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.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Central Press/Getty Images
Ernest Hemingway’s Guide to Life, In 20 Quotes
Central Press/Getty Images
Central Press/Getty Images

Though he made his living as a writer, Ernest Hemingway was just as famous for his lust for adventure. Whether he was running with the bulls in Pamplona, fishing for marlin in Bimini, throwing back rum cocktails in Havana, or hanging out with his six-toed cats in Key West, the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author never did anything halfway. And he used his adventures as fodder for the unparalleled collection of novels, short stories, and nonfiction books he left behind, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea among them.

On what would be his 119th birthday—he was born in Oak Park, Illinois on July 21, 1899—here are 20 memorable quotes that offer a keen perspective into Hemingway’s way of life.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING

"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen."

ON TRUST

"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them."

ON DECIDING WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT

"I never had to choose a subject—my subject rather chose me."

ON TRAVEL

"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love."


Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. [1], Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTELLIGENCE AND HAPPINESS

"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."

ON TRUTH

"There's no one thing that is true. They're all true."

ON THE DOWNSIDE OF PEOPLE

"The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness, except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."

ON SUFFERING FOR YOUR ART

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

ON TAKING ACTION

"Never mistake motion for action."

ON GETTING WORDS OUT

"I wake up in the morning and my mind starts making sentences, and I have to get rid of them fast—talk them or write them down."


Photograph by Mary Hemingway, in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston., Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE BENEFITS OF SLEEP

"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"

ON FINDING STRENGTH 

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."

ON THE TRUE NATURE OF WICKEDNESS

"All things truly wicked start from innocence."

ON WRITING WHAT YOU KNOW

"If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water."

ON THE DEFINITION OF COURAGE

"Courage is grace under pressure."

ON THE PAINFULNESS OF BEING FUNNY

"A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book."


By Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. - JFK Library, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON KEEPING PROMISES

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."

ON GOOD VS. EVIL

"About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."

ON REACHING FOR THE UNATTAINABLE

"For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed."

ON HAPPY ENDINGS

"There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it."

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
4 Movies, 1 Thing In Common II
iStock
iStock

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios