Abandoned Places In The World (Updated 2021)

Do you love creepy old buildings? Have you ever wanted to explore a ghost town? You could be looking for the scare factor or you could simply have a passion for history. In either case, you might enjoy visiting some of the interesting abandoned places in the world.

Picture yourself standing in the halls of an abandoned hospital. A cool breeze rushes past with moans that make you wonder if it’s haunted. Imagine driving along a quiet back road and suddenly coming across a town. Once bustling, it now crumbles like the dreams of the workers long since gone. Picture the remnants of a centuries-old castle — that Mother Nature herself is now reclaiming.

What the abandoned places in the world can offer you is a sense of 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.

You might not be fortunate enough to have interesting abandoned places near you to explore. In this case, check out the list below. On it, you’ll discover some of the world’s most impressive abandoned places.

But don’t leave it at that. There might still be more hidden right in your own backyard. Feel free to tell us about your favorite abandoned places in the comments.

Why People Abandon Places

When I started on this post, I was thinking that there are not that many abandoned places in the world, at least not cities. Of course, I knew there are many villages, farms and just lonely houses all around the world. But when thousands of people leave, leaving a whole city dead — that’s a real tragedy.

There are mainly two reasons why people suddenly – or little by little – leave a place. They can arise even if they lived in for years or even generations. First, there are environmental dangers. Second, there are economic factors. Both together explain why you can find the biggest number of abandoned villages and farms in two particular places. These are the Unites States and the countries of the former USSR.

The Appeal of Abandoned Places

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

Still, hobbies and tastes differ, and that’s fine. Surfing online, we can find photographer’s websites fully devoted to abandoned places. The site www.abandoned-places.com or the Lost America photo stream are just two good examples.

Abandoned places can look charming or they can look frightening. We tried to present both these aspects. The abandoned cities of the former USSR look almost like clones, for instance. 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 let’s get started.

Gunkanjima, Japan

Hashima Island is called Gunkanjima (meaning “Battleship Island”). It is one of 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture. It’s location is about 15 kilometers distant from the city of Nagasaki itself. The island was populated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mining facility.

Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 for a mining project. The aim of that project was retrieving coal from the bottom of the sea. They built Japan’s first large concrete building in 1916, a block of apartments. This was housing for their burgeoning ranks of workers. An unsavory detail is that many of those laborers were forcibly recruited from other parts of Asia. The apartment block had a second function: To protect against typhoon destruction.

As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country. Hashima’s mines were no exception to this trend. Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974. Today it is empty and bare, earning it the name of Ghost Island. Travel to Hashima became possible again in 2009, following more than 20 years of closure.





Credits: Photos by Artsyken on Flickr

Pripyat, Ukraine

Pripyat is an abandoned city in the Exclusion Zone in northern Ukraine. The former town is one of the most famous abandoned places in the world. The city started out in 1970 to offer nearby housing for the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers. That location was also its death sentence. In 1986, just before the Chernobyl disaster, its population had been around 50,000. After that nuclear accident, Pripyat evacuated all its inhabitants within just two days.

Guards and police now keep an eye on the city and the Exclusion Zone. Still, there is a measure of tourism. Obtaining the necessary documents to enter the zone is not particularly difficult. Visitors, however, will need a guide to accompany them. This is to ensure they don’t vandalize or take souvenirs from the zone.

The doors of most of the buildings are open to reduce the risk to visitors. Tourists can visit almost all of them, though only with a guide.

The city of Chernobyl, located a few miles from Pripyat, offers some accommodation. These include a hotel, many apartment buildings, and a local lodge. Some of these serve as a permanent residence for watch-standing crew. Other accommodations are open to outside visitors.








Credits: Photos by Artgrin

Kadykchan, Russia

Kadykchan is a ghost town in Russia. Construction on it began during the World War II. It housed workers of the coal mines and their families. But in 1996, six men died as a result of explosion in one of the coal mine. Because of the continuing danger, the mines closed down. The town’s 12,000 inhabitants were evacuated to other places, leaving the town empty and silent.







