Beautiful Decay: A Castle in Spain

Last month I wrote about Abandoned Psych Wards Photographers Love Sneaking Into, and mentioned that my buddy Martino is one of my favorite urban explorer photographers. Well, he's got some new images up on his flickr stream that are some of the most beautiful -- and the most remarkably preserved -- photos of abandonment I've ever seen. The subject itself makes them remarkable -- the inside of a palatial home, which if it existed and was empty (and unguarded) in the United States, I'm almost certain would've been stripped bare long ago. I guess that's the difference between the US and Europe -- in Europe, cool-looking old buildings are downright common. In the US, everyone would be peeking in the windows.

Above is the library. Check out an amazing detail of the books on the shelves after the jump. (Yes, I said it. The jump.)

In many years of urban exploration, Martino says he's never seen books that decayed. They've literally fused into one giant mega-book.

Martino writes about his adventure:

After 3 months of intense research online and offline we gave up. The few pictures we saw of a beautiful castle in Spain could not give us a lead to point out the exact location of this place.

Finally we turned to our contacts in Spain and after a few weeks we got a mail back that the castle might've been found. They checked it out and indeed it was the one. A short time later we flew to Spain and drove to a hostel in the neighbourhood. While we're chilling and having a beer we got a text message saying: "....the castle has been closed off...."

The next morning we got up early and went to check out the castle ourselves. We found a way in but a door has been closed. Damn! Bart tries again leaning into the door and it gave way. Nobody has closed this off, there's been a small collapse just behind it.

We spend a few hours inside photographing one the most untouched places I've seen so far. Sometimes we have to be really quiet because people are walking there dogs outside the castle Just at the other side of the wall from us.

I want to see pictures of the outside, of course, but if those got out, then it would be a whole lot easier for people to find this place, and spoil it. But it sounds from Martino's description like a kind of "urban" castle, IE a giant palatial home in the middle of a town.

Here's the master bedroom:

But the jewel in the crown, I think, are the kids' beds. It's straight out of a Tim Burton movie. Look at that wrought iron! And the light! Good god.

For more, check out Martino's flickr page.

Quick True/False: World Capitals
Bain News Service - Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
10 Pats Born on St. Patrick's Day
A photo from the 1919 wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught to the Hon. Alexander Ramsay.
A photo from the 1919 wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught to the Hon. Alexander Ramsay.
Bain News Service - Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Need some St. Patrick's Day conversation fodder that doesn't involve leprechauns or four-leaf clovers? Ask your friends to name a "Pat" born on St. Patrick's Day. If they can't, they owe you a drink—then you can wow them with this list of 10.


Princess Patricia was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who gave up all of her royal titles when she married a commoner. She was born at Buckingham Palace on March 17, 1886.


The Dallas star was born on March 17, 1949. And here's a totally random fact about Duffy: His nephew is Barry Zito, former MLB pitcher for the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants.


Pattie Boyd
Larry Ellis, Express/Getty Images

Pattie Boyd is well-known to lovers of classic rock: She has been married three times, including once to George Harrison and once to Eric Clapton, who both wrote a couple of the most romantic songs in rock history in her honor (including The Beatles's "Something" and Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight"). Boyd was a model when she met Harrison on the set of A Hard Day's Night in 1964; the pair were married two years later. They divorced in 1977 and she married Clapton, Harrison's close friend, in 1979. She also had an affair with Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones toward the end of her marriage to The Quiet Beatle.


Belfast-born Pat Rice is a former footballer and coach who spent the bulk of his career with Arsenal F.C. (that's "football club," a.k.a. soccer to us Americans). He joined the Gunners in 1964 as a mere apprentice, turning pro a couple of years later. He became captain in 1977 and left the club for a few years in the early 1980s to go to Watford, but returned after he retired from playing in 1984. In 2012, after nearly 30 years with the organization, he announced his retirement.


Patty Maloney is an actress with dwarfism who stands just three feet, 11 inches tall. She has appeared in many movies and T.V. shows over the years, including operating the Crypt Keeper puppet in Tales from the Crypt. She also played Chewbacca's son Lumpy in The Star Wars Holiday Special.


Michael C. Hall and Mathew St. Patrick in 'Six Feet Under'

Ok, so Mathew St. Patrick is the stage name of the actor, but he was born Patrick Matthews in Philadelphia on March 17, 1968. You probably know him best as David's boyfriend Keith on Six Feet Under.


He may not be a household name, but the recording artists Patrick Adams writes for and helps produce certainly are. Adams has been involved in the careers of Salt-N-Pepa, Sister Sledge, Gladys Knight, Rick James, and Coolio, among others.


It's possible you look at Patrick McDonnell's work every day, depending on which comics your newspaper carries. McDonnell draws a strip called Mutts featuring a dog and a cat named Earl and Mooch, respectively. Charles Schulz called it one of the best comic strips of all time.


 Singer/Guitarist Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins performs onstage during Live Earth New York at Giants Stadium on July 7, 2007 in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Evan Agostini, Getty Images

Yes, you know him better as just plain old Billy Corgan: he's the face of the Smashing Pumpkins, engages in public feuds with Courtney Love, and maybe once dated Jessica Simpson. He made his debut on March 17, 1967.


Patricia Ford is a retired model probably best known for her Playboy photoshoots in the 1990s.


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