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Thread: Manicomio di V - Italy, July 2018

  1. #1
    Join Date
    July 2017

    Exclamation Manicomio di V - Italy, July 2018

    Asylum by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    By now Manicomio di V has been abandoned for 20 years and overgrown in many places. People who were imprisoned here in the past, probably can't understand why we wanted to get inside so badly. Because this place has a very sad history and people had to endure great suffering. But let's start at the beginning.

    Manicomio di V #05 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    In 1876, this hospital complex was inaugurated. With an area of over 60.000 square meters the asylum was like a small town. It was one of the most secure and best controlled facilities in the region. It was constructed far away from the surrounding cities, so the mad could be separated from the healthy people. Today, almost 150 years later, the derelict psychiatry is bedded between offices and apartment buildings in the middle of a bigger town.

    Manicomio di V #03 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    Today the structure is falling apart bit by bit. And nature is reclaiming the place. Unfortunately, we were only able to explore a small part of it since the building complex is still partly active. Some offices are housed here at the other side of the property. That's why power is still working in some areas. An unbelievable amount of items was left behind here. This place is like a museum!

    Museum by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    In total more than 1.000 mentally ill people could be accommodated in the asylum at the same time. For that around 400 employees needed to work here. Initially, the symmetrical building complex was divided in two halves. There was one area for female and one area for male patients. During the second half of the 20th century this isolation ended, men and women weren't separated any more. As a result even relationships started. There's the story of Luigina und Mario who fell in love here and married in the church of the hospital. From now on they lived together - in the same cell.

    Manicomio di V #09 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    This was one of the very few nice episodes from the mental house. But unfortunately, the dark chapters are dominating. In the beginning of the 20th century, it didn't need much for you to get detained here. One simple fight on the streets of one of the surrounding communities could already be enough to bring you behind the bars of this asylum. So, many patients weren't even sick in the first place. Maybe they were just people who couldn't follow the strict rules of the Italian society. And for that they were treated here as if they had a disease.

    Fairy Tale by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    But what's way more terrifying: There was a sector in which orphan children grew up. Mothers gave away their illegitimate babies and so did parents who couldn't live with the shame of having a disabled child. But also poor families that couldn't afford to feed another infant. However, this isn't exactly a place where children should grow up - surrounded by so much pain and fear.

    Manicomio di V #12 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    This device was used for photostimulation. While patients were exposed to flickering light, their brain activity was measured. Although there was a risk of getting spasm and seizures. Like in all the other Italian psychiatries from that time the treatment was nearly the same as torture. Back then people thought electric shocks and lobotomy were the only way to heal mental illness. But instead of curing the patients they became limp. So, staff had the only benefit from it because it was now easier to handle the patients. Often people remained imprisoned here for their whole life. But that life was rather short. If death wasn't a consequence of operations, people probably starved or froze to death here. Until the horror ended in 1978.

    Manicomio di V #13 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    The Basaglia law became active. Now downsizing had started. Patients were transferred to other facilities or even released to the community. This process took 20 years until the hospital finally closed down in 1998.

    Jigsaw by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    As we already mentioned, the former hospital almost resembles a museum today. It's unbelievable what was left behind here and reminds of the past's terror. So, we see this place more as memorial. We need places like this, so the terrible past won't repeat ever again.

    Manicomio di V #19 by Broken Window Theory, on Flickr

    Do you want to see more of this horror asylum? If yes, watch this documentary to learn the whole story:

  2. Thanks given by: etc100, Hugh Jorgan, Mearing, Sabtr
  4. #2
    Join Date
    June 2014


    Wow that's amazing what a dark place! your pics capture it excellently though, nicely done.
    What the hell am I doing, I mean really at my age!

  5. Thanks given by: B W T
  6. #3
    Join Date
    January 2013
    People's Republic of South Yorkshire.

  7. Thanks given by: B W T

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