Urban exploration has become rather popular, or at least, that’s what I hear all the time. I, too, got interested in it so during the past couple of days we have done some urban exploration sightseeing in our home city Vantaa as in Helsinki, too. I remember some abandoned places that I’ve visited when I was a kid but not many of the sites we have here in the capital area are familiar to me. Actually there was one quite near by where I live that I had not heard before – the Nissas estate. It dates back to early 20th century and it was burned down in 1930’s.
I have to say that I was a little disappointed when I saw the ruins – because the place had obviously been renovated! New roof, columns where painted and handrails had been installed. I don’t know what kind of plans the city has for the ruins but it seems like they wanted to make it more pretty – and maybe more safe as well.
I heard of another interesting place that is in Kartanonkoski, Vantaa. The area is very beautiful with rapids and nature around. Sadly, the abandoned mill wasn’t as abandoned anymore as we had thought it would be and we couldn’t get any closer look – some kind of renovations were taking place in there, too. It seems that someone has finally taking care of the property. This old mill in Kartanonkoski is located next to a busy road, so it’s not very hidden – maybe that’s the reason, why it didn’t stay abandoned.
There is one very strange yet beautiful place in Helsinki called Kruunuvuori. It’s not that hidden anymore as many people know already about it and I think the whole place is getting demolished sooner or later as new neighbourhood is being built right next to it – so now is the time to visit, before you miss it!
Villas in Kruunuvuori date back somewhere in the 19th/20th century I guess. Most of them served as summer houses for germans living in Helsinki. In the 1950’s a local businessman bought the villas, planning to build a new neighbourhood but the plans never worked out so the villas became deserted. Since then they’ve just stood there, alone, in the middle of the forest.
I have to say that Kruunuvuori is a very mysterious place yet somehow a little scary at the same time. Some of the buildings have gotten their part from vandalism and graffittis, and they serve as a secret party place for youngsters. I wouldn’t want to enter to any of the buildings though, as they were in a pretty bad shape.
Urban exploration sites are interesting and great for taking photos. There is just few things we should remember when visiting these kind of places – don’t break or take anything away. Leave the places as they were. Most of the old buildings aren’t very safe anymore, so it’s good to be careful and watch your step.
Some people like to keep the best hidden gems to themselves – which is good in a way, as the more untouched the places stay, the more mysterious and interesting they are. I think I’ll continue exploring, it’s a great way to have small adventures in your own hometown!
What do you think of urban exploration? Do you find visiting abandoned places or ruins interesting?