Thursday, July 29, 2010
What is it about abandoned buildings that’s so alluring? What causes us to be fascinated by the forgotten ruins of structures that once teemed with life? There is something so intriguing and mysterious and beautiful about abandoned and decaying old buildings. It may have something to do with the original purpose of those buildings. Homes and towns where families once lived are fascinating, but there’s something tragic and amazing about hospitals, churches, hotels and castles. These places were often the setting of life-changing experiences. When they’re abandoned and left to return to dust, we can’t help but imagine what used to take place within those walls.
The destruction of the inside makes the building strangely peaceful while reminding us that, without human intervention, our man-made structures are quickly taken down by nature and by time. The ex-Corynthia Jerma Palace Hotel in Marsascala is one such example. This four-star Hotel used to be Malta's most prestigious hotel in the south. It closed down in March 2007 after 25 years in operation, owned by Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company, which also owned the land, and operated by the Corinthia Group.
The forces of erosion have dilapidated the building. The hotel was built on a peninsula facing the raging Majjistral and Scirocco winds and the sea, the wind and nature reduced this once splendid hotel into a heap of ruins inhabited by a massive colony of rats, mice and other infected insects. Other areas have been burnt down.
Palm trees, yucca and bougainvillea plants still thrive despairingly in this once-desirable place. The empty pools echo the happy cries of children of ages gone by. Stray cats roam the abondoned verandah in search of some shade from the relentless sun. Teenagers lurk in the darkest corners. Lovers hide in discreet places. Drug users leave their syringes lying about and now it seems that illegal immigrants are squatting on the site. This is what's left of the only hotel in the Southern part of our island. Such a pity...