Credits: Photos by Monk

Centralia, United States

Centralia is a ghost town in Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to only 7 today.

The cause? A mine fire has been burning beneath the borough since 1962.

There are several theories how the fire started.

One of them asserts that in May 1962, Centralia Borough Council decided to clean up the town landfill. For this, they hired five members of the volunteer fire brigade.

The firefighters followed the standard procedure. They set the dump on fire, intending to let it burn down the trash for a time. However, the team was unable to extinguish the fire after it served its purpose.
The fire kept burning, reaching lower levels of the dump. It might eventually have gone out on its own, but then misfortune struck. The burn spread through a hole in the rock pit into the abandoned coal mines beneath Centralia. Over the years, all attempts to control the fire failed. It simply continued to burn throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Several people began reporting adverse health effects. These were due to the byproducts of the fire: Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and unwholesomely low oxygen levels.

In 1984, Congress allocated more than $42 million for relocation efforts. Most of the residents accepted the buyout offers. But a few families opted to stay despite warnings from state officials. In 2013, a new agreement allowed the remaining population of 7 to live out their lives in Centralia.






Credits: Photo by Thisisbossi on Flickr

Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong

Kowloon used to be one of the areas of Hong Kong city. In the late 1970s, the Walled City began to grow rapidly. Square buildings folded up into one another, owing to thousands of modifications. Virtually no architects or engineers oversaw this building frenzy.

Labyrinthine corridors ran through the city, often clogged with refuse. Some ran along former streets, others through upper floors and between buildings. Sunlight rarely reached the lower levels.

There were only two rules for construction. The first was that electricity had to be provided, so that people would not need to start cooking fires. The second rule was that buildings could be no higher than fourteen stories, because of the nearby airport.

By the early 1960s, Kowloon Walled City had an estimated population of 35,000. The City was notorious for its excess of brothels, casinos, opium dens, cocaine parlors, food courts serving dog meat, and secret factories.

In 1987, officials announced a decision to demolish the Walled City and resettle its inhabitants. At that time, it had 50,000 inhabitants on 26,000 sq. meters (31,000 sq. yards). Its population density was therefore extreme, at 1,923,077 per sq. km. This made it one of the planet’s most densely populated urban areas.

Kowloon Walled City demonstrates that not all abandoned places in the world stay just as people left it. After the demolition in 1992-1993, a park arose in its place, with construction starting in May 1994.





Credits: Photos by Jetsetcd on Flickr

Oradour-sur-Glane, France

Oradour-sur-Glan is a town in west-central France. It has one of the saddest histories of abandoned places in the world. The original village was destroyed on June 10, 1944. On this day, a German Waffen-SS company murdered 642 of its inhabitants. A new village was built after the war on a nearby site. The  original has been maintained as a memorial.







Credits: Photos by Curreyuk on Flickr

Kolmanskop, Namibia

Kolmanskop is a ghost town in southern Namibia. It used to be a small mining village. Today, it is a popular tourist destination. The joint firm NAMDEB (Namibia-De Beers) offers travel services for the place.

The village of Kolmanskop developed after the discovery of diamonds in the area in 1908. The constructions sheltered mine workers from the harsh environment of the Namib Desert. The village had a layout similar to a German town, and had generous facilities. These included a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theater and sport-hall, casino, and an ice factory. The town also hosted the first X-ray station in the southern hemisphere.

The town declined after World War I as diamond prices crashed. Most operations moved from Kolmanskop to Oranjemund. As a result, the last inhabitants left it in 1956. Since then, restorations recovered part of the town. Owing to the geological forces of the desert, tourists can now walk through houses knee-deep in sand.







Credits: Photos by Geoftheref on Flickr

Humberstone, Chile

In 1872, the Guillermo Wendell Nitrate Extraction Company founded the saltpeter works of Santa Laura. In the same year, The Peru Nitrate Company started extracting saltpeter nearby, at La Palma. Both works grew quickly from their beginnings. As a result, they rapidly become busy towns characterized by lovely buildings in the English style.

