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Abandoned Palaces: Great Houses, Mansions, Estates and Hotels Suspended in Time

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From imperial residences and aristocratic estates to hotels and urban mansions, Abandoned Palaces tells the stories behind dilapidated structures all around the world.   Built to impress, built with style and grandeur, built, above all, to last: it’s all the more remarkable when buildings such as these fall into disrepair and become ruins. From ancient Roman villas to the Fren From imperial residences and aristocratic estates to hotels and urban mansions, Abandoned Palaces tells the stories behind dilapidated structures all around the world.   Built to impress, built with style and grandeur, built, above all, to last: it’s all the more remarkable when buildings such as these fall into disrepair and become ruins. From ancient Roman villas to the French colonial hill station in Cambodia that was one of the final refuges of the Khmer Rouge, Abandoned Palaces charts the decline of what were once the homes and holiday resorts of the super wealthy. Ranging from crumbling hotels in the Catskills or in Mozambique, to grand mansions in Taiwan, to an unfinished Elizabethan summerhouse, to a modern megalomaniac’s partially completed estate, they were deserted for reasons including politics, bankruptcy, personal tragedies, natural and man-made disasters, and changing tastes and fashions. Filled with stunning, nostalgic images, this volume is a brilliant and moving examination of worlds left behind.


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From imperial residences and aristocratic estates to hotels and urban mansions, Abandoned Palaces tells the stories behind dilapidated structures all around the world.   Built to impress, built with style and grandeur, built, above all, to last: it’s all the more remarkable when buildings such as these fall into disrepair and become ruins. From ancient Roman villas to the Fren From imperial residences and aristocratic estates to hotels and urban mansions, Abandoned Palaces tells the stories behind dilapidated structures all around the world.   Built to impress, built with style and grandeur, built, above all, to last: it’s all the more remarkable when buildings such as these fall into disrepair and become ruins. From ancient Roman villas to the French colonial hill station in Cambodia that was one of the final refuges of the Khmer Rouge, Abandoned Palaces charts the decline of what were once the homes and holiday resorts of the super wealthy. Ranging from crumbling hotels in the Catskills or in Mozambique, to grand mansions in Taiwan, to an unfinished Elizabethan summerhouse, to a modern megalomaniac’s partially completed estate, they were deserted for reasons including politics, bankruptcy, personal tragedies, natural and man-made disasters, and changing tastes and fashions. Filled with stunning, nostalgic images, this volume is a brilliant and moving examination of worlds left behind.

45 review for Abandoned Palaces: Great Houses, Mansions, Estates and Hotels Suspended in Time

  1. 4 out of 5

    Schizanthus

    I love abandoned places photography! I adore the atmosphere, the haunting quality of the images and imagining the history of the buildings and those who have lived in or visited them. Most of the collections of abandoned places I’ve seen have focused on the buildings’ interiors. This book includes some interior photos as well as some bird’s-eye view shots that show an interesting blend of interior and exterior. However, a greater proportion show the overall exterior of the building, with sections of facad I love abandoned places photography! I adore the atmosphere, the haunting quality of the images and imagining the history of the buildings and those who have lived in or visited them. Most of the collections of abandoned places I’ve seen have focused on the buildings’ interiors. This book includes some interior photos as well as some bird’s-eye view shots that show an interesting blend of interior and exterior. However, a greater proportion show the overall exterior of the building, with sections of facades crumbling on some and nature overrunning others, and I really enjoyed those photos. I particularly liked those that highlight the contrast between neglected architecture and flourishing greenery surrounding it (and oftentimes growing over it). The descriptions that accompany each image are succinct; you learn enough to provide context but not so much that the information overwhelms the picture. Each section includes a short introduction to the overall location: The Americas and Caribbean, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia and the Pacific. Each time I look through this book (three times so far) different photos catch my eye and details I’ve previously missed stand out. I do have a few favourites that I expect will remain, no matter how many times I return. The one that stands out the most and that I most desperately need to visit is Pidhirsti Palace in Lviv, Ukraine. The original photo by LALS STOCK can be found on Shutterstock here. Editing of the image in this book (or it may be because I’m reading an ARC) has given it a creepier feel than the original, but that has added to my love for this particular photo. Although the colour feels off (again, this could be due to my viewing an ARC on an iPad) my favourite photo that showed some interior was of Ladendorf Castle in Mistelbach, Austria. I loved that this open door felt like an invitation and, although it’s actually a courtyard you’re getting a glimpse of, I immediately imagined that a path out of view behind this building would lead intrepid explorers to another world. (That is one of the reasons why I love photography so much; it awakens my imagination.) This photo of Ladendorf Castle is by Viennaslide and can be found on Alamy here. I was quite disappointed to learn that the photos were all sourced from stock image sites: 123RF, Alamy, Dreamstime, FLPA, Getty Images, Globallookpress.com, iStock and Shutterstock. In the past I’ve enjoyed collections of abandoned places photos by a single artist; I find this provides more of a cohesive feel to the project and gives me a sense of their ‘eye’ by the end of the book. I also enjoy the anecdotes a photographer can provide based on their experiences shooting at specific locations. These details are missing here; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing but is certainly something I would have liked to have known before I started reading/looking. Also missing are the interior photos that show details of abandoned items that I love to pore over; they provide a small but important connection for me to the history of the buildings and the people who spent time there. To be taken with a grain of salt as this relates to the ARC : There were some photos that appeared underexposed and others that appeared to have been edited so the colour was unnaturally saturated in places. These may be artistic choices by the individual photographers or the book’s editor or could be due to the fact that I viewed an advanced copy on an iPad. These comments may be entirely irrelevant once this book has been published. Thank you to NetGalley and Amber Books for the opportunity to view this book. I’m rounding up from 3.5 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fox

