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Image: Abandonalia

All images used with permission of the photographers

On the surface, brothels may seem synonymous with good times, but in reality, they are rarely cheerful places. They’re often garish at best, and at worst – especially when abandoned – brothels are downright creepy, cold and lonely. It’s as if the urgency of former patrons searching for satisfaction or a bit of (distinctly business-like) warmth has set a tone of desperation that seeps into their walls. And, if those walls could talk…


Image: Abandonalia

It’s not uncommon for brothels to slip into oblivion as soon as they close – no name, no story, just an abandoned building. That’s not entirely surprising, given that the services offered were mainly anonymous, clinical and often illegal – mere business deals squeezed into the wee hours of the night or morning.

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Image: Abandonalia

Yet, like so many other sites whose stories we only think about when they stare us in the face, these abandoned places of lust evoke a strange curiosity and fascination in our minds. We’ve found seven brothels whose stories we’ve looked at more closely in the midst of their crumbling and decaying remains.

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