The economic model collapsed during the Great Depression of 1929 because of the development of the synthesis of ammonia, which led to the industrial production of fertilizers. The saltpeter companies abandoned the works in 1960 and in 1970, respectively. As a result, the settlements there became ghost towns. The government later declared them national monuments and opened them to tourism. In 2005, UNESCO designated them a World Heritage Site.





Credits: Photos by Aotarola on Flickr

Wittenoom, Australia

Wittenoom is a locality in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. During the 1950s, Wittenoom was the Pilbara’s biggest town. In 1966, however, health concerns from asbestos mining at the nearby Wittenoom Gorge arose. As a result, officials shut down the town. Official maps have not included its name or location since 2007.

Today, Wittenoom is a ghost town with a single resident, who works as a weatherman for Perth Airport. In 2015, the government decided to evict all others. If you try to driving towards contaminated areas now, you will encounter roadblocks – except where the roads were demolished outright.







Credits: Photos by Velden on Flickr

Agdam, Azerbaijan

Agdam suffered total destruction in 1993 in the Nagorno-Karabakh War. In the years since, people from surrounding villages have taken building material from its ruins. Before the war, the city’s population stood at about 30,000 residents.






Credits: Photos by [email protected] on Flickr

Varosha, Cyprus

Varosha is an area in the city of Famagusta. Prior to the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it was the modern tourist area of the city.

In the 1970s, Famagusta was the number one tourist destination in Cyprus. To cater to the increasing number of tourists, the city constructed many new high-rise buildings and hotels. During its heyday the Varosha quarter of Famagusta was not only the number one tourist destination in Cyprus, but between 1970 and 1974 it was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and was a favorite destination of wealthy, rich and famous stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Raquel Welch and Brigette Bardot.

For the last 35 years, the entire area of Varosha had been a ghost town. In late 2020, small areas were again opened to the public.





Credits: Photos by Jrparkes on Flickr

Balestrino, Italy

Balestrino dates back to the Middle Ages – yet even so the forces of nature drove its residents to abandon it. Some of the earliest reliable information about the village is from 1860. At this time, its population was about 850 inhabitants. At the end of the 20th century the village suffered from several earthquakes after which the residents left. Many have, however, rebuilt at a nearby site.







Credits: Photos by Fotoacaso on Flickr

Craco, Italy

This village has the same history as the Balestrino, and its inhabitants suffered the same fate. Because of earthquakes, people had to leave looking for safer places.





Credits: Photos by Greenery on Flickr

Bodie State Park, California, Unites States

Bodie is a ghost town in California in the United States.

Today, it is a National Historic Landmark and a State Park. In 1859, though, the settlement began as a mining camp. That year, miners discovered gold in the region. As a consequence, countless hopefuls packed their bags and set out to make their fortune. In the process, they built Bodie.

The mining camp developed into a fully-fledged Wild West boomtown. But that growth was not sustainable. Soon, the gold supplies dwindled, and the local economy began to collapse. Little by little, the population moved away, leaving behind their homes, cars, and mining equipment.

This goes to prove that the old sentiment of “no gold, no people” has resulted in many abandoned places in the world.





The Paris Catacombs

Sometimes, abandoned places are tucked away in the midst of population centers. This is the case with the Paris Catacombs, hidden beneath the streets of the French capital.

Built in the 18th century, the catacombs form a labyrinth of tunnels and caverns. Its intended purpose was to serve as a gigantic tomb.

At the time, above-ground graveyards posed a serious public health threat. That’s why the authorities decided to transfer the remains of the city’s dead to the abandoned quarries beneath its surface. Centuries earlier, they had supplied the stones to construct Paris. Now, they became home to its dead.

In 1785, workers began to empty bones from the tombs, common graves, and charnel houses at Saints-Innocents cemetery. Saints-Innocents had been closed five years before, nearly a thousand years after its first burials. The bones had to be moved at night, to avoid opposition from the citizens and the Catholic Church.

