Exploration date

October 29th, 2011

This was my first explore after I bought my first digital camera back in 2011, I was on my own and didn’t had any experience with exploring other than me playing in an abandoned factory as a kid. You might be able to imagine what thoughts crossed my mind as I walked into the abandoned neighborhood, not knowing what I might possibly get myself into.

It was that hot October day that sparked my interest for exploring, the feeling you get when walking through an abandoned building… It’s indescribable. The empty corridors and eerie silence, it’s something else.

Nature is slowly taking over

History

During the second World War that struck Europe from 1939 to 1945 the inner city of Rotterdam was completely bombed to pieces by Nazi Germany, only a very few amount of buildings remained in the city center. More than 80.000 people lost their homes and almost 25.000 houses were destroyed by the bombs that dropped on May 14th, 1940.

Construction of the neighborhood ‘Pendrecht’ started in 1949 and was completed somewhere during the 50’s. Because of the war there was a need for housing in the city, thus this neighborhood was build right next to the busy freight harbor to supply housing to the workers.

Below is an old aerial photo from the neighborhood, I do NOT own this photo and it is only used for historic value.

The explore

I discovered this abandoned neighborhood by accident as I was cycling through the area. I noticed a lot of construction work going on in this area of the city so I decided to take a look. Some of the apartment buildings were already undergoing renovation, while a good part of the neighborhood was shut off awaiting the same thing. Getting in proved to be no issue, as the construction workers had the front gate wide open, since it was mid-afternoon. I made a quick run for it and started looking for a way in, I thought it would be hard however I found multiple entrances in a few minutes.

Being all alone by myself and not having much experience with exploring, my heart was pounding in my chest and the adrenaline rush kicked in shortly after. I know I’m not supposed to be here, but man this is awesome!

I made my way through the staircase up to the first floor hoping to find access to one of the apartments itself. I could hear construction workers yell at each other when I walked past a broken window on the first floor… Did they spotted me?

Luckily my entire explore went according to plan and I didn’t run into any of the construction workers. I spend at least two hours walking around in the apartment buildings and staircases, until I decided to photograph the exterior for a bit. That’s when I ran into a black cat who kept following me around, so I decided to take a few shots of him as well.

In the end if I think back on it, there wasn’t much left to see in these apartment buildings. All the furniture had been removed and loads of trash was scattered around the buildings.

This explore had some emotional value as well, it was this neighborhood that I used to visit almost weekly as a young kid since my grandfather used to live here. I vividly remember playing with my soccer ball on the grass fields between the apartment buildings, kicking my ball high up in the air until it landed on somebodies balcony and I had to try to get it back.

By now the apartments are fully renovated while another few have been demolished, new construction plans are currently underway for a large part of the neighborhood.

A real hero isn't afraid of the dark
The main entrance
Renovation works are about to start
On the first floor
Looking up
Who's there?
I remember playing soccer between these buildings as a kid
View out of the top floor window
I think we might have a power issue
I did ran into a little friend during my explore
One of the last residents...
Most entrances are completely boarded up
Need to take a leak?
Providing shade to nobody
Found a way into one of the appartments
The neighborhood has seen better times
Trains with faces?
Broken toys are a small reminder of the past
Garbage is littered around these buildings
The kids are all long gone
I think my sensor needs a little cleaning
Getting in wasn't that difficult at all
This area would've been the main parking space for the residents
You got mail!
The basement almost looks like a prison cell

If you read this, thanks for taking your time to read this entire post! Leave a like or a comment below. Have you ever had an experience similar to this? Let me know!