Lonely Planet Writer

See how nature is reclaiming abandoned spaces around the world

A series of images from all over the world has just been released as part of a new book that showcases nature in the process of reclaiming man-made spaces.  Among the stunning pictures are scenes from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, an area that is still highly radioactive to this day after the infamous nuclear disaster over thirty years ago.

The outside of an administration building in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Image by Jonathan Jimenez / CarpetBombingCulture / mediadrumworld.com

Other snaps reveal what was once an idyllically located hotel in Croatia being taken over by wildlife, whilst another shows what was once a beautiful theatre in Cuba that has seen better days and appears to be on the brink of collapse.

Plants grow through a hospital in Italy. Image by Jonathan Jimenez / CarpetBombingCulture / mediadrumworld.com

The photographs have been showcased for the first time in Naturalia: Reclaimed by Nature by photographer Jonathan Jimenez and published by CarpetBombingCulture. Jonathan spoke about the book in more detail, opening up about his inspiration for the project and love of this sort of photography.

Trees grow inside a silo in Belgium. Image by Jonathan Jimenez / CarpetBombingCulture / mediadrumworld.com

“Naturalia is a curated collection showcasing urban ruins reclaimed by nature,” he said. “I’ve pictured a wide range of architectural styles from classical to hyper-modern in the grip of wild, resurgent nature.

The interior of a French castle. Image by Jonathan Jimenez / CarpetBombingCulture / mediadrumworld.com

“If we disappeared tomorrow, in just a hundred years the great cities of the world would look like this. Once endangered species thriving, roots and branches, leaves and flowers thronging the streets, the poisons in the air would fade away and new ecosystems arise.

A rundown hotel in Croatia. Image by Jonathan Jimenez / CarpetBombingCulture / mediadrumworld.com

“Our domesticated species and genetically modified plants would return to wild forms and nature would triumph, rapidly and completely.  There is a small part of all of us that longs to see modern things swallowed up by writhing branches and reclaimed by the earth.

An abandoned German greenhouse. Image by Jonathan Jimenez / CarpetBombingCulture / mediadrumworld.com

“We turned the earth inside out. Now we’re just waiting for her to spit us out. Every civilisation in human history has fallen, ours will too, and if you look in the right places you can see it starting to happen.”