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Hanging out with Ghosts

This Saturday morning I woke up bit tired so I prepared myself a Vitamin D and Zink enriched German infusion tea with a Sardines sandwich.

I was looking forward to meet up with my artistic friends British from Jamaican and Egons from Latvia, whom I create music with.

Dressed up warm, I put on my favourite Timberland boots and left home, outside the sun was shining but I could still feel the chilling cold.

My ordered taxi took me to the Riga Plaza shopping mall where Egons our music producer

and his son where already waiting for me. Here we planned the music video we intend to shoot at an old abandoned building whilst waiting for British.

After an hour British rocked up and we started started getting busy shooting.

From the Riga Plaza Once we drove to the former historic Military Hospital in Riga, a place British had scouted a day or so before.

Arriving there I was impressed by its sheer size and the building looked like it was straight from a Hollywood movie.

The former Riga Military Hospital

The great complex of masonry building is situated just outside central Rīga.

For close to 200 years, they treated wounded soldiers here.

The Rīga Military Hospital was once among the largest military medical facilities in the Russian Empire. Here soldiers underwent treatment during inter-war independence and under the Soviet occupation as well. It was built from 1750 to 1754 and the masonry building of the hospital, now a protected architectural monument, was built 80 years later.

"This two-story masonry building (1830-1835) was authored by the St. Petersburg architect Alexander Staubert and Johann Eduard de Vite.

In late 18th century, Otto von Huhn, who started smallpox vaccination across the Russian Empire, worked here. Karl Ernst von Baer, the forefather of embryology did too, while Nikolay Pirogov, the founder of field surgery, was initially a patient and only afterwards took up work at the hospital. The last tenants left the hall in a disarray.

For the past three years, the former hospital has been managed by the Courthouse Agency, an institution controlled by the Justice Ministry. It has, however, but vague plans of putting the complex to use.

The building is now off-limits, and the first story windows are nailed shut.

So you can say we trespassed in the name of art.

We first explored the surrounding area like the nearby lake and then we started shooting our video. Inside we startled some graffiti artists who were busy spray painting the walls.

I felt like I was a character in a paranormal movie that explores the ghosts of the pasts.

Cardboard boxes, shattered glass are lining the floor, with plastic syringes cracking beneath your feet.

We completed our music video shoot and left the building before it would start getting dark around 7pm. Whilst driving out I turned around and hoped not to see a ghost waving me goodbye. We completed shooting the last parts of the music video in Riga city centre and from there Egons dropped me off at home.

It was quite an interesting day, and while I was finishing my write up on the story for my blog, my friend James from the USA, who had seen the photos I had posted on my WhatsApp, called me to enquire about the former hospital. He wanted to find out why this beautiful building is so depilated and run down. Why is this historic building not restored to its former glory and perhaps turned into a hotel with a Spa and museum.

I promised my friend I will find out and let him know about the future fate of the former Military hospital....

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