• Directory Journal

Abandoned Places In The World

by Anastasia on May 21, 2013 · 160 comments

in Interesting Facts, Travel

Do you love creepy old buildings? Have you ever wanted to explore a ghost town? Whether you’re looking for the scare factor or you simply have a passion for history, you would probably enjoy visiting some of the interesting abandoned places in the world.

Picture yourself standing in the halls of an abandoned hospital, a cool breeze rushing past with moans that make you wonder if it’s haunted. Imagine driving along a quiet back road and coming across a town — once bustling, now crumbling like the dreams of the workers who have long since gone. See the remnants of a castle built centuries ago, now being reclaimed by Mother Nature herself.

What you might find in abandoned places in the world is beauty. Or sadness. Or a chill that runs up your spine. Because although these places might be deserted, they are far from dead. They live on in our memories and our imagination.

If you aren’t fortunate enough to have interesting abandoned places near you to explore, you might enjoy our original list below. Here are some of the world’s most impressive abandoned places. But don’t leave it at that. There might be more right in your own backyard. Feel free to tell us about your favorite abandoned places in the comments.

Update: Here are two more very interesting links for everyone.

Photos of Abandoned Buildings: Modern Day Ruins
The Poetry Of Forgotten Places

When starting on this post for some reason I was thinking that there are not many abandoned places in the world, at least the cities. I knew there are many villages, farms and just lonely houses all around the world but when thousands of people leave, leaving the whole city dead that’s a real tragedy. There are mainly two reasons why people suddenly or little by little leave the place where they used to live for years or even generations: that’s the danger and economic factors. The biggest number of abandoned villages and farms can be found in Unites States and the countries of the former USSR.

Visiting abandoned places is getting more and more popular these days and many tourist agencies offer special tours where people can meet the ghost cities and villages face to face. I have never been to any of these and frankly speaking I don’t want to. I thinks we should leave the ghosts in peace, especially in the places like Pripyat where the horrible tragedy took place.

Still hobbies differ and surfing online we can find photographer’s websites fully devoted to abandoned places like this one www.abandoned-places.com or Lost America photo stream.

The abandoned places can look charming or they can look frightening, we tried to present it all. The abandoned cities of the former USSR look almost like clones and they resemble the concentration camps from the times of the World War II.

In any case, that’s the history we should know about, so le’ts get started.

Gunkanjima, Japan

Hashima Island, commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning “Battleship Island”) is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility.

Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began the project, the aim of which was retrieving coal from the bottom of the sea. They built Japan’s first large concrete building, a block of apartments in 1916 to accommodate their burgeoning ranks of workers (many of whom were forcibly recruited labourers from other parts of Asia), and to protect against typhoon destruction.

As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima’s mines were no exception. Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974, and today it is empty and bare, which is why it’s called the Ghost Island. Travel to Hashima was re-opened on April 22, 2009 after more than 20 years of closure.

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Credits: Photos by Artsyken on Flickr

San Zhi, Taiwan

San Zhi is an abandoned vacation resort on the northern coast of Taiwan. It was built in the early 1980s, but construction of the futuristic resort ceased after a series of fatal accidents. Even though it never opened as a vacation resort, San Zhi can still be toured. The strange pod-like buildings act as a tourist attraction. The colors of the pod-like buildings depend on their location. The buildings in the west are green, in the east pink, in the south blue, and in the north white.

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Credits: Photos byNoelas on Flickr

Pripyat, Ukraine

Pripyat is an abandoned city in the zone of alienation in northern Ukraine. The city was founded in 1970 to house the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers, and was abandoned in 1986 following the Chernobyl disaster. Its population had been around 50,000 prior to the accident. The city of was evacuated in two days.

The city and the Exclusion Zone are now bordered with guards and police, but obtaining the necessary documents to enter the zone is not considered particularly difficult. A guide will accompany visitors to ensure nothing is vandalized or taken from the zone. The doors of most of the buildings are open to reduce the risk to visitors, and almost all of them can be visited when accompanied by a guide. The city of Chernobyl, located a few miles from Prypyat, has some accommodations including a hotel, many apartment buildings, and a local lodge, which are maintained as a permanent residence for watch-standing crew, and visitors.

