The Grand Hotel
The Grande Hotel in Beira, Mozambique is probably one of the more bizarre locations we have visited over the last couple of years. Originally built as a luxury destination for wealthy Portuguese expats, tourists and world travellers and dubbed ‘The Pride of Africa’, it soon become obvious that the owners had grossly overestimated its appeal and the hotel was closed to guests in 1963 and abandoned soon after independence, falling into complete neglect during the war years. It soon became home to roughly 3500 squatters sheltering from the conflict and is now home to a thriving community. The residents live without electricity and have turned the Olympic sized pool in a laundry. The complex is run by an elected committee, and the maximum capacity has long since been exceeded, with families taking up residence in all available spaces. When we visited a few years ago, we were escorted around the building but were advised not to take pictures. It was cool to find this amazing set taken by photojournalist Fellipe Abreu that captures both the grand scale and beauty of decay along with the extreme living conditions of the resident community.