Romantic Ruins

The intriguing beauty of neglect

Words: Lee Tulloch, Photography: Tony Amos
Abandoned villa, Marsala, Sicily
Dome of the Chora; facade, Chiangir, Istanbul, Turkey
Murals, St Antony's, Bucharest, Romania
Graffiti, Ortigia, Sicily; relics, chapel, Monteverdi, Tuscany
Abandoned street, Mumbai; mausoleum, Vukovar, Croatia
Facade, balcony, Bucharest, Romania
Empty building, Venice; cemetery, Copenhagen
Smashed bottle, demolished building, Palermo, Italy
Ancient foundations, Malfa, Salina, Aeolian Islands.
Fortress wall, Parga, Greece
Spire under restoration; timber house, Istanbul, Turkey
Herder's shack, Delos, Greece
Antiquities, Delos, Greece
Houses around Nizwa fort, Oman
Galle, Sri Lanka
Galle, Sri Lanka
Church, waterfront house, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka
Interior of deserted house, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka
Crumbling house, east of Galle, Sri Lanka
Ta Prohm, Wat Nokor, Cambodia
Walls of old house, Rarotonga, Cook islands
Staircase, Eagles Nest; table, Old Westbury Gardens, Long Island, NY
Headless statue, Oheka Castle, Long Island, New York
Shack, Port Stanley, Falkland islands
Political mural, dead trees, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego
Seaman's Internacional Discotheque, Valparaiso, Chile
Ruined house, Valparaiso, Chile
Shop window, mural, Valparaiso, Chile
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The world is full

of palaces and penthouses, but when we travel we don’t look for perfection. Instead, we gravitate towards the beautifully dilapidated – the broken down palazzo, the forgotten house, the bombed out apartment building, the abandoned villa that has been overtaken by time and nature.

We love crumbling balconies, ravaged walls, decaying vaults, dusty crypts, disintegrating mosaics, faded murals, corroding ironwork, peeling paint, blighted plasterwork, aged timbers, broken tiles, ancient foundations, shattered roofs, scarred doors, gutted factories, mutilated statues and overgrown temples.

Whatever is languishing and forlorn, we’ll find beauty in it. Why? Because the neglected is intriguing. Who lived in these places? What caused them to be abandoned? Why does no one care for them now? Even in their most blighted state, these places still have the mark of history on them. They are soulful, when so much that is new is soulless.

Look around you. There are glorious ruins everywhere, even in a modern city like Copenhagen or in Tierra del Fuego, at the end of the earth. It may simply be the shell of an old warehouse in an inner urban neighbourhood, awaiting gentrification, or an old shepherd’s shack on the side of a Greek island where no tourists visit. There may be only a fireplace left, or a solitary  iron railing. But these things have survived their obsolescence, some through wars, earthquake, fire and flood.

They can’t be reclaimed, but they can be admired.







Sri Lanka



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  1. If you have a romantic ruin that you would like Mr Amos to photograph, please do get in touch.

  2. by Mr Amos on March 2nd, 2015 at 4:17 pm

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