The 40 Most Breathtaking Abandoned Places In The World

A tree growing through an abandoned piano

Source: stihi.ru

Overgrown palace, Poland

In 1910, this grand palace was built as a home for Polish Royalty. The rest of the century proved uncertain for the country and under communist rule the palace became an agricultural school, as well as a home for mentally handicapped adults and children. The former palace was deserted following the fall of the USSR.

 

 

Jet Star Rollercoaster, Seaside Heights, New Jersey

The Jet Star Rollercoaster was left submerged in the Atlantic Ocean after Superstorm Sandy in 2013. It stood rusting for six months, until it was plucked from the sea.

 

An abandoned church with a few lingering parishioners, Netherlands

Movie theater in Detroit, Michigan

With Detroit’s decline, many of its historic buildings have fallen into disuse. This movie theater is both a fascinating and sad example.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California

The Mare Island Naval Shipyard acted as a submarine port during both of the World Wars. In the 1990s, the building was abandoned and flooding has since created an amazing mirror effect.

The titanic took its first and last voyage in April, 1912. It was not until 73 years later that the decaying wreck of what was once the greatest ship in the world was discovered. The 1,500 souls lost with the vessel had been devoured by sea life, leaving behind a ghost ship.

 

Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture, France

The “little belt railway” was a circular railway system built in 1852 to supply Paris’ fortifications. When the city outgew its defenses in 1934, the railway system was also left to run wild.

 

Spreepark, Berlin, Germany

Spreepark, opened in 1969, was the only amusement park in East Berlin during Soviet rule. When the wall fell, bigger and better parks opened, leading to Spreeparks closure in 2001.

 

Island Home, Finland

Chris McCandless’ magic bus, Stampede Trail, Alaska

Bus 142 was left behind by the workers who built the railway at Stampede Trail. Christopher McCandless, an American hitchhiker whose story was told through the movie “Into The Wild, lived and died in what he referred to as the “magic bus” during the summer of 1992.

 

Turquoise Canal, Venice, Italy.

Just like any other city, areas of Venice are boarded up and abandoned.

 

Staircase to nowhere, Pismo Beach, California

Source: twitter.com

Once giving access to the beach, the walkway that connected this staircase to the bluffs has long since rotted away.

 

Nara Dreamland was built in 1961 after Disneyland took the world by storm. The entrance to the park was almost identical to Disneyland and included its own version of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The park closed in 2006 because of low visitor numbers.

 

Abandoned mining track, Taiwan

Source: imgur.com

Bare footprints in an abandoned nuclear reactor

Source: twitter.com
Boathouse, Obersee Lake, Germany

Methodist church, Gary, Indiana

Gary, Indiana, was founded in 1905 during the boom of US steel. During the 1950s, more than 200,000 people worked in the bustling city. As the manufacturing sector declined, nearly half of the city fell into disuse.

Soviet naval testing station in Makhachkala, Russia

Church steeple peeking out of a frozen lake, Reschen, Italy

Source: twitter.com

Lake Reschen is an artifical reservoir which submerged several villages and a 14th century church.

Glenwood power station, New York

Source: Will Ellis

The Glenwood Power Station, built in 1906, has long been obsolete. After closing in 1968, the sight was used as a backdrop for creepy thrillers and zombie movies.

Car graveyard, Ardennes, Belgium

Many American soldiers based on the Western front during World War 2 purchased cars for personal use. When the war ended, they proved too expensive to ship home and many were left abandoned in this eerie graveyard.

 

Driverless bumper cars, Chernobyl, Ukraine

Source: imgur.com
The city of Chernobyl was totally abandoned after the nearby nuclear disaster in 1986. Due to radiation, it has been left untouched ever since the incident and will be for many thousands of years into the future. Nature now rules the city in what resembles an apocalyptic movie.

