People sometimes feel attracted to ruins and abandoned buildings and so was I, when driving through Bordighera on the way to Monte Carlo. A street with old trees, some villas and hotels, but suddenly a ruin of an old grand-hotel was rising out of wild beautiful garden, enclosed by a huge wall - like in a fairy-tale. But what made me immediately stop my car, were some big wooden letters on the roof and some faded painted ones on the facade : ANGST. At the entrance to the garden "Hotel Angst" was repeated in Art Nouveau-style. Climbing over the wall was the only way to enter.
A return to get the camera, another return the next day and another half a year later exquisitely just to photograph Angst.
I think, Hitchkock and other directors specialized in horror would have stopped too to see whats behind the facade of a hotel with such name. Partly it is the name that became a program. Being inside the building, the blend of smell and sound slowly creeps under your skin, while examining what remained of the grandeur this place surely once must have had.
I was not the only one to visit this hotel, as I could read from inscriptions, some dating from 1959. During my stay photographing or relaxing from the tension that is
inside this building, there have been other visitors, some which I saw, others I could guess from their traces.
Being founded in the eighteen-seventies, some years after an earthquake in Liguria,
Adolfo Angst had no doubt, that this modern hotel should carry his name. It is said that he was even playing with the controversial connotations. Soon his hotel became the hotspot not only in this area, but it attracted rich people from far away. Queen Victoria's stay was only hindered by some war-business. But after the great depression the era of titanic hotels was definitely over and when Mussolini declared war in Abbessinia, the British guests stayed away. Adolfo Angst was Jewish and these coincidences at the dawn of world war II led to its closing in 1939. Du