/// URBEX = Urban Exploration
Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.-Urban Explorer’s Motto
“Urban exploration” is a way to look into the literal underbelly and inner workings of a city as well as rediscovering the figurative former lives of it.
Whether your traveling abroad to exotic countries or wandering in your hometown, these places are always seen from the outside and dismissed as soon as it’s out of view. It’s also the massive structures hidden in plain site or under our feet that make the city function.
Unlike traditional travel and exploration, URBEX isn’t about the popular and unknown but the forgotten and unseen environments made by man.
A journey into the urban jungles and caves.
The most common type of urban exploration is exploring pre-modern and modern structures that are abandoned or condemned. This could be of anything man-made from something as small as a house to amusement parks to as large as fallen cities.
“Infiltration” is exploring active buildings and facilities by accessing restricted or private areas in order to observe interesting things that few are privy to. This could be to access the rooftop of a commercial building for a view or to see a massive factory in action.
The most dangerous and perhaps most adventurous type of URBEX urban exploration is exploring below the surface of cities, AKA urban spelunking. These are the tunnels, subways, sewers, catacombs and other underground structures that all major cities are built on top of.
Whatever the case, it’s about exploring the places where people built and once occupied as well as the operative but elusive or obscure parts of a city.
-Urban explorers see the beauty in decay and grit whereas most people just see disrepair and rubbish.
-Urban explorers seek the cities beyond the cities whereas most people remain in their comfort zones.
The inherent dangers and risks of urban exploration makes it adventurous and thrilling.
However, it’s about finding the profound beauty and wonders of the environments we’ve built, used, abandoned, forgotten or keep hidden.
[The featured photo was taken during an urban exploration of Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, Korea.]