Abandoned Sanatorium. Berlin, Germany

Source: twitter.com

Stunning Pics Of An Abandoned Farmhouse Where The Bed Is Still Made (PHOTOS)

abandoned farmhouse
Photo by Niki Feijen: Website / Facebook

abandoned farmhouse
Photo by Niki Feijen: Website / Facebook

abandoned farmhouse
Photo by Niki Feijen: Website / Facebook

abandoned farmhouse
Photo by Niki Feijen: Website / Facebook

abandoned farmhouse
Photo by Niki Feijen: Website / Facebook

abandoned farmhouse
Photo by Niki Feijen: Website / Facebook

abandoned farmhouse
Photo by Niki Feijen: Website / Facebook

abandoned farmhouse
Photo by Niki Feijen: Website / Facebook

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/28/abandoned-farmhouse_n_3163713.html

29 Most Eerie Photos of The Abandoned and Bankrupt City of Detroit

 

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For decades Detroit stood as a testament to the might of American manufacturing and industry. The auto industry thrived in the city and the city thrived around it. Over time, the decay of the American automotive industry and outsourcing to foreign factories caused this once thriving city into decline. Now, the city sits in bankruptcy, properties falling into ruins and decay. The abandoned places of Detroit explored and photographed by Yves Manchand and Romain Meffre of Paris show the grandeur of the history of Detroit and at the same time expose the horror of the city’s financial disaster.

One of the most stunning photographs captured by this pair of urban explorers is in the vault of a failed Detroit bank. The security boxes tossed on the floor, slid open, and the decay showcase the state of the city. Detroit may rebound from disaster, but many of these abandoned buildings will never see use again.

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Via Marchand Meffre

15 Spectacular Pictures Of Abandoned European Buildings

United Kingdom

1. “It Was a Quiet Day in Church Today.”

"It Was a Quiet Day in Church Today."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

He tells BuzzFeed: “I am based in Manchester and have been shooting now for about five years — I’m a bit of a late bloomer.”

2. “This Is Why We Do It.”

"This Is Why We Do It."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“Taking photos is a massive passion of mine and I will shoot almost anything to capture that special moment in time.”

3. “Hook, Line, and Sinker.”

"Hook, Line, and Sinker."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“I had a camera, but it was nothing special. And because everything was digital it was just easy for me to just snap away at anything and everything. It wasn’t until someone took a photograph of my daughter and the quality and clarity of the shot was amazing, it floored me.”

Belgium

4. “Behemoth.”

"Behemoth."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“Urban Exploration, for me, it is being able to see the unseen. Everything has a history: humans, animals, and even buildings. The only way to discover the history of these abandoned structures is to venture past the no entry sign to see and feel it for yourself.”

5. “Land of the Giants.”

"Land of the Giants."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“The majority of these buildings are very dangerous to enter and usually have some sort of security to prevent the likes of us gaining access, so it’s up at a ridiculous hour to try and enter under the cover of darkness.”

6. “The Show Stopper.”

"The Show Stopper."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“One thing I must stress is we never ‘break’ into any building. That job has usually been done for us by the thieves and vandals, we have just got to find their handy work and take advantage!”

France

7. “Chateau Lumiere.”

"Chateau Lumiere."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“Not everything goes to plan and some days do end in failure either with not finding any access or just not being stealthy enough to avoid security or the police.”

8. “Bedside Comforts.”

"Bedside Comforts."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

He has some tips: “Preparation is key. Google is your friend so always check out the net or Google Maps and get familiar with the location you intend on hitting.”

9. “L’escalier des Singes.”

"L'escalier des Singes."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“This is not your property, so treat it that way, and leave it as you found it.”

Germany

10. “Will Remain Long After We Have Gone.”

"Will Remain Long After We Have Gone."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“Safety first — these places have been left to rot and decay for years so don’t just assume everything is going to be OK. The floorboards make look fine but in reality the years have made them anything but and one wrong footstep could be your last.”

11. “Under Lock and Key.”

"Under Lock and Key."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“Enjoy it — if it’s not fun then why do it? … But always remember the safety factor.”

