When I first saw pictures of the beautiful old buildings in the region of Abkhazia in 2014, I was immediately enchanted. The architecture design and the beautiful nature surrounding the ancient ruins were an aesthetic dream for me.
At that time, I did not know what my visit in 2019 would trigger in me.
After my entry over the Enguri river, it was easy to see that the wounds of the war were still wide agape. Beautiful houses were everywhere and their remains were slowly recaptured by nature.
Although I already know such scenarios from my visits to Croatia and Bosnia, it is still moving, as each abandoned building changed human history forever.
But like all my travels, I wanted to maintain my objectivity and enjoy my time here as I have done in Georgia before.
The Abkhazians were very hospitable people even though we were very often seen suspiciously. Anyway, I was either taking pictures or eating.
The feeling in the amazing buildings and abandoned places was often very difficult for me to classify. On the one hand, my passion is the decay and the architecture, and many of the places were very impressive. On the other hand, it made me sad because this region is a real pearl, whose gloss fades.
The more it is important to me to record all this in this project because even if the shine fades, a beautiful woman remains a beautiful woman.
As a stranger like me who does not know all the exact historical background of the conflict, it is even harder for me to really understand everything after my visit. I have heard many opinions and experienced a high level of hospitality and friendliness on both sides.
I really hope that both sides will find a good solution for both sides one day. Although you can build a physical boundary, each one can open the boundaries in the hearts.
In any case, my trip has ensured that the Georgians and Abkhazians have a big place in my heart. I hope that my pictures, even if the motives show destruction, will take the viewer on a journey through a good past.
What has happened can no longer be changed, only the way to the future is what counts. And how we shape it is up to us.
An incredibly beautiful old train station in the mountain region.
The Storm Is Over
View from a balcony of an abandoned sanatorium.
The Black Sea Dreams
The jaw-dropping view from the huge balcony of a former sanatorium.
The impressive staircase of an abandoned house of culture which was built for the train workers of the town.
The area was once famous for its excellent tea. Now the factories are abandoned. This is the administration building of one of them.
A palace in town which was transformed into a small Angor wat now.
Palms And Ruins
An abandoned pulmonary sanatorium which was built by a landlord for his wife. It has 365 rooms. One for every day.
One of many beautiful abandoned train stations in Abkhazia.
Another station in Gagra, which nature is slowly recapturing.
This old sanatorium was really built with attention to detail.
The huge staircase in the old pulmonary sanatorium of Prince Smetsky (built 1913).
This was the entrance hall of a former sanatorium on a hill near the black sea coast.
The ceiling in the old theater of Gagra shows what beautiful architecture was present in the region.
Colors Of Decay
I found this room especially beautiful because of its architecture and the colors of the decay.
The former ministry building is now totally fallen to ruin and full of injection needles and trash.
The plane of former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze at the former airport of Sukhumi.
Pre Chai Latte
An abandoned café with truly unique architecture near the beach promenade.
Abandoned Turkish freighter in an Abkhazian harbor.
A former mountain town that used to be populated by miners and their families. After the war, the mines were closed and abandoned. A few isolated people still live there.
The huge abandoned Hotel of a former sports complex.
Another house of culture which has fallen into a ruin.
A depressing scene in an abandoned mining town.