How long it has stood empty is unknown, but this stunning abandoned ballroom in Germany appears to be almost completely intact. Vandals seem to have been kept relatively at bay, but the peeling walls and ceilings of the deserted rooms are sombre reminders of how quickly decay takes hold once regular maintenance is no longer carried out.
While the exact location and purpose of the building are unclear, the classic ballroom complete with staging suggests it was once a multi-use entertainment venue. The photographer also tagged the images with “opera“, suggesting the ballroom was home to the local operatic society, while empty barstools paint a subdued picture of a venue once filled with life.
While many grand mansions had their own ballrooms, public ballrooms were popular venues throughout the first half of the 20th century, with dances and other events held daily. But as music modernised and other forms of entertainment, such as cinema, became more sophisticated, traditional ballrooms became a thing of the past. Many were demolished, while others adapted to the changing times, trading their old-style charm and elegance for their ongoing survival.
While it’s sad to see beautiful buildings literally crumbling to the ground, such places take on an entirely different atmosphere through urban decay and capture the imagination of those that might not ordinarily notice them. Aside from presenting a challenging and visually rewarding subject for photographers, abandoned places tug at our sense of intrigue and speak to our local history.