12. “Farewell to the Fairground.”

"Farewell to the Fairground."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“And don’t get caught. But if you do be respectful and comply with whatever the owner or security guy is asking, and 99.9% of the time all will be good and you will just be asked to leave.”

Italy

13. “The Silence Was Deafening.”

"The Silence Was Deafening."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“Being able to capture these places to a digital image means its history will live on long after the building has gone.”

14. “Overgrown Memories.”

"Overgrown Memories."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

“These places have had no contact with the outside world since the occupants left, except for us photographers and sadly thieves looking to make a quick buck on anything they can get their hands on.”

15. “Mother Nature’s Fightback.”

"Mother Nature's Fightback."

Gary Mather / Via uecriticalmass.co.uk

18 Chilling Photographs Of Abandoned Buildings Around Europe

Dutch photographer Niki Feijen travels the globe looking for abandoned buildings, photographing forgotten structures before they crumble and collapse.

Dutch photographer Niki Feijen travels the globe looking for abandoned buildings, photographing forgotten structures before they crumble and collapse.

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

A beautiful staircase inside “Chateau de Loup”, an abandoned castle in Belgium.

Niki doesn’t use any artificial light sources when exploring, but instead uses subtle HDR technique to capture the often dimly lit locations.

Niki doesn’t use any artificial light sources when exploring, but instead uses subtle HDR technique to capture the often dimly lit locations.

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

A stained glass window at “Chateau Clochard”, 15th century castle located in a small French village. Sadly a fire ravaged the remains of the castle in 2012.

Niki told BuzzFeed: “The fascination for abandoned places started when I was a kid. There was an old abandoned house with a factory close to my town.”

Niki told BuzzFeed: "The fascination for abandoned places started when I was a kid. There was an old abandoned house with a factory close to my town."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

This abandoned late 18th century chapel is definitely the “holy grail of urban exploration (urbex)”.

“I passed it a zillion times until finally I had the guts to have a peek inside. The adrenaline, the excitement. It was amazing.”

"I passed it a zillion times until finally I had the guts to have a peek inside. The adrenaline, the excitement. It was amazing."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

Dining room inside an abandoned 5-star hotel.

“Years and years later when I was photographing rally races and rock concerts I found out that there were people who photographed abandoned buildings.”

"Years and years later when I was photographing rally races and rock concerts I found out that there were people who photographed abandoned buildings."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

“Seeing these shots brought back memories and soon I was on my way to shoot my first location. That was almost a decade ago.”

"Seeing these shots brought back memories and soon I was on my way to shoot my first location. That was almost a decade ago."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

Fear and decay in an abandoned prison.

“I think people love abandoned photography because you get lost in the photographs. Your imagination is running wild. What happened here, why was it abandoned?”

"I think people love abandoned photography because you get lost in the photographs. Your imagination is running wild. What happened here, why was it abandoned?"

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

Escher-esque staircases at an abandoned factory.

“I rarely set anything up inside a location. Some people think I bring props or furniture with me. Trust me my backpack with camera gear is heavy enough!”

"I rarely set anything up inside a location. Some people think I bring props or furniture with me. Trust me my backpack with camera gear is heavy enough!"

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

Rays of light pierce the dust in this amazing abandoned Chapel.

“I don’t use any artificial light sources but use subtle HDR technique to capture the broad spectrum of natural light in the dim lit locations.”

"I don’t use any artificial light sources but use subtle HDR technique to capture the broad spectrum of natural light in the dim lit locations."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

An abandoned veterinary school basement. The jars are filled with animal remains like intestines, hearts, lungs and severed dog heads submerged in formaldehyde.

“Some locations require minutes of exposure time to take the shot. Others require up to 9 different exposures to capture both the darkest and the brightest areas.”

"Some locations require minutes of exposure time to take the shot. Others require up to 9 different exposures to capture both the darkest and the brightest areas."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

“Most people love HDR but some hate it. It’s is just a matter of opinion and taste.”