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Credits: Photos by Artgrin

Kadykchan, Russia

Kadykchan is a ghost town that was built during the World War II for the workers of the coal mines and their families. In 1996, 6 men died as a result of explosion in a coal mine and the mines were closed. 12000 inhabitants were evacuated to other places leaving the town empty and silent.

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Photo Credits

Centralia, United States

Centralia is a ghost town in Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005 and 9 in 2007, as a result of a mine fire burning beneath the borough since 1962.

One theory asserts that in May 1962, Centralia Borough Council hired five members of the volunteer fire company to clean up the town landfill, located in an abandoned strip mine pit next to the Odd Fellows Cemetery. This had been done in previous years, when the landfill was in a different location. The firefighters set the dump on fire, and let it burn for a time. Unlike in previous years, however, the fire was not extinguished.

The fire remained burning underground and spread through a hole in the rock pit into the abandoned coal mines beneath Centralia. 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 byproducts of the fire, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and lack of healthy oxygen levels.

In 1984, Congress allocated more than $42 million for relocation efforts. Most of the residents accepted buyout offers and moved to the nearby communities of Mount Carmel and Ashland. A few families opted to stay despite warnings from state officials.

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Credits: Photo by Thisisbossi on Flickr

Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong

Kowloon used to be one of the areas of Hong Kong city. By the end of 1970s Walled City began to grow. Square buildings folded up into one another as thousands of modifications were made, virtually none by architects or engineers, until the entire City became monolithic. Labyrinthine corridors ran through the City, some former streets (at the ground level, and often clogged up with refuse), and some running through upper floors, through and between buildings. The streets were illuminated by fluorescent lights, as sunlight rarely reached the lower levels. There were only two rules for construction: electricity had to be provided to avoid fire, and the buildings could be no more than fourteen stories high, because of the nearby airport. Eight municipal pipes provided water to the entire structure (although more could have come from wells).

By the early 1980s, Kowloon Walled City had an estimated population of 35,000. The City was notorious for its excess of brothels, casinos, opium dens, cocaine parlours, food courts serving dog meat, and secret factories.

In 1984 the Walled city was demolished and its inhabitants resettleed. At that time, it had 50,000 inhabitants on 26 000 m² (31 000 sq. yards), and therefore a very high population density of 1,923,077/km², making it one of the most densely populated urban areas on Earth.

After the demolition, a park was built in its place with construction starting in May 1994.

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Credits: Photo by Jetsetcd on Flickr

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{ 134 comments… read them below or add one }

Bosphorus January 9, 2012 at 7:00 am

Turkey also has some abandoned places such as the Greek village of Kayaköy near Fethiye in Southwestern Turkey caused by a population exchange agreement made between Greece and Turkey in 1923.

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beverage flavors January 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

What an interesting list! I want to visit Centralia, seems spooky and awesome! I don’t think I’d go there at night though…

-Antonia

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tim January 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

This is a story that the games and movies named silent hill are based off of.

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Ken Steinhoff January 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm

You don’t have to go to exotic places in other countries to shoot abandoned and dying towns. I’ve been photographing Cairo, Illinois, since the middle ’60s. Every time I go through the town, another block of the downtown has been leveled.

Here are some pages I’ve done over the years:

Is Cairo worth saving?
http://www.capecentralhigh.com/cape-photos/is-cairo-worth-saving/

Forty-three years of Cairo photos (with additional links)
http://www.capecentralhigh.com/cape-photos/43-years-of-cairo-photographs/

Video crew visits Cairo
http://www.capecentralhigh.com/cape-photos/video-crew-in-cairo/

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POMY COLLINGWOOD February 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I visited this abandoned open-air pool not so long ago & made a short video of it… check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=Qy38lTQvJ4s

POMY COLLINGWOOD

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monroe gas shocks February 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

The next time you feel like God can’t use the Pastors you dont like because of what they are or have done, just rememberNoah was a drunk.Abraham begott Ishmael out of the matrimonial bedJacob was a liar.Leah was ugly.Joseph was abused.Moses had a stuttering problem.Gideon was afraid.Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer.Rahab was a prostitute.Jeremiah and Timothy were too young.David had an affair and was a murderer.Elijah was suicidal.Isaiah preached naked.Jonah ran from God.Naomi was a widow.Job went bankrupt.John the Baptist ate locusts.Peter denied Christ.The Disciples fell asleep while praying.Martha worried about everything.Mary Magdalene was, well you know.The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once.Zaccheus was too small.

