The Preventorio Marítimo La Sabinosa was built in 1929 following the plans of architect Francesc Monravà i Soler. It is located on a small peninsula between the large beaches of la Rabassada and la Sabinosa in Tarragona, Catalunya.
Its architecture belongs to the 'multiple-unit' hospitals. Each ward block has only a few floors, with the four main wings winding around a central building.
The hospital is like a small town where one can find streets and avenues, little squares, fountains and pavilions. The symmetric layout is remarkable, while the surroundings are magnificent and protected.
Built originally to house patients suffering tuberculosis, after the Spanish Civil war the sanatorium became used for much darker purposes.
For decades this is where generations of children left orphaned by the Francoist regime were imprisoned and mistreated in the most idyllic setting.
One can find many stories from this dark period and details of the tragedies that occurred within the Sanatorium's wall, especially on Scila's blog.
The hospital complex is nowadays totally derelict since its abandonment in 1976, shortly after the fall of the Spanish dictatorship.
Yet, everything began perfectly this hot day of August.
My father and I left the family villa with the lark to avoid the midday's scorching. Except for the morning's joggers, the beach was deserted. The fence would not be a problem but hearing barking dogs on the city-side of the hospital, we decided to start on sea and cliff side.
Pavilions follow pavilions, all empty and trashed - I did not expect much more. We hoped the incredible location and the beautiful architecture of the hospital would make the visit interesting enough. Little patios, squares, labyrinthine corridors... Each window offers a unique view on the city, the cliffs and the sea. The view from the roof of the central building proved to be astonishing.
The sun was starting to beat down, the photos were starting to be good to trash, it was time to head home. Our last stop was the back of the site, the last pavilion. It, like its predecessors, looks empty. Not so! A huge dog peeks out its head through the door, or at least what is left of it, then runs back into the building. We each grab a stick and back off quickly, watching the doorway.
Before we could go but a few meters, a man comes shouting through the doorway. It is not a dog which draws our attention but a white horse. He is closely followed by a very angry but chubby giant.
Then everything goes faster. He speaks Catalan, we only know Spanish. He angrily demands my memory card. He has a horse, I have only a stick. I throw it away and say: let's go.
He starts shouting even more as he starts to tie his horse to a tree we walk away and get a small headstart on him. Turning back I narrowly dodge a studded plank flying through the air. This is serious, I say: let's run.
And run we do. It is 11 o'clock, and more than 30°C. We sprint down the main road to the main gate but it is way too high to climb. I turn back again to see the giant fuming, red with anger. He tries to take a shortcut through the spiky moor. He reaches down for a handful of stones, which he launches wildly in our direction.
We run faster and the stones are whistling past our ears. We split up and finally I reach the fence. It's intimidating, so high! No time to fold the tripod or pack away my 5D. I climb awkwardly upwards with my arms full of camera gear, scrambling by more adrenaline than finesse and I cut myself rolling over the top. We race along the cliff, the fisherman staring at us bewildered then ducking for cover as the rocks rain down from over the fence.
After a few moment and more surprising athleticism, finally, the beach!
This outstanding photo series has been selected to be showcased on dailyabandoned.comamong the best abandoned photos.
Congratulations, you made it AGAIN.
You always bring high quality series, thank you for your work.
Beautiful pictures! a great gallery..
I would like to go there some day
great pictures and a big story... :-) this is a "must see" location, but so far away.
thx for the gallery +++++
Great photos! I find the two portrait photos grouped together very distracting though.
Man, what an exciting story...you had me on the edge of my seat!
Amazing photos, too bad you probably didn't have time to take one of the scary giant...
cool story like this !
Great story of an interesting visit! Sad that it's all in ruins. Hope all those stones missed their mark
Nice photo's! Great location.
You never let me down..Amazing choice in location. Question though..How could you possibly be intimidated by the heights here after your Brussels excursion? ..cheers bud.
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