"Most people love HDR but some hate it. It’s is just a matter of opinion and taste."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

Slides at an abandoned water park in Austria.

“It’s hard to pick a favorite place but one that is very special was an abandoned hotel in Germany. I visited it twice, during winter and during summer.”

"It’s hard to pick a favorite place but one that is very special was an abandoned hotel in Germany. I visited it twice, during winter and during summer."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

“The place had partly been ravaged by a fire a few years ago and left the roof destroyed. Because of that the hotel was exposed to the elements.”

"The place had partly been ravaged by a fire a few years ago and left the roof destroyed. Because of that the hotel was exposed to the elements."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

Decayed organ inside an abandoned church.

“As a result the rooms turned into scenes which could come from a Tim Burton movie.”

"As a result the rooms turned into scenes which could come from a Tim Burton movie."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

“I am a very down to earth guy and do not believe in ghosts or the paranormal.”

"I am a very down to earth guy and do not believe in ghosts or the paranormal."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

“However roaming around a former 5 star luxurious hotel I encountered so many strange things that I was really glad when I stood outside again.”

"However roaming around a former 5 star luxurious hotel I encountered so many strange things that I was really glad when I stood outside again."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

“Theatre des Reines” is a well-hidden abandoned art-deco ballroom in Versaille, France, totally unrecognizable from the outside.

“Doors slamming shut, curtains moving and a lot of camera problems. Batteries completely drained while they were charged just hours before.”

"Doors slamming shut, curtains moving and a lot of camera problems. Batteries completely drained while they were charged just hours before."

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

“Church of the 9 Ghosts” – An abandoned church inhabited by nine ‘ghosts’ sitting in the pews dressed in wrinkly white cloths. Spooky.

Niki’s new book Frozen will be officially released at the Berliner Liste art fair in Berlin this September. However as of this week pre-order is available here.

Niki's new book Frozen will be officially released at the Berliner Liste art fair in Berlin this September. However as of this week pre-order is available here .

Niki Feijen / Via nikifeijen.nl

7 Abandoned Cities & Architectural Wonders of Modern Asia

Abandoned buildings, properties and places take on remarkably different aesthetic character and are treated differently from one culture to the next – particularly in Asian nations where beliefs about the cultural role of architecture or the whims of a dictator can vary greatly. From South Korea to North Korea, Cambodia to Thailand and Azerbaijan to Hong Kong here are seven amazing oriental and subcontinental abandonments from the Near East to the Far East, from skyscraper hotels and pod cities to shopping malls and amusement parks and everything in between – fascinating remnants of past buildings and ways to see how the other half lives.

24 Haunting Ghost Towns & Amazing Abandoned Cities – Click for More!

1) The Lawless Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong

(Images via MirageStudio, DoobyBrain, MissMeneses and StanleyNG)

In the rogue ungoverned Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong things were so tightly packed that trash blocked off parts of buildings and many occupied apartments literally never saw the light of day, almost as if the place were naturally becoming overgrown.  Like something straight from a William Gibson novel, there were no police or building codes – there was no law. For nearly 50 years this slice of Hong Kong was allowed to exist and grow independently due to a legal technicality. After the Japanese left following the second World War squatters swarmed to fill the space, with the population at 10,000 people (living on seven acres) by the early 1970s – a combination of dissidents, outlaws and both organized and disorganized criminals. Professionals who couldn’t get a license set up shop, criminals hiding from the law thrived, and the self-organized community grew to 35,000. Then in 1993 everything changed – no one wants to deal with this lawless place anymore and it is promptly destroyed and turned into a park.

2) The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea

(Images via: Pbase, NomadLife, MyNinjaPlease and Vanibahl).

