Lead Review

  • Book: Abandoned Spain
  • Location: Spain
  • Author: Carlos Sanmillan, Fran Lens, Paco Quiles

Review Author: Tina Hartas



The “Abandoned…” series produced by Jonglez Publishing is a series of projects, capturing buildings as they struggle to survive: “They are a silent testimony to a past, redolent with lives that were cut short for many different reasons but have the present in common: the vandalism that has ruined part of this valuable heritage just as time has taken its toll, wiping outage past when the last residents or landowners die

“The team follows the unspoken rules of urban exploration: leaving  the place intact, not being seen entering or leaving, and not  revealing the site location unless it is well known or little more than a ruin”

In Summer 2019 took a road trip around the area of Teruel then down to Valencia and I was delighted to discover that much of the focus of the wonderfully produced coffee table book is the North East of Spain, from Madrid northwards to Catalonia and then south again, passing down through Valencia. Who knew that there is such an incredible wealth of structures, hidden away from prying eyes (although the vandals have been drawn like moths to the light), all standing testament to their own individual history.

Take the Jeans Factories that still contain samples and swatches, forming colourful beacons in an otherwise drab, yet stunning concrete building. The German’s Workshop not far off the N340 is not sufficiently derelict to be pulled down (but it won’t be long) and still presides over its setting, one of the team captured with a Dali mask so reminiscent of the Netflix series La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) – well worth a watch – in which of course the thieves wore similar masks.

Sanatoriums, factories, erstwhile homes, convents and more all have a place in this wonderfully produced coffee table book that is in itself a story of Spain. A beautiful tome that will enable you to peruse and experience Spain from a very different angle.

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