Thursday’s Special: DECAY


What happens when you start building something and leave it unfinished? What happens when you pay a huge amount of money for it and never see it used?

For the today’s theme DECAY, I’ll show you what…

In the late 1980’s the officials of Zagreb realised that the existing clinical facilities were insufficient for its growing population, so an ambitious project was embarked on that implied construction of the largest, greatest clinical centre in that part of Europe that would not only serve the people of Zagreb, but also those from Bosnia and Herzegovina or from any of the then six Yugoslav Republics. Designs were made (in Slovenia), contractors were selected (in Croatia) and the works started. A small if any percentage of financing came from the national budget, while 97 per cent were paid by the citizens of Zagreb (who were taken a percentage from their monthly salaries with a promise of being involved in a project of national interest that will provide free health care for them and other citizens of Yugoslavia).

In 1992, five years into construction, the people, now impoverished by the war, stopped paying for the construction and the huge project (that had already been 45% complete) was abandoned, never to be resumed again.

Twenty-three years later the same complex, now a ruin, peeks out of the overgrown shrubs that line the main highway into the town, reminding passers-by of poor management and a huge failure by local and national governments to serve the people.



For this Thursday’s Special challenge you are invited to take some photos of decay. The fact that for once I posted multiple picture gallery does not mean that you are asked to do the same. It can be one or several photos with or without a story behind them. And don’t worry if you don’t have anything ready by now, just make sure to post before next Wednesday. Wishing you all a happy and creative Thursday!




Responses to DECAY follow. Click on the titles bellow to see them:

Decay by Cardinal

Drawings in the water

Tooth decay and fashion advice

Decaying in Da Nang

Cistercian Abbey in ruins

Decay by Sonya

Old chimney

Abandoned at sea

Alla Veneziana


Abandoned houses in Amsterdam


98 Comments on “Thursday’s Special: DECAY

  1. Pingback: Drawings in the water | Le Drake Noir

  2. Perfect, yeah maybe not the decay, but the following-up story told
    – this the way I like to be wiser, to get some background knowledge.

    Really enjoyed this post, and absolutly not lesser those fascinating photos. 🙂


  3. Now that’s a profound story, both in imagery and word. I can see that’s also going to be a fun and very purposeful challenge.


  4. I don’t think I will have time to post anything under this challenge but for the lack of time I would love to give it a go. The photos are absolutely wonderful and haunting at the same time.


    • Thank you so much John. I know you are busy, and I would love to see your response when you are good and ready. Peace to you.


  5. Pingback: Tooth Decay and Fashion Advice | Travel with Intent

  6. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Decay | Middleton Road

    • You are so right, Debbie. It makes hubby angry, and I am just so sad whenever I see it. We go Nordic Walking near the ruin, and it makes us think every time…


    • A fun and funny entry from you Debbie, and so fitting and welcome. I needed cheering up 😀 Thank you, my dear!


  7. These photos are brilliant Paula! The story that goes with the photos is sad, but there’s probably some corrupt politicians and construction company bosses out there that sees these buildings and it reminds them, not of failure, but how easy it is to exploit honest, hard working people and steal their money.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. And sadly it’s not the only story of its kind throughout Europe! Wonderful photos, Paula 🙂 I had thought to do something similar but in nothing like the detail, but I’ve got myself all tied up with boats today. 😦


  9. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Decaying in Da Nang | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  10. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Decay | artishorseshit

  11. It feels inappropriate to say great photos, when I read not such a great background story. I agree with Cardinal that someone made money and was the last to laugh, whilst the population had to write off their loss.
    A common sight in many countries. Sadly.
    But your photos are great anyways.
    Have a lovely day.


    • You know what makes me even more angry and sad – less than a mile from this abandoned construction there is a ludicrously big and for most of the time empty arena (it is a fairly recent and enormous project that was very costly and not cost efficient at all) – sports arena primarily that is now used for concerts too – totally inappropriate. I attended a concert by Morricone there a few months ago, and in spite of all my admiration for his lifework, I have to admit that the concert in that ambient sucked big time. The government/town could have used that money better and finish the bloody clinic or open some kind of shelter.