The Ryugyong Hotel in the capital city of Pyongyang, North Korea, was supposed to be a record-setting testament to the power, pride and ingenuity of one of the most totalitarian and self-insulating nations in the world. The building, meant to be a core monument to the strength of North Korea, was added to city maps and stamps before it was even half-built and was all set to be the tallest hotel in the world. At first the project simply ran out of funding, then as the low-quality concrete of which it was built began to sag and crack the sobering reality began to set it: the structure would need a massive overhaul to ever be completed. Now it goes unmentioned by tour guides, absent from maps and stamps, a symbolic blight towering on the capital city skyline.

3) The Pod City of San Zhi, Taiwan

(Images via Cypherone and Yusheng)

Rumors abound regarding this legendary abandoned pod city (aka ‘UFO town’) of San Zhi, Taiwan, which was supposedly built by the government of Taipei to be a luxury resort for expensive holidays on the water. Built in the 1970s or early 1980s the modularity of the designs has raised retroactive suspicions that perhaps these stacks were intended to be built vertically over time. Theories on the abandonment of this massively strange undertaken range from poor insulation in a difficult climate, the dissolution of business partnerships, the failure of a regional real estate bubble or even that so many workers died during construction that the place was abandoned as haunted – unable to be destroyed out of a cultural taboo on interfering with the homes of spirits and lost souls. See it from above using Google Maps.

4) The Abandoned City of Agdam, Azerbaijan

(Images via SeamlessTerritory and Lofiversion)

Once a capital city with over 150,000 people Agdam, Azerbaijan has been variously treated as a ghost town, a no-man’s-land and a military buffer zone in a troubled area of the world. In the 1990s it was vandalized and largely destroyed during Armenian occupation, its buildings looted and gutted and its mosque completely covered in graffiti. Currently considered part of Armenia this husk of a city sits in the heart of an area that is at the core of conflicted set of nations from Russia in the north and Georgia in the northwest to Armenia and Iran in the soutwest and south. It also sits at the curious geographical intersection of Europe and Asia, ambiguously defined as being part of both or either one of these continents. Given turmoil in the region it is unlikely to be rebuilt anytime soon – if ever – and its citizens have been displaced in all directions with little likelihood of returning home.

5) Bokor Hill Station in Phnom Bokor, Cambodia

(Images via Theo Wright, Klein Matt and Lenchik)

Bokor Hill Station is located on the mountain of Phnom Bokor, Cambodia and accessible only by a long trek across an overgrown dirt road to an elevation of 3,000 feet. At the top? The remains of a 1920s French retreat that has been deserted since the second World War including a hotel, casino, church, police station, post office, royal residences and other support structures. And today? The damage from mortar shells can be seen in shattered windows, crumbling staircases and decimated walls. The Khmer Rouge removed everything of any value – including the very wiring in the walls of the buildings. The ruins were later taken over by the Vietnamese in the 1970s before they were finally and permanently abandoned, though land mines in the area remain a danger to visitors who stray from the beaten path. Originally built due to the relatively temperate climate and wonderful views to the coast the area still boasts great sites from waterfalls to jungles and a vast array of wildlife.

6) Opko Land Theme Park in Opko, South Korea

(Images via Jon Dunbar)

 

Once a thriving amusement park Opko Land in Opko, South Korea was abandoned after a young girl was killed in a tragic accident while on one of the ride’s. Though the park was shut down and deserted the family of the unfortunate victim was never compensated for their loss. Most of the structures remain more-or-less intact including roller coasters, bumper cars, a pool building and various smaller rides. The top image above was taken from the highest point of the roller coaster – an ambitious location to seek out and shoot from given the partial disrepair of so much structural elements in this abandoned amusement park.  One would think they would go all the way and destroy these buildings before some adventurous building infiltrators and urban explorers hurt themselves.

7) Chiang Shopping Complex in Chiang Mai, Thailand

(Images via Tupsumato)

The Five Chiang Shopping Complex is a beautiful series of interlocked wooden structures that once constituted one of the most magnificent malls in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a city which (including sprawl) has nearly a million inhabitants. The city attracts many tourists each year who are drawn in part to local handcrafted goods such as umbrellas, jewelry and woodcarving – some of which is evidenced in the wooden decorations, balconies and terraces of this deserted shopping center. The complex was an international joint project that fell victim to conflicting political opinions and a depressed Thai economy and now sits remarkably intact but closed, locked and boarded and utterly unused. However, the local guards are reportedly quite friendly and a few kind words can let you slip past and get some essential background questions answered.

