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Abandoned Places Series, Part 1

There are many beautiful places around the world that we all know of and would love to visit at one point or another during our lives. These places almost always have one or more famous buildings as their centrepiece. But, what about once beautiful buildings and locations that have been abandoned to time? Where are those places and why did the people leave? The related photographs are of a small idyllic village overlooking a serene lake. The villagers would have awoken every morning with magnificent views and fresh air, with the children running around and playing.This would have been the perfect lifestyle for many of us. It’s not very clear why the people decided to leave, but it must have been for a very good reason. Where do you think this place is and why do you think the people left?

This village is situated within Karelia, an area of North West Russia, on the border with Finland. Abandoned villages such as this are unfortunately increasingly common place. Historically Russia’s (Then known as the Soviet Union) agricultural lands were divided into sections, each necessitating the development of associated villages. They were thriving communities, with a variety of grain fields and cattle. In the 1960’s onward, the villages saw a rapid downward trend whereby farming was no longer seemed to be a viable option. Many of the youth would leave the villages to seek employment elsewhere, resulting in the farms being abandoned and the machinery left to rust. The Government of the day also played a critical role. It was quite common for villages to be deemed unproductive and subsequently have government support and assistance cut off or denied. It is believed that there are currently over 36 000 similar villages with less than 10 inhabitants comprising mainly of the elderly. A sad but perhaps necessary result of “progress”?

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