Stark, Atmospheric Photos of Abandoned Churches

Photography of abandoned places is popular enough that it’s almost become its own subgenre these days. With so much ruin porn out there, it’s hard to find a compelling angle on the idea, but German photographer Peter Untermaierhofer has done exactly that with this series of images, which document empty churches across Europe. There’s a special resonance to abandoned churches, though — depending on your religious leanings or lack thereof, these were sacred places or weird, disconcerting Jesus halls, but either way, to see them abandoned is jarring, especially considering how many ancient churches remain in use. Why they’re abandoned is open to question, and Untermaihofer knows about as much as we do — as Faith Is Torment, where we spotted these images, points out, “Untermaierhofer prefers to work undetected, disturbing local people for information as little as possible, and is frequently in the dark about why the buildings have been left to ruin.”