Source: http://weburbanist.com/2008/09/28/abandoned-buildings-places-towns-cities-asia

Top 10 Interesting Abandoned Places

The Ghost City – an apocalyptic inspiration for filmmakers for as long as I can remember. There is nothing more surreal than witnessing an abandoned city, and writers through the ages have grabbed hold of this fact with both hands. Introducing us to all forms of abandonment. From the 1948 Ghost-Town-Western ‘Yellow Sky’ starring Gregory Peck, to the deserted London streets of Danny Boyle’s ’28 Days Later’. The frightful tension associated with popular 90′s video game ‘Silent Hill’, to the post-apocalyptic nothingness of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer-winning novel ‘The Road’. The theme is well-trodden, everywhere you may choose to glance. An excellent backdrop to any form of entertainment, whether it be film, literature or anything else for that matter.

There is however some degree of foundation to this surreality. The ghost town is common among the Americas, especially in the Central and Southern states. Surveys suggest that there are around 6,000 abandoned sites of settlement in Kansas alone. But what can cause such large-scale loss of population? One of the main factors is depleting natural resources, linking to roads and railways bypassing certain places. Another more sinister cause can be disaster, whether natural or man-made. Such was the case with Pattonsburg, Missouri. After being flooded over 30 times since their town was founded in 1845, residents tired after two floods in 1993. With government help, the whole town was rebuilt three miles away, now known as New Pattonsburg, leaving the old Pattonsburg behind as a ghost town.

However it happens, the topic interests me greatly. Here I list my top ten most interesting abandoned places on the planet, complete with description and pictures. Hoping to bring some essence of real life to what many consider an extremely fictional occurence. Making film sets out of real life locations along the way. Enjoy!

10 Bodie, California

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Founded in 1876, Bodie is the authentic American ghost town. It started life as a small mining settlement, though found even more fortune from nearby mines that attracted thousands. By 1880 Bodie boasted a population of almost 10,000 – such was the boom. At its peak, 65 saloons lined the town’s main street, and there was even a Chinatown with several hundred Chinese residents.

Dwindling resources proved fatal however, and although greatly reduced in prominence, Bodie held a permanent residency through most of the 20th century. Even after a fire ravaged much of the downtown business district in 1932. Bodie is now unpopulated. The town was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, and in 1962 it became Bodie State Historic Park as the few residents left moved on.

Today, Bodie is preserved in a state of arrested decay. Only a small part of the town survives. Visitors can walk the deserted streets of a town and interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Bodie is open all year, but the long road that leads to it is usually closed in the winter due to heavy snowfall, so the most comfortable time to visit is during the summer months.

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9 San Zhi, Taiwan

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More of a modern choice this time. Below is an abandoned City in the North of Taiwan. In the area of ‘San Zhi’, this futuristic pod village was initially built as a luxury vacation retreat for the rich. However, after numerous fatal accidents during construction, production was halted. A combination of lack of money and lack of willingness meant that work was stopped permanently, and the alien like structures remain as if in remembrance of those lost. Indeed, rumors in the surrounding area suggest that the City is now haunted by the ghosts of those who died.

After this the whole thing received the cover-up treatment. And the Government, who commissioned the site in the first place was keen to distance itself from the bizarre happenings. Thanks to this, there are no named architects. The project may never be restarted thanks to the growing legend, and there would be no value in re-developing the area for other purpose. Maybe simply because destroying homes of lonely spirits is a bad thing to do. San Zhi can also be seen from an aeriel view here.

