It’s quite possible I have a ruin porn fetish. After all, I’ve done photoblogs in the past of decay in Mostar, Bosnia [here] and Ohrid, Macedonia [here]. To some they may just be crumbling concrete corpses, an eyesore on otherwise beautiful cities, but so often they serve as a reminder of tragic pasts, or of a divide between old and new/forgotten and remembered. In Mostar, every skeletal building frame was a testament to the Bosnian war, food for thought that there has been a genocide in Europe in my lifetime. In Ohrid, the run-down remains of a former hotel was an antidote to the huge investment pumped into the rest of Macedonia, particularly Skopje, where the government has spent millions on decorating the capital with statues to give it more character.
Linnahall, a decaying Communist relic between Tallinn’s dazzling Old Town and its port, combines both trains of ruin porn thought. It’s a huge and hugely ugly symbol of Soviet dominance – built to host the sailing events at the 1980 Olympics, as Moscow is landlocked – that evokes a startling comparison between this 80s graveyard and the modern, glass-shrouded offices where Estonia’s booming tech start-up businesses, Skype among them, make a name for their country as the Silicon Valley of the Baltics.
Here are some pictures of the decay: