Roman Robroek began exploring abandoned buildings around a decade ago to fuel his interests in architecture, history and photography and came across some unusual finds
A photographer who is exploring more than 1,000 abandoned churches in Italy has found many left to crumble and some with mummified remains inside.
Roman Robroek began exploring abandoned buildings around a decade ago to fuel his interests in architecture, history and photography.
The 34-year-old from the Netherlands, has travelled across the world and has discovered the history behind buildings forgotten in time.
During his recent exploration, the photographer delved into the religious past of Italy and says he has captured what he calls the “decline” of the church through various shots of crumbled chapels and religious buildings.
In one photo, overgrown moss and other shrubbery can be seen flooding the inside of a once busy chapel as the structure begins to crumble.
In another shot, mummified bodies can be seen among a pile of bones and skeletons.
Another haunting photo shows a derelict church, which features torn wallpaper and dusty flooring, along with broken stained-glass windows and a worn podium.
Other photos show some churches intact, with one featuring a structure of Jesus on the cross hanging above a podium, with bright stained-glass windows allowing sunlight to shine through.
Across the 100 photos, there is destroyed historic artwork, rusted statues of important religious events and decaying chairs which would have once seated those overseeing ceremonies.
Roman said: “Today, these abandoned churches offer a unique glimpse into the past as a source of reflection.
“These are the traces of the past of many communities and if we follow them, we can see where we all came from and perhaps where we’re going.”
He added: “Every little town in Italy has at least a chapel – even the small town of Chianche which isn’t on most maps has two.”
As some of these churches are highly regarded as national treasures, some have been well-maintained in pristine condition.
However, this isn’t the case for the majority of them.
Roman said: “Others meet a rather different ending, being left in the hands of time and its relentless way of decaying things.
“Italy is a perfect example of a country that although greatly valuing its history, architecture, culture and connection with the church, still features its share of abandoned churches.
“In some cases, abandoned churches and religious buildings might not even be known outside of a specific neighbourhood.
“As time goes by, the knowledge of these places and their past history gets simply lost through time.”