Another abandoned settlement near the Prolivy train stop

prolivy-1Recently I’ve stumbled into yet another abandoned military settlement by the no, not quite a “station” but more of a mere train stop called Prolivy (“Straights”) near the village of Beloye More.

Three or four relatively recently (in 2003 according to one local I met there) deserted 4 or 5 story buildings, plus smaller service buildings.



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Yebenya – “f*cked up destinations”

archangelsk-porchAlexandra has called my attention to Yebenya (“f*cked up places”) – a resource dedicated to savouring the aesthetics of decay and neglect. And here I’d like to share it with you, as decay and neglect is one of the things this country offers in abandance to would-be visitors.

See our own collection of decay and neglect photos >>

‘Been exploring the “Military Town” section of Kandalaksha today

Most of the photos below are of the “Officers House”, built in the late 1930s, served as the town’s major concert hall till 2010, then the army was unable to maintain and closed it after which the best building in Kandalaksha went through a series of fires that damaged it beyond repair. The last one was in March or April 2013.

Now the building is used as a dangerous playground for tough Russian kids. Towards the end of the series of photos you’ll see some looking down from what remains of the roof. Stairs lack railing and invite anyone with a suicidal tendency or just a dizziness spell to a 30 foot drop.

Fire 21 April 2013, when the building was damaged almost beyond hope. Weather and vandals will soon do the rest.

The one next door (6-8 photos at the very end) is what’s left of the military hospital. Lots more ruins, especially in this part of town, but the Officers House is the most spectacular of them all.

Kem’ was a bit too much even for Pasha, our connoisseur of gloom

kemA town in Karelia, on the White Sea, about halfway between Medvezhyegorsk (“Bear Mountain”) and Kandalaksha, 15km off the main highway. Populaton ~30 th. Any train to Murmansk will go through Kem’. About 32 hours from Moscow, 25 from Saint-Petersburg, and 2-3 from Kandalaksha.

Visit Kem’ if you are interested either in the Pomors (an ethnic or cultural group, a subset of Russians), or the history of Gulag. A boat to the Island of Solovki – a popular destination among the Orthodox Russians because of the Solovetski monastery – leaves from the Kem’ port.

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Bar “Okolitsa”

6I had a beer there three or four years ago, and was most delighted today do discover that this time capsule is still around. Okolitsa (“the outskirts”) caters to the aluminum smelter workers, active or retired, mostly certified alcoholics. 7As basic as it gets. Beer and chips, with an open-face sandwich and a home-made pickle to priviledged clients. Most of the intact part of the building is occupied by public baths, open 9am to 9pm daily, Friday 12 noon to 9pm. Tuesdays and Saturdays are for women, and Wednesdays, Friday, and Sundays are for men. After 9pm you can have the whole banya for 750 roubles ($25) per hour regardless of the number of persons.

The place certainly qualifies to be listed under Filming locations, along with Stolovaya No. 12, a 1970s time capsule. But I’d place Okolitsa into early 90s, the time of freedom, anarchy, and makeshift style.