THE ABANDONED, DECAYED AND FORGOTTEN!

PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL SANTPOORT

NOVEMBER 2008 AND JANUARY 2009 - __ PHOTOS
ABANDONED, TO BE RECONVERTED

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In the winter of 2008/09 we did multiple explorations to a abandoned psychiatric hospital in the Netherlands. Up to the 19th century there was hardly no treatment of the lunatics. Those people where given care and shelter but didn't receive the necessary treatment. Outsiders had no idea what was going on in these madhouses. Rumours go around that extreme and experimental things have taken place. Shock therapy, isolation cells and tieding up in exchanging baths happend repeatedly. The circumstances were depressing.

This conception change halfway the 19de centuries. Insanity was then for the first time considered as a treatable sickness, rest and space was necessary. In 1849 this could be found in 'Meerenberg' Bloemendaal, it was the Netherlands first (and until 1884 the only) modern healthcare institution specifically built for the care for the mentally ill. This made it a model institution not only in the Netherlands, but also abroad. Due to law enforcement in 1918 the name was changed to 'Provincial Hospital Santpoort'.

The institution continued to be enlarged on numerous occasions, until in the 1930s it housed around 1500 patients. The building was divided into different wards based on patient gender, social position, class and diagnosis. It contained a pharmacy and also a hydrotherapy unit which was equipped with baths and showers. The last patient left the hospital in 2002, from then it became abandoned and vandalised.

Along the long corridors the floors and ceilings are rotting and curved by moisture and in de tiny rooms pieces of curtains are moving against the broken windows. One can still feel the sinister atmosphere inside the complex. From time to time unexplainable sounds come from other parts of the buildings.

More info about the history of psychiatry [only dutch], Het Oude Gesticht.