Hey Barista,

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Chrissy Ludwig

Berlin, Germany

Chrissi Ludwig on Urbex and exploring Europe’s most beautiful abandoned hospitals. A photo essay.

Chrissi, a Berlin-based barista, spends a lot of time zooming and panning through Google Maps’ satellite view. She may spend a few hours going through a random section of Poland, or Germany, before finding what she’s looking for: a deserted school, a rundown church, a boarded-up theater. Then she drops a pin on it…

…then she goes there.

“I like abandoned hospitals the most,” she told us in a recent email exchange. “When I’m in there, I always have two destinations: the operating room and the morgue.”

Urban Exploration, or Urbex, has been covered in publications many times before. You’ve likely seen some version of “This Badass Broke Into An Abandoned Military Base” on VICE. But beyond the allure of the “exploration”, which is very real (and often illegal), there is the beauty of the resulting photography. It can all come at a cost, which Chrissi is reminded of when she looks back at the work of one of her greatest urbex influences, Rebecca Bunting (@_Bword). In 2018, Rebecca passed away during an exploration in Philadelphia. “The whole urbex scene was shocked,” remembers Chrissi. “But Becca and her amazing pictures will never be forgotten.”

Clearly influenced by the late Bunting, Chrissi’s photos capture a similar beauty and intrigue.

It can be poor form to share the locations of specific urbex sites. As Chrissi notes, “Certain spots become famous, and you already know they’ll be trashed and vandalized.” For that reason, the locations of the below photos have been retracted. What remains are just the truly stunning scenes captured through Chrissi’s lens.