    This book is exactly what it says on the tin. Between these covers are a series of beautiful photos of abandoned palaces, mansions, and hotels - the great houses of both the distant past and the far more recent. It's a difficult book to resist, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much information was contained within it. Rather than focusing upon the predictable, the book takes us to such unexpected places as Haiti prior to the earthquake, Turkey, Lisbon, and Tibet. The book presents its subje This book is exactly what it says on the tin. Between these covers are a series of beautiful photos of abandoned palaces, mansions, and hotels - the great houses of both the distant past and the far more recent. It's a difficult book to resist, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much information was contained within it. Rather than focusing upon the predictable, the book takes us to such unexpected places as Haiti prior to the earthquake, Turkey, Lisbon, and Tibet. The book presents its subject matter in a respectful way with a view towards history. A brief paragraph explains how the place came to be, as well as how it was abandoned. Often there are thoughtful asides and meditations on the state of things. A Cathedral crumbles in Britain - does it cause us to think of the growing secularism of the country? A mansion decays in Jamaica - it is reclaimed by the very land it sought to control. This is a beautiful collection of photography that anyone can enjoy. I am sure it would be greater appreciated by someone more familiar with photography and urban exploration than myself, but I still did greatly enjoy it. I'd be curious to see other collections like this over time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Abandoned Palaces tells the stories behind dilapidated structures from all around the world. From ancient Roman villas to the French colonial hill station in Cambodia that was one of the final refuges of the Khmer Rouge. Captivated incredibly through these many photos, it’s hard to believe some of these were left to rack and ruin over hundreds of years. From the incredible tilework of Sammezzano Castle to the incredible beauty of Castle Saunderson, this book captures incredible buildi Abandoned Palaces tells the stories behind dilapidated structures from all around the world. From ancient Roman villas to the French colonial hill station in Cambodia that was one of the final refuges of the Khmer Rouge. Captivated incredibly through these many photos, it’s hard to believe some of these were left to rack and ruin over hundreds of years. From the incredible tilework of Sammezzano Castle to the incredible beauty of Castle Saunderson, this book captures incredible buildings that have been left to the elements - haunting and brilliant at the same time. Throughout the book we are given brief insights into these buildings and their history, giving you space to wonder and research these buildings - I certainly have and it makes me want to go and rescue as many as possible, it makes me glad in some ways we have The National Trust that ensures that stately homes in the UK are rescued and preserved. From the stunning Bozkow Palace to the Presidential Palace in Gbadolite, CAR, this book covers every corner of the world and it’s spots of wonder that are left to the wilds, and it makes for a interesting and thought provoking read from beginning to end. (My only wish is there was a page of further reading!).   (I received an ARC from Betgalley for honest review). 

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lucsbooks

    I requested this book just to see if Portugal appeared. It does. Despite being titled "Abandoned Palaces", this book has picture os any building that was supposed to look grandiose at the time of its construction. One of the things that I liked the most is that this book has pictures of all around the world, not just of Europe. This is not the easiest book to read digitally because the ADE freezes whenever the file has images so you need to zoom in to be able to read the description an I requested this book just to see if Portugal appeared. It does. Despite being titled "Abandoned Palaces", this book has picture os any building that was supposed to look grandiose at the time of its construction. One of the things that I liked the most is that this book has pictures of all around the world, not just of Europe. This is not the easiest book to read digitally because the ADE freezes whenever the file has images so you need to zoom in to be able to read the description and then zoom out to be able to appreciate the photograph. The pictures themselves did not impress me as I thought they would, instead of eerie, most just seemed dirty and old but I did learn about several interesting buildings

