Latvian Ruins

I’ve been fascinated by Latvia’s ruins for a long time. Not so much your ye olde leftovers of medieval castles, but ones from more recent times.

A ruin is essentially a place that currently has no financial or other value for society – even wiping it off the Earth isn’t worth the bother. Sigulda Castle or Rome’s Coliseum aren’t really ruins – put on a new rook, fix the holes and business will be dead. We NEED them exactly as they are.

Latvia is rich in true ruins – ghostly petrol stations, shuttered holiday resorts, abandoned farmhouses. Latvia sits on tectonic plates, but instead of geological earthquakes we are prone to human-made ones. Wars, occupations, revolutions, financial crises – they chuck everything up in the air, and when the dust settles, there are places which under changed conditions we just don’t know what to with...

I like hanging out in these ruins, dreaming about the people and the life which once pulsed away there. And every now and then on Facebook I’m going to share a photo and some of my feelings about these odd mirrors which tell us a lot about what we value (or don't).

The ruins: No 1, No 2, No 3, No 4, No 5, No 6, No 7, No 8