PHOTOS: Haunting Photos of Europe’s Crumbling Castles and Chateaus Left Abandoned to Nature

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A new series of photos from 34-year-old photographer Stefan Baumann have captured the crumbling former glory of abandoned chateaus and estates across Europe. Most of the properties have begun to fall to nature’s forces, but still offer haunting glimpses of their former decadently noble glory.

In speaking with the Daily Mail, Baumann, an Austrian, describes himself as a social/youth worker who has travelled across Europe, including France and Italy, to visit these once-powerful houses. He is an amateur photographer and urban explorer.

He says that he keeps the locations secret, so as to protect the historic structures from future vandals or thieves, but he wants to also give insight into the world of times long past.

Some buildings are in relatively good condition, complete with intact furniture and decorations. Others have been ravaged by disaster—either natural or the likes of destructive fires.

Check out some of his photos in the slideshow above, and check out more of his work here.