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mistress #darklings

    Speaking as someone who does a bit of Urbex, I love anything to do with empty/abandoned buildings. I find the whole subject fascinating. From the very first idea of a place, to it’s concept, it’s unique design, it’s actual purpose whilst it was in use, the social history aspect of it and it’s eventual decline. This book provides some of the most stunning and engrossing pictures I’ve ever seen of abandoned buildings. I really enjoyed the little pieces of information that went with them. It helped Speaking as someone who does a bit of Urbex, I love anything to do with empty/abandoned buildings. I find the whole subject fascinating. From the very first idea of a place, to it’s concept, it’s unique design, it’s actual purpose whilst it was in use, the social history aspect of it and it’s eventual decline. This book provides some of the most stunning and engrossing pictures I’ve ever seen of abandoned buildings. I really enjoyed the little pieces of information that went with them. It helped to bring the whole thing to life in my head. Thank you Netgalley, the author and the publisher for my arc. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Lynch

    An interesting look at abandoned palaces (as well as other buildings such as grand houses or hotels) all over the world. I liked how the book was divided into different parts of the world and appreciated the information which went along with each photograph giving a history of the building. Unfortunately, the advanced PDF copy did not do the photographs justice and I look forward to seeing the book to gain a further appreciation of these magnificent buildings. Thank you to Netgalley a An interesting look at abandoned palaces (as well as other buildings such as grand houses or hotels) all over the world. I liked how the book was divided into different parts of the world and appreciated the information which went along with each photograph giving a history of the building. Unfortunately, the advanced PDF copy did not do the photographs justice and I look forward to seeing the book to gain a further appreciation of these magnificent buildings. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    J Aislynn d'Merricksson

    Abandoned Palaces by Michael Kerrigan is a gorgeous collection of photos from around the world, featuring abandoned palaces, mansions, and similar structures. Some of the most interesting for me were the abandoned hotels, as well as the buildings from Asia. Each photo is accompanied by a tidbit of information about the building in question. Many of the eerie pictures within prompted the beginning of poems for me. This would make a great coffee table book! ***Many thanks to Netgalley a Abandoned Palaces by Michael Kerrigan is a gorgeous collection of photos from around the world, featuring abandoned palaces, mansions, and similar structures. Some of the most interesting for me were the abandoned hotels, as well as the buildings from Asia. Each photo is accompanied by a tidbit of information about the building in question. Many of the eerie pictures within prompted the beginning of poems for me. This would make a great coffee table book! ***Many thanks to Netgalley and Amber Books Ltd for providing an egalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    Visual book of abandoned palaces with a tons of good quality pictures. Maybe not a lot of stunning one, but a strong overall with some descriptions of what we saw. It's crazy too see what can't happen to building when human just left there to be. You can't expect much more from a visual book, so good job!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Claire Meadows

    This book is heaven for me. I watch videos of abandoned buildings on YouTube, and one of my favourite tv programmes is Abandoned Engineering. I know. Complete abandoned buildings geekery. A beautiful book, both the photography and the little snippets of information that come with each picture. Fascinating history.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ioanna

    A stunning visual collection of abandoned buildings around the world. It's accompanied by basic information about each place. This is recommended for people who have a fascination with abandoned places, architecture, or photography. Overall an interesting read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    A fascinating books, the pictures are amazing and it's great travelling to new places. I'd like to see the paper book because it must be wonderful. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten never has enough time

    Astonishingly pretty and intensely well-researched. A cracking read and lovely coffee table book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beth Younge

    This was an interesting coffee table style book. The photographs were generally beautiful and the captions were well written and added some much-needed context. This is a great gift for all those who are interested in urban exploring. I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Asha - A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

  19. 5 out of 5

    ☯~☽~•Patricia Mainard•~☾~☯

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))

  21. 5 out of 5

    MaryannC. Book Freak

  22. 5 out of 5

    BookHound 🐾

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

  24. 4 out of 5

    Feral goblin child 🍃

  25. 5 out of 5

    { U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y }

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

  27. 5 out of 5

    Flaubertian

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Debbi Smith

  31. 5 out of 5

    Ciara

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  33. 4 out of 5

    Nicolás Constanzó

  34. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Clyde

  35. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  36. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  37. 4 out of 5

    Kpurvis

  38. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  39. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  40. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Jones ragsdale

  41. 4 out of 5

    Susi

  42. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell Smette

  43. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie Fritz

  44. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  45. 4 out of 5

    Sarah M

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