  12. What a waste! The photos are all the more haunting because of their back story. Great choice Paula.


  13. Love the photos and with the story, they are even more interesting. Like a ghost town almost. What a shame and waste of time, money and land to just leave it sit.


    • You’ve said it Michelle – a waste turning into a waste-land. I appreciate your reading the post and your kind comment. Have a good Thursday, and thank you again for the clouds 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What a colossal waste of money, time, energy, and resources….. It is too bad for the citizens of Zagreb that the project was left incomplete. They probably could have used it, unfortunately man got in the way of his own ideas and put conflict before peace.


  15. I wish I had pictures. There is a huge stone palace out in the Judean desert that is a ruin. It was built and the day before the king (I don’t know which king) was to move in, there was an earthquake and the palace was destroyed. The only thing that remained (mostly) intact is the throne.


  16. So sad to see money wasted in this way, Paula. I think those officials were over ambitious, and should have built something on a far less grand scale. The track you’ve chosen here, really suits those pictures of abandonment.


    • I think you are the only person that listened to the track, and it is a long track. I don’t know if you are familiar with Kraftwerk. They may be the longest-lasting band on earth 🙂 Sylvia, I appreciate that you read this story. I like showing scenes from my country both ugly and pretty.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Something quite common ,nowadays …
    What hurts me a lot is that entire families spent their money in this project and ,eventually ,ended up with nothing at all!
    Amazing photos , for a very sad story!

    I posted my contribution ; a very poor one , compared with yours!


  18. Stunning pictures.

    Like they are part of TV documentary film set “Life After People” “Year 20”
    Still standing but in state of irreversible decay. Give it another 20 to 30 years and nobody will be able to tell that something was there.
    Fantastic choice for challenge it left a bit bitter after taste in my mouth as they reminded me that I and many others paid for this monstrosity.


  19. Pingback: Thursday’s Special – Decay (Abandoned at Sea) | WordsVisual

  20. En todos los sitios pasa igual Paula, aquí en España tenemos muchos ejemplos similares de los últimos años, en los que los políticos se han embolsado el dinero y la obra se ha ido quedando a medias sin que sirva para nada. Y el dinero de la ciudadanía (a la que se le ha robado directa o indirectamente al ser dinero público), solo sirve para que ellos sean cada vez más ricos.
    Bonita entrada. aunque muy triste.
    Un abrazo.


      • Hola Paula, creo que no tengo una foto que esté relacionada con el reto de esta semana.
        Boss está aparentemente mejor. La Leishmania ha salido bien pero, como ha perdido tanto peso, le van a sedar el lunes para hacerle una ecografía, por si hay un tumor en algún sitio. Esperamos que no sea así. Ya te contaré. Muchas gracias.


        • Tambien espero que no sea algun tumor. Saludamelo 😉 Y no te preocupes por “decay” pero piensalo eso puede verse por todas partes – cada cosa que se pone vieja se esta deteriorando (pero no te preocupes)


  21. Pingback: Alla Veneziana (Decay) | Empire of Lights

  22. Hi Paula, at first I did not intend to join in this challenge (photography has been criticized for celebrating decay) – but I found your feature very inspiring due to both text and pictures. And I asked myself if decay must necessarily be displeasing or if there isn’t rather a line that separates acceptable decay from the aesthetically inacceptable. So here is what I came up with: … Thanks for the prompt!


    • Thank you very much Tobias. I’ll come to see your entry as soon as possible. I did not know that photography had been criticized for celebrating decay! Can you give me some references?


      • The criticism is mostly by Susan Sontag, in her book On Photography, and in some interviews I found online. I am not sure if she reviewed her view later, when she was in a relationship with Annie Leibovitz (I would expect that should have happened).


    • Grand merci Julie. La construction me provoque des sentiments de tristesse mais je me suis bien amusee en prenant des photos..

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Decay | lucile de godoy

  24. What an amazing set of photos of a monument to failed global ambitions. So sad that nothing has been done with the structures that are there. Surely some use could be made of them, rather than allowing them to become total waste.


This box is reserved for sharing positive vibes.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: