Lens Artists Photo Challenge #38 – Weathered or Worn

Are you one of those who love things weathered or worn? I am. I love driftwood, old houses, old furniture, toys, the grey cottages up north – things with patina. Clothes with a story – leather jackets, jeans. And people? Only your fantasy sets the limit!

This week’s challenge is Weathered and/or Worn.

The other day I was driving along the familiar road between my home and Malmoe, and as usual passed the old Distillery. Every time I wonder why I do not take the time to stop the car and walk up to the old historic buildings…This time, I finally decided to return the next day – with my camera. And I was not disappointed. As usual, click to enlarge.

These are the weathered remains of one of the oldest Swedish distilleries – Sösdala Distillery, built 1860. The same year that Vladivostok was founded and Abraham Lincoln was elected president.

And most important for this distillery, home distillation of alcohol was forbidden in Sweden.

History in short says, that in 1766 the Swedish king, Adolf Frederick, decided to abolish all alcohol restrictions. This led to virtually every household making and selling alcohol. At the beginning of the 1800s, the Swedish people were drinking a lot of alcohol, from 175,000 distillers (most of them for household-production only), using tremendous amounts of grain and potatoes that otherwise would have been consumed as food, and it was later said that most men in Sweden abused alcohol. Women rarely drank alcohol, since it was considered inappropriate.

In 1830, the first moderate drinking society was started in Stockholm. A few decades later, the first fully-fledged temperence organisation was formed, and in 1850, alcohol began to be regulated by the state. Sösdala distillery was shut down in 1950.

It was forbidden to go inside, but I walked over the open space and up to the old buildings. Some of them weathered and some worn down to dilapidation. But all of them blending in with the surroundings, and being slowly and beautifully reclaimed by nature. The stillness in the air, the soft song of birds and the calls from cranes flying north this spring morning – made this a walk of harmony.


Welcome to the challenge! – We are so looking forward to seeing your inspirational photos and thoughts! Also, Be sure to tag your post with Lens-Artists so that others can find you in the Reader.

Before you go – We say thank you to all contributors of interesting ”history lessons”, and to Patti for hosting the  History challenge.


Have an inspiring week!






171 comments on “Lens Artists Photo Challenge #38 – Weathered or Worn

  1. […] This post is quite tardy, and I apologize to those who commented on previous posts to whom I owe a reply. I do have an excuse for my lack of participation in my normal operations. As it is being written, we are sailing on the Norwegian Star somewhere between Acapulco, Mexico and Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. The Internet access is available, but it is expensive on the ship. Besides I am “on vacation”, gathering material for future posts, visiting with family who are also traveling with us, and generally staying disconnected. For Photo Challenge #38, Ann-Christine asks us to share something weathered. She shares some of her selections here. […]

  2. No. 38 already! It’s been a huge success, this challenge, Ann-Christine, and much is due to your imaginative interpretations, and beautiful photography. 🙂 🙂 Is the abolition of alcohol connected with the high prices charged in Sweden?

  3. your images look like they have been distilled in oak barrels – beautiful tones. History of alcohol has similar pattern here in the UK, with the Gin craze of the mid eighteenth century

    • So we have quite a similar alcohol history then. I must admit I had never heard of the Gin craze. I guess some hundred years ago things were more tough to survive. Much hard work and misery – no wonder they tried to forget about it with the help of alcoholic fogs. What a poetic and beautiful description of the images! Thank you very much, Laura.

  4. Oh, yes, I am definitely one of those who love things weathered or worn! Love the dilapidated buildings here Ann-Christine and the history. I am so glad you got closer. The last image with the catkins is wonderful. I shall have a very old and well worn door for you tomorrow 🙂

    • Yay, happy you are one of those too! And doors can be very, very beautifully weathered and worn. Looking forward to your entry!

