- Thomas Windisch, 34, travelled across Europe photographing the churches - some of which 'upset' him
- Harrowing images show the reality of churches left to rot, with graffiti covering walls and decaying pews
- Some of the churches are thought to have suffered damage in earthquakes while smaller chapels are sometimes abandoned when larger hospitals close
These harrowing pictures show the harsh reality of forgotten churches which have been left to rot.
Some of the places of rest are covered in graffiti, while others have bones strewn on the floor and decaying pews.
Austrian student Thomas Windisch travelled across Europe photographing the churches - some of which 'upset' him.
Sanctuary: Greenery taking over a church in Italy, which has been abandoned and left to be overtaken by nature
Left to rot: Orphanage Chapel, Italy, which is sometimes referred to as Crying Baby Hospital, a decaying summer camp
Church time forgot: Country Estate Chapel, Italy where many beautiful features remain but there is a overwhelming decay and dirt
Refuge: Once providing a quiet place for prayer and contemplation, this hospital chapel, in Italy has long been forgotten
The 34-year-old said: 'When an old temple in Syria is destroyed, for example, public outrage is huge.
'But when a beautiful church from the 14th Century rots in your neighbourhood, nobody cares.
'The idea behind this project was simply to create awareness in our society to preserve our cultural heritage.'
It is understood some of the churches and chapels collapsed during earthquakes, while smaller chapels in hospitals or schools were abandoned when the main complex was closed.
Thomas, who spent three years on the project, added: 'I was a bit upset by how much vandalism there was as well as the natural decay.
'Not only was there graffiti, but altars had been smashed.
'I'm not religious, but I can hardly understand how anyone can treat a sacred place with that little respect.'
Ruins: An overgrown Italy church is a shadow of its former glory. The photographer, Thomas Windisch, said the sight of some of these places left him feeling upset
Blue light: There's a haunting backdrop of coloured light to this Blue Chapel Monastery, also in Italy. The area behind the altar is panted which gives a glow when the light stream through
Pews: Much of the traditional pew seating in this ancient chapel remains in tact, and there are still figures in the alcoves in the walls
Decay: Leaves are strewn across the floor of Calvary Church, Austria where paint is faded and stripped back from the walls
Graffiti: Vandals have left their mark in this abandoned church, in Germany. Photographer Thomas Windisch said he was surprised at how people could treat sacred places with little respect
Bones: Dubbed the church of bones, this Italian church is particularly eerie thanks to the remains strewn across the floor
Forgotten: This stained glass in a church in Belgium has no one to appreciate it as the building around it has been left to ruin
Cobwebs: This beautiful chapel, in Italy is victim of spiders with cobwebs and dust hanging from the ceilings
Destroyed: This church in Italy looks as though it has been vandalised with furniture lying across the floor and broken tables
Grand: In Italy, this abandoned cathedral would once have been just one testament to the country's deep religious tradition
Stark: What remains of the older pieces looks out of place when so much has been left to go to ruin in this church in Austria
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4064794/Eerie-photos-abandoned-churches-left-crumble-graffiti-covered-walls-decaying-pews-BONES-littering-floor.html#ixzz4TsPn4RR8
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