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maddie voyer May 6, 2012 at 11:13 am

I really though that prypiat althout, i kind of liked san zhi more.I wish i could go to these places but i live across the world.

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Andy Kor June 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm

The photos you posted for San Zhi is just a small part of San Zhi. You made it sound like the entire place is abandoned. Only those buildings are abandoned. Not the entire San Zhi. I will appreciate that you get your facts right. By the way, i am not from Taiwan. I am a Singaporean. I had been to the seaside of San Zhi and it is beautiful. There are also good food and farm stay in the area. I think you owe the Taiwanese an apology.

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thetheobot1354578 July 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

HELLO!!! im from ausila and there is a ton of abandoned paces.i grew up just down the street from a abandoned waterpark .

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aundrea h. July 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm

i almost lived in san zhi.true story.we were poor and living in a small apartment in taipei.my moms freiend was a construction worker at the site and she would talk to her boss about giving us a pod for little money.the next day my moms freiends boss stoped by to let us no that she had been killed when they were sliding a roof on to a blue pod, the roof slide off and killed her.sad stuff.

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thetheobo172836 July 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm

HELLO!!!!!!!im from ausila and i grew up just down the street from an abandoned waterpark.

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lilly September 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

3 things……1 ausila is no longer going to be a country in the year 2013.since it is like the hurricane capital of world, the ruler declered it un – fit to live in.everyone was forced to leave or die when the next violent hurricane hit ausila.people mostely whent to paris,united states,(specifically northern califonia) and some new tropical island called new ausila.so i would not brag about your heritage if i were you…..2 your comment showed up double but different so that was awkward for you….and 3 reply to me a.s.a.p. as soon as you read my comment please!

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thetheobot172836 September 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm

BRAGING ABOUT MY HERATAGE!!?Not as much as you jabering on about garbage.i mean are you mocking me??your worse than those scammers on ebay!!plus i had a good reason for leaving a comment twice.a few days after i left my comment,i went to go check on it but my computer was down i had to go to my second computer and when i got to the web site my comment was not there and awaiting moderation.i couldnt remember what i wrote so i did the best i could so there ha!!!and btw it was not awkward for me you fool!!!!!

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rockhard88 July 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm

you should have put plauzenschim island in ausilla.( its known for its fish head soup). the story is that a zombie invasion wipped out the island.

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Ciaran McHugh September 18, 2012 at 5:20 am

Hi,

I have just added 8 new abandoned images to my ‘Ireland’s Abandoned Ruins’ collection.

http://www.ciaranmchugh.com/?pagid=irelands-abandoned-ruins-0

‘A collection of hauntingly atmospheric infrared photographs which focuses on timeworn subjects that were once vibrant but are now in the process of being lost to the ages and reclaimed by nature’.

I hope you enjoy them.

Ciaran

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tigue12 September 23, 2012 at 12:00 am

Funny.i love abandoned places and in 2015 im going to make a video about an abandoned seafood restauraunt called pappadeux in westminster, colarado.the video is being delayed because im moving.i dont really have a website set up yet or anything like that,so,the only info for now is from me.please try to reply or something.thanks!!

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ibrahim November 13, 2012 at 3:34 am

very sad but cites too just like people

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buddy May 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm

i was surprised to see glasgow was omitted from this list

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VideoCroc June 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm

It is sad we you see cityes like this, and we all know that there is manny homeless people on this world!

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San Diego Wedding Places June 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Wow. Just amazing. Horrible devastation.

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