  5. […] I first visited the temples of Mahabalipuram almost thirty years ago. A local bus dropped me at a seemingly empty spot on the beach. I walked towards the shore, spotted the temples in the distance and trudged up to it in the summer’s heat. I was too young to worry about dehydration. I remember very little detail; what remains now is the impression of great antiquity and eroded stone. […]

  6. Pity that beautify old place should be left to go to ruin! I’d love to restore it and live there… and make beer!
    Great post… I think I shall join in! 😉

    • Haha, well, I love beer, but restoring this place to make it myself…I don’t think I would manage it! You are very welcome to join in – looking forward to it😉

    • Thank you, Tina – neither can I…My only explanation is that the factory is situated on a very heavily trafficked road between two busy cities. Not easy to find ones way out to it from all the traffic.

  7. what a cool place for a photo shoot. I bet this distillery was hopping and bustling during its prime time.

    and quick question for you – I heard that in Sweden some folks are getting the chip under their skin – for I.D.
    Do you have one or do you think you would get one (just curious because it was on the radio and when i heard Sweden I thought of you)

  8. I love the idea of these buildings being reclaimed by the land. I really see that through your photos – with those shots of the moss-covered roof and various views through the grasses. And such a nice description of the harmonious feel of the place! I, too, would never have considered the connection between food and alcohol production. Interesting! And thank you so much for your shout-out from last week’s challenge. That is so kind and so generous and I truly appreciate you! I was outside today among this crazy rocky landscape of New Mexico and got some inspiration for this week’s challenge. So I’ll be back!!!

    • Thank you, Amy, glad you like them! I always wish that old people would be loved for getting old as well. Maybe that is why I like weathered and worn things? As to the history of the place, I find it rather interesting. I did not know alcoholic beverages were that common in Sweden back then. Fortunately it has changed.

    • Then there are at least two of us! They are hard to resist, the old weathered buildings, but it took at least 5-10 years before I stopped the car for this one…I bet you have lots in Ireland as well!

  9. A beautiful post, AC with some great historical details too. I did not realize that temperance had an impact on food consumption and availability. Fascinating. Your shots have great lighting and texture.

    • Thank you, Patti! I must agree, I had never though about the connection to food consumption and availability either. It is fascinating what a simple decision to stop the car and photograph these weathered buildings brought in of new knowledge. And that is only one of the good things with being curious.

  10. How interesting! I wonder what the Finnish history of alcohol is. Incredible that most Swedish men were abusing it, well it’s quite addictive so it’s no wonder. Poor women, having to put up with that. Also interesting to imagine life into your weathered photos. I imagine them wearing clothes similar to Abraham Lincoln’s (now that you mentioned him, he’s in my head) and working so busily around that tiny distillery, which probably didn’t seem tiny at all back then

    • I wonder about the Finnish history too. In Sweden there is a saying about the Finnish alcohol consumption being much higher than in Sweden – would love some facts on that! It might be the same saying in Finland about Sweden – you never know. And about the tininess, yes, it probably was not that tiny back then. And people were smaller!

      • Finns (the older generations) do drink a lot, and not in a civilized manner. Which is why I never liked it here. There are certain areas of Helsinki I actively avoid because they are too depressing (drunks everywhere – continuous mass unemployment doesn’t help. Still somehow we are the happiest nation, heheh, those researchers have probably never spoken to a real live Finn!)

  11. A great history lesson thrown in among the beautiful photos. Temperance was a big deal in the US, I learned (while working at the living history museum), especially for women. I hadn’t thought about the resources being used for alcohol instead of food. The US had much greater resources for food production, naturally. But the effect of domestic abuse on women and children due to alcohol consumption was behind the temperance and suffrage movement.

    • It is an interesting thing, the story of alcoholic beverages and everything that follows. I guess we had about the same reasons here. I read that so many business owners were complaining about their employees being drunk, that home distilling was banned. Domestic abuse might have been the same here too, but I did not know it was behind the suffrage movement.

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