Eerie images showcase the hidden abandoned beauty of de facto Republic

PIC BY JAMES KERWIN / CATERS

These eerie images show the beautiful abandonment that can be found dotted across the de facto Republic of Abkhazia.

British photographer James Kerwin ventured across the partially-recognised republic earlier this year, when he came across a selection of splendidly preserved train stations, hotels,

PIC BY JAMES KERWIN / CATERS: Abandoned diusesd park restaurant in Abkhazia

bridges and government buildings.

Through his images, James said he looked to capture the “architectural gems the region had to offer.”

This included documenting the likes of decaying staircases, eroding pillars, and monuments.

Abkhazia sits on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, in northwestern Georgia, and currently has a population of around 240,000.

PIC BY JAMES KERWIN / CATERS: Abandoned former government building in Abkhazia

While Georgia does not have control over Abkhazia, the Georgian government and most United Nations members consider the 3,340-square-mile area part of Georgia.

As the Soviet Union fell apart in the late 1980s, ethnic tensions between the Abkhaz —the region’s “titular ethnicity” — and Georgians culminated

in the 1992–1993 War in Abkhazia.

During this war, Georgia lost control over most of Abkhazia and de facto Abkhazia independence was established.

PIC BY JAMES KERWIN / CATERS: Abandoned government building in Abkhazia

A ceasefire agreement was reached in 1994, yet the dispute remains unresolved.

James, 36, from Norwich, UK, said: “Some people are fascinated by the region, while others simply don’t like it or think it is fairly ruined – which it is, of course, as the region was victim of a war.

“Georgia has been on the travel bucket list for a couple of years, but I needed to wait until I had the opportunity to sit down and concentrate on planning before we could head over.

“I identified the locations through Google, looking at some spots we had seen online, and also through new channels and sources across Georgia.”