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Park Albanoel: Brazil's abandoned theme park Santa



(CNN) – Driving through Brazil to Rio de Janeiro, you may discover an eerie sight on the roadside: a deserted group of Santas abandoned and surrounded by palm trees and greenery.

Look You will see that these Christmas clones are not alone.

Nearby, there is a sad-looking sled and run-down reindeer. Soon you will discover the faded candy canes, worn slides and an eerie house.

Welcome to Park Albanoel in Itaguaí, Brazil – a deserted theme park for Christmas.

The park was the brainchild of politician Antonio Albano Reis, colloquially known as "Santa Claus of Quintino" because he disguised himself as Santa Claus at Christmas.

It was supposed to be a series of fun themed areas spanning more than 30 million square feet, but only the Santa area was completed.

After Reiss's death in a traffic accident in 2004, Park Albanoel closed and fell into disrepair.

A few years later, British schoolteacher Christopher Jones drove to Paraty with a group of friends from Rio when they spotted the creepy Santas.

Jones, an avid photographer, snapped a series of eye-catching images that captured the park's amazing atmosphere. He tells CNN Travel about the exciting experience.

Eerie Sight

  Park Albanoel is an abandoned theme park for Christmas in Brazil.

Park Albanoel is an abandoned theme park for Christmas in Brazil. 19659014] Courtesy of Christopher Jones

Jones and his friends were impressed by what they saw as they climbed out of the car and came closer.

"It's a huge facility that's completely open to the road," recalls Jones. "I think there was a very small wall, about a foot, two feet high, and she's just completely abandoned, behind her is a sort of big house or residence, but the kind of lawn at the front is just plain open."

Exploring the park was surreal, with many people regularly associated with Christmas – joy, new life, celebration – and this macabre, ominous environment.

"[Christmas] should be so happy is not it? And happy," says Jones. "But these things are full of cracks and mold."

"We were just fascinated by the whole thing."

  British schoolteacher Christopher Jones, a hobbiest photographer, took these shots of the park.

British schoolteacher Christopher Jones, a hobbiest photographer, took these shots of the park.

Courtesy of Christopher Jones

The idyllic natural environment, says Jones, added only to the effect.

"The actual site is quite steep down the valley and, in fact, there is a beautiful waterfall in the background – as it was quite far away, it's hard to get it with the same attitude."

Other elements of the park stood out. [19659004] "The kind of Santa Claus in – it almost looks like a burned-out helicopter – was particularly surreal," recalls Jones.

  The park is in beautiful surroundings, with even a waterfall in the background of Jones's photographs.

The park is located in a bay In a beautiful setting there is even a waterfall in the background of some of Jones's photographs.

Courtesy of Christopher Jones

Park Albanoel seemed completely deserted.

"If you look at some of the structures, look at the others. Through the doors or through the open windows, Christmas statues and other things that are particularly scary are smashed in," says Jones.

"It does not look as if they have taken anything out of the house, some parts are just broken and pushed in."

The group was wary of venturing too far into the park and not knowing what they would find.

"We did not want to go too far Just in case," says Jones. "We've really stayed on the periphery, but who knows what else is there?"

Urban Exploration

  The Park was abandoned after the politician Antonio Albano Reiss death.

The park was abandoned after the death of politician Antonio Albano Reis.

Courtesy of Christopher Jones

Back in the UK, Jones edited the photos and put them on his Flickr page ready red color to emphasize the eeriness.

Internationally, the park is not as well-known as other deserted places in the world, and the information available online is quite limited – as are the photos.

  Jones desaturated the footage to add to the eerie effect.

Jones desaturates the shots added to the eerie effect.

Courtesy of Christopher Jones

As a result, Jones's pictures often appear on social media. They were shared by celebrities on Twitter, including Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro.

"I do not think many people know that they exist and actually took pictures," says Jones. 19659004] A few years later, the unexpected journey is still pursued by Jones.

"It's striking, is not it? It's just visually striking," he says.


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