Batman House

Built in 1994 by a construction company out of Bangkok this massive six-floor Batman-themed disco and nightclub once held a prominent place among Pattaya nightlife venues.

Its giant rooftop spotlights shone the Batman logo across the city to draw customers to the disco. It stayed open for about 18 months and after one too many police raids was shut down by authorities for alleged underage drinking and drugs.

Following the shutdown numerous arguments flared up between the owners and the ongoing court case with the police over the closure order did not help matters, drawing on for many months.

A few months after the closure a mysterious fire gutted the building, ruining the inside and causing a large amount of financial loss.  The origins of fire have never been identified – it could have equally been an insurance job, one of disgruntled owners getting back at his business partners, police trying to prevent the re-opening of the eye-sore, or a simple electric short-circuit. Whatever the reason – the fire sealed the club’s fate and it was never re-opened.

It sits abandoned just off one of the main roads and continues to be the eye-sore of the area, although now a much quieter one.

According to Internet sources, the lowest level of the building, previously a bar and lounge, is flooded with several feet of toxic looking water and garbage and according to The Pattaya News in 2018 the body of a dead man was found floating there.  To make things even more enjoyable several local Thai homeless men call the building a temporary home.

The current owner of the building is a local bank that managed to wrestle it away from the original owners through numerous court battles.  They did fuck all to the building, apart from allowing local graffiti artists decorate it with murals.

For a long time the building shell and the area around it were fully accessible to curious public.  As of January 2023, however, the premises are cordoned off by a fresh barbed wire around the perimeter.  A couple of entrance points could be found through the stretched wire, and through a makeshift household of a local guy happily breeding chickens on the grounds of the former disco.

With a broken foot and two overactive dogs in tow, we regretfully decided to give more close exploration a miss and admire the building from outside of the wire.

You can find Batman House on Google Maps.  Here is the address: 125 Sukhumvitpattaya 46/3, Pattaya City, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150

Villa Gal-Turković

Rijeka, Croatia

One of my long-time favorites, this abandoned villa sits on the coast of the Adriatic Sea within walking distance from the city of Rijeka.  Thanks to an old guy I met on the beach, as well as an amazingly-researched and very well written university thesis of an architecture student from Zagreb, Vili Rakita, I managed to find out the history of this beautiful building.

The majestic sea view from the villa

The villa was built between 1904 and 1906 for the rich Hungarian coffee, tea and rum merchant Janos Gal, and became known as Villa Gal. Designed by a prominent Budapest architect Antal Grioni, as a Palladian house with a balcony rising 12 meters over the sea, the villa had also a beautiful garden, a small pavilion in the rocks and a swimming pool at sea level. 

In 1926 the villa changed changed hands and became known as Villa Turković, after the new owner Baron Zdenko Turković (son of Baron Milan Turković, a landowner, humanitarian, and one of the founders of Croatian Forestry Society). 

Turković lived in the villa for 20 years, he was a prominent member of the Rijeka society and the long-term president of the local Rotary Club. 

After his death in 1946, the villa remained in the ownership of the Turković family and between 1970 and 2014 had two families living in it as tenants.

In 2014 the last Turković decided to sell the villa and offered it to the city of Rijeka for €900,000. The city refused. It did not, however, take long to find a new buyer. The current owner of the Gal-Turković Villa is a Croatian company, owned by a corporation registered in Cyprus with no activity and only one listed member of the board, a Russian businessman Aleksei Lukin. By the looks of the villa, which is now all boarded up, the new owner did not bother to do anything with it for the past 8 years and it is slowly falling into disrepair. 

The gates of the villa are locked, the windows boarded up and the only access to the grounds is from the sea.  You can swim up to it from the nearest beach, and climb onto what used to be a pier (the bottom steps coming into the water were removed, so some serious acrobatic skills are required).

The grounds are all grown over, with untamed trees, shrubs and weeds slowly taking over the place, but even in its current state the villa and the space around it still show the former cozy grandeur of the place.

View of Rijeka Containership Port from the villa