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8 Varosha, Cyprus

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Varosha is in the Turkish occupied city of Famagusta in Cyprus. It was previously a modern tourist area, and flowered into one of the most luxurious holiday destinations. In the year of 1974 however, the Turkish invaded Cyprus and tore up the island. Citizens fled, expecting to be able to return to their homes within days. The Turkish military wrapped it in barbed wire and now controls it completely. Allowing nobody to enter to this day, aside from themselves and UN personnel. The buildings are slowly falling apart. Though on the positive side, rare sea turtles have begun nesting on the deserted beaches.

The Annan Plan had provided for the return of Varosha to Greek Cypriot control, but after the rejection of the proposal by Greek Cypriot voters this hand-over to Greek-Cypriots has not materialized. That is not the end of the story, as the Governments are working together to plan a complete revival of Varosha to its former beauty. Currently, three concept hotel complexes have been designed by Laxia Inc. And by 2010, the de facto “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” will apparently open Varosha to tourism once again.

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7 Gunkanjima, Japan

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Hashima Island (??; meaning Border Island) is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture of Japan about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. It is also known as “Gunkan-jima” or Battleship Island thanks to its high sea walls. It began in 1890 when a company called Mitsubishi bought the island and began a project to retrieve coal from the bottom of the sea. This attracted much attention, and in 1916 they were forced to build Japan’s first large concrete building on the island. A block of apartments that would both accommodate the seas of workers and protect them from hurricanes.

In 1959, population had swelled, and boasted a density of 835 people per hectare for the whole island (1,391 per hectare for the residential district) – one of the highest population densities ever recorded worldwide. As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960′s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima’s mines were no exception. In 1974 Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine, and today it is empty and bare, with travel currently prohibited. The island was the location for the 2003 film ‘Battle Royale II’ and inspired the final level of popular Asian videogame ‘Killer7′.

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6 Balestrino, Italy

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Balestrino is quite a strange case in that it was extremely difficult to find any decent information on it. At least on the abandonment itself. No one is quite sure when the town was established, though records date back to before the eleventh century – when Balestrino was owned by the Benedictine abbey of San Pietro dei Monti. As you can see from the pictures, the upper part of the town consists of a Castle (of Marquis) and the lower part a parish church (of Sant’Andrea). Records of population go back to around 1860, when around 800-850 people lived there. Mainly famers who took advantage of the landscape to farm olive trees.

In the late nineteenth century, the North-West coast of Italy was struck by numerous earhquakes. One of these in 1887 (magnitude 6.7) destroyed some villages in the area of Savona, and although no official records show Balestrino was affected it coincides with much repair work and a dip in population. Finally in 1953 the town was abandoned due to ‘geological instablility’, and the remaining inhabitants (around 400) were moved to safer ground to the west. The derelict part of Balestrino that has stood untouched and inaccessible for fifty plus years is currently undergoing planning for redevelopment. Today around 500 people remain in the town’s newer area which is a good kilometer down the road.

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5 Katoli World, Taiwan

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I thought I would break out of the abandoned residential mould and look at something inspired by Miyazaki’s Oscar winning ‘Spirited Away’. Those who have seen it will know that the family stumbles across an old theme park at the start of the movie, one that was built in the eighties but has since lost popularity and been abandoned. Well this is a usual occurence in Asia, one can find many amusement parks that have been left to rust. Here is just one of them, though one that was forced to close for something other than financial loss.

Katoli World is situated in the Dakeng Scenic area just outside of Taichung, Taiwan. Opened in the mid eighties, it enjoyed moderate success as one of the few theme parks on the island of Taiwan to host a rollercoaster (two). The park was closed after a massive earthquake on September 21st, 1999. Thousands of people were killed during the quake but nobody inside the park as it struck after opening hours. Large areas of the park were destroyed and it was forced to close. A place once vivid with young laughter is now slowly turning to rust.

