apartments even the smaller rooms have been converted to school space.

The former inhabitants have even enjoyed having a garden view from their windows.

Now it’s not about shoes anymore. Somebody actually forgot their trousers inside the abandoned school.

Some of the apartments were more damaged than others. This one had loads of wood chips on its floor.

This apartment had apparently been in apartment use for longer than the others as it had gotten a new kitchen.

Up, up we go.

The amount of wood chips was suprising. We were actually wondering where they came from as there were no wooden floors in this wing.

Once again this would have been a beautiful apartment with a touch of vintage. The doors were lovely.

The kitchens were on the side of the entrance, the living rooms on the side of the main school. Here’s yet another one in its original appearance.

Unfortunately we had to end our adventure here. Through the windows we had seen the kids we met earlier on the yard. They were walking from the main school towards the Language house. They were wearing hoods and masks and one of them was carrying a metal bar. They entered the Language house and started smashing things.

We really didn’t want to encounter them again, so we left.

The Fish Finger School Part VIII

This was apparently the music class, as there were a lot of music books and sheets on the floor.

In addition to music books there was drawing related stuff on the floor.

Harry Potter stuff. Yay!

The books did seem a little bit outdated. Even my generation had more modern ones.

Drawing on desktops was something we did a lot during primary school. Luckily I was never caught.

At this point we started hearing noise from the main school. It sounded like somebody was smashing things up there.

The freshest markings on the walls were from the day of our visit.

Preparing food in a microwave owen. Suppose that’s important for secondary school pupils.

After going through the second floor we did something which I usually don’t do. We went back to the staircase and entered the basement.

This is the boiler room. Probably there has been an oil powered central heating system back in the days, but now that the school has been connected to the heating network, that has been removed.

One more post to go – this time.

The Fish Finger School Part VII

On the other side of the wall to the narrow roof was a side corridor with classrooms. The corridor was very light and very nice.

The rooms were spacious and the ceiling was pretty high. Everything had been smashed here. Even lamps had been torn from the ceiling.

Once again I’ve found the final coffee of the school. The previous time it was still in the coffee machine, now it’s just on the table.

Even this classroom was totally smashed.

The classrooms had windows near the ceiling with large shades. Even they had been damaged some way.

Sheet music printed on transparent sheets and used on overhead projectors. Although still common in my youth, I haven’t seen any projectors in this school.

So the kids have been making flowers.

All chairs and tables in the room have been thrown in one pile.

The pupils have had their own lockers, it seems.

A Swedish notebook by someone. As Swedish is one of the most hated subjects in schools, I don’t wonder at all, why they didn’t take it home with them when they graduated.

Even a Swedish test is laying in the rubble. The grade is’t even that bad.

Posters. The best lessons were, when we were allowed to do those. Every time we started a new subject on a lesson, we asked our teacher, if we could do posters. Often we could.

That one is about Norway.

They have even destroyed the fluorescent tube lamps. That is always especially smart, as the tubes contain hazardous substances like quicksilver.

Mimmy has written their name on two different walls, as one wasn’t enough.

Some of the classrooms had cupboards and wash basins at the back.

It wasn’t just the people of Vantaa and Espoo arguing. A local gang from another corner of Vantaa had left their mark on this classroom.

The sinks and closets were a feature of several of the classrooms.

More destroyed fluorescent bulbs. The strenght to tear the lamps from the ceiling has been achieved by eating Pringles.

To be continued.

The Fish Finger School Part VI

The pen has been attached to a wall to avoid theft. So somebody removed the wall.

The back room of the school kitchen. The city has tried to avoid unauthorized visitors by blocking windows, but it has proved to be pretty useless.

At this point we also realized that we weren’t alone in the building. There was a group of young teenage boys, who we met in the canteen. They seemed pretty polite and even greeted us when we met.

Most kitchen appliances had been removed, but the fridges were still there.

These are the doors, where the strange feet were hanging when we first arrived. They led to a stairway.

Like I said several times earlier, this was called the Language house.

According to this there had been a teachers’ meeting just a few weeks back. That is bullshit, and the text has been written by a former pupil. The school had been closed for more than a year at that point.

The location of the classrooms behind the kitchen revealed, that the use of the rooms had been changed at some point. The solutions were pretty innovative.

A lost shoe, the most common thing found in abandoned buildings. Wonder, where all the Cinderellas of Finland are.

The small classrooms in the staircase behind the kitchen had balconies. They have probably been teacher apartments as it was very common back in the 50’s and 60’s to house them at schools. This was a way to attract teachers to schools in remote locations, and this was one.

The kitchens were probably in their original appearance from the 50’s. That is real vintage.

The door up front leads to the back of the kitchen. The stairs down the right head to the exit. Up front is a mystery.

Oh yes, definitely old teachers’ apartments. Did I already mention, that I love the 1950’s handrails.

The wooden doors are original too. These would have become wonderful apartments with a touch of vintage had they been located somewhere else.

The bathroom floor was original, too. It was made of the same hexagonal tiles as the one in my own bathroom back then.

Another kitchen. This one has suffered much less vandalism than the previous one. Despite its age it’s in a remarkably good shape.

So we reach the second floor. The architecture of the building is rather interesting here, but ok.

To be continued.