Esmeralda Holman/

By Mark McConville

EERIE images have revealed an abandoned Red Cross children’s home that has begun to be reclaimed by nature.

Haunting pictures show rows upon rows of empty, dusty beds where kids would have slept and a six-foot-high tree that has grown through the floor of what had been the toilets.

Esmeralda Holman/


Other stunning shots show the chapel hall with pews still lined up facing the alter, a forgotten bedside table and a lonely child’s doll peering out the window.

The creepy photographs were taken in Italy by self-employed photographer and urban explorer Esmeralda Holman (43) from Breda, Netherlands.

Esmeralda Holman/


“This abandoned children’s home was the first location I visited in Italy. People often can’t believe it’s real,” she said.

“Does this really exist? Did you really find it like this? It is like the feeling I have being there. It makes me happy that I can show the beauty I see, that I succeed in sharing that feeling of amazement what I love so much.

“My images show a mysterious glimpse of the building’s history or its stories just before it disappears forever.”

Esmeralda Holman/


Esmeralda has always been interesting in exploring abandoned buildings but said it is not without its risks.

“Abandoned buildings always attracted me,” she added.

“As a child, I played in abandoned schools and factories, intrigued by questions as ‘what was here, who worked, played or lived here, how did it look like in better days?’

Esmeralda Holman/


“I just love the beauty of decay. No matter what we build, eventually nature will always take over. It fascinates me every time.

“Although I never break my way in to a building and always use some kind of entrance that is already there – a broken window, open rooftops, unlocked doors – it is still illegal to enter.

Esmeralda Holman/


“The two main issues are always; how do I get in and; will I get out before getting caught?

“Most important is that you have to be very careful. Many of these buildings are not safe to enter. Some can collapse at any time.