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4 Centralia, Pennsylvania

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Johnathan Faust opened Bull’s Head Tavern in Centralia in 1841, and Centralia was incorporated as a borough in 1866. The anthracite coal industry was the principal employer in the community until the 1960s, when most of the companies went out of business. An exposed vein of coal ignited in 1962 thanks to weekly garbage burning, and as a result a huge underground coal fire commenced. Attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful, and it continued to burn throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Adverse health effects were reported by several people due to the carbon monoxide produced.

In 1979, locals became aware of the scale of the problem when a gas station reported a fuel temperature of 172 degrees Fahrenheit (77.8°C). This provoked widespread attention, boosted in 1981 when a 12-year-old almost plunged to his death as a 4 foot wide, 150 foot deep sinkhole suddenly opened beneath his feet. In 1984, $42 million was spent on relocation, with most residents moving to the nearby Mount Carmel and Ashland. In 1992, Pennsylvania condemned all houses within the borough, meaning that of the 1,000+ residents in 1981 – only a handful now remain – mainly priests. The fire still rages on, and according to experts could do so for another 250 years.

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3 Yashima, Japan

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Yashima is an imposing plateau to the northeast of Takamatsu, the second largest city on Shikoku – which is one of Japan’s major islands. This plateau stretches out to sea, and can be seen in the fifth photo below. It is the site of a famous battle that took place on 22nd March 1185 during the Genpei War. The top of Yashima hosts the Yashima Temple, which is a well-known Shikoku pilgrimage. This is about the only thing that does draw crowds to this strangely neglected geographical anomaly, but it wasn’t always so.

During an upsurge in mid-eighties’ Japanese economy, the people of Takamatsu decided that the plateau was an excellent place to encourage tourism, so took to pouring money into developing this sacred land. Six hotels were built, along with many parks and trails – even an aquarium. Though somewhere along the line people realized that Yashima plateau wasn’t so such an attractive opportunity, especially with views of the nearby rock quarry. Visitor numbers then dropped as millions of Yen were lost on inflated real-estate deals. All the hotels and shops were forced to shut down, as was the cable car that at one point transported many to Yashima’s heights.

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2 Pripyat, Ukraine

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Pripyat is an abandoned city in the Zone of alienation in northern Ukraine, Kiev Oblast, near the border with Belarus. The city population had been around 50,000 – and had been home to most of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers. Then the Chernobyl disaster struck in 1986 and the place was abandoned due to threat of radiation. Afterwards Pripyat acted like a museum for a long time, perfectly showing a slice of Soviet life. However at some time at the beginning of the 21st century the place was looted heavily, nothing was left behind – even toilet seats were stolen.

The city will not be safe for human habitation for several years to come, and even then it will be a long time before people consider it healthy to develop once again. Before the power plant was built, concerns were voiced at its planned closeness to the city of Kiev. They had planned to build it only 25 km away, placing the capital at risk from pollution amongst other things. However after a long debate they decided to build Chernobyl along with Pripyat 100 km away from Kiev. A choice that would in the end prove to be a wise one.

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1 Craco, Italy

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Craco is located in the Region of Basilicata and the Province of Matera. About 25 miles inland from the Gulf of Taranto at the instep of the “boot” of Italy. This medieval town is typical of those in the area, built up with long undulating hills all around that allow for the farming of wheat and other crops. Craco can be dated back to 1060 when the land was in the ownership of Archbishop Arnaldo, Bishop of Tricarico. This long-standing relationshop with the Church had much influence over the inhabitants throughout the ages.

In 1891, the population of Craco stood at well over 2,000 people. Though there had been many problems, with poor agricultural conditions creating desperate times. Between 1892 and 1922 over 1,300 people moved from the town to North America. Poor farming was added to by earthquakes, landslides, and War – all of which contributed to this mass migration. Between 1959 and 1972 Craco was plagued by these landslides and quakes. In 1963 the remaining 1,800 inhabitants were transferred to a nearby valley called Craco Peschiera, and the original Craco remains in a state of crumbling decay to this day.

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Source: http://listverse.com/2008/03/10/top-10-interesting-abandoned-places