The efforts were eventually abandoned in the 1860s. However, according to estimates, the bones of 6 million bodies now lie buried in the catacombs. Their stacked remains still line the deserted tunnels, forever plunged into darkness.

Since 1874, parts of the catacombs have been open to the public. Today, these areas are managed by the Paris museums.

catacombs of paris
By Nadar – Old photo, Public Domain
paris catacombs
By Nadar – Old photo, Public Domain
modern photo paris
Image by Hartmut Kellner from Pixabay
Image by tdfugere from Pixabay

The SS Ayrfield

Built in the United Kingdom in 1911, the SS Ayrfield served as a steam-collier for a six decades. The ship transported coal, oil, and supplies during during World War II.  But after being decommissioned in 1972, it became abandoned in Homebush Bay near Sydney, Australia.

For a few decades, Homebush – or Shipwreck – Bay was used for various ship-breaking operations and commercial trading. However, these activities petered out in the 70s, leaving behind nothing but toxic waste and abandoned ships. Today, countless wrecked hulls still litter the water. The SS Ayrfield is the most prominent among them.

Today, nature has reclaimed what is left of the wreck. Trees are leading a successful mutiny on the rusting ship’s deck.

SS Ayrfield
Photo by Jason Baker via Flickr
homebush bay
Photo by Serkan5495 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Campanile di Curon

For centuries, the small town of Curon Venosta lay nestled in a valley in the Italian Alps. Today, only the bell tower of this abandoned settlement remains, protruding from the waters of an artificial lake.

After World War II, authorities decided to merge three smaller existing lakes for hydropower purposes in the Trentino region of Northern Italy. The ancient town of Curon Venosta had to go.

Much of the town was rebuilt on higher ground on a nearby hill. The bell tower of the local church, built 700 years before, remained. To this day, it stands as a lone reminder of the town that once was.

In winter, the lake usually freezes over. During this time, visitors can walk up to the tower and explore it. According to local legend, some nights the tower’s bells still ring out over the lake – even though they were removed before the town was flooded.

flooded bell tower
Photo by Von Wladyslaw – Creative Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0,
flooded bell tower in winter
Photo by DI Frederik Schulz, Creative Commons


The Great Train Graveyard

The Bolivian region of Uyuni is famous amongst travellers for the salt flats and red lakes that stretch into the distance.

A more creepy, yet awe-inspiring tourist attraction, though, is its cemetary of abandoned trains. High up on these Andean plains, dozens of steel locomotives are slowly fading away.

Back in the 19th century, local officials were planning to enlarge the region’s transportation network – especially by extending the rail system. However, they abandoned the project because of technical issues, and conflicts with Uyuni’s indigenous population.

For some time, the trains that had been bought were used to transport minerals and other products to ports along the Pacific coast. This use ended in the 1940s, though. As miners moved away and companies shut their offices, equipment was left to corrode away in the desert.

Most of the trains to be found in this graveyard were imported from Britain in the early 1900s. Overall, there are over 100 antique cars left to the salty winds. Tourists face no restrictions when visiting the site, and many climb atop the trains or climb inside the skeletons of these once mighty steel giants.

By Florian G. – Own work, CC BY 2.5
Photo by Murray Foubister (via Flickr)
Photo by Murray Foubister (via Flickr)
By Adam Jones, Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

Klein Curaçao, Curaçao

Klein Curaçao is a tiny, abandoned island in the Dutch Caribbean, covering just over half a square mile. 

The island lies about 6 miles south-east of the main island of Curaçao. Though just off the coast of Venezuela, both belong to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Klein Curaçao is a coral island – there is no drinking water. Phosphate mining lowered the level of the island and contributed to desertification, leading to its abandonment. 

At its center remains an old lighthouse. There are ruins of fishermen’s huts and other buildings, as well as shipwrecks on its western side. 

Besides the fascination of abandoned places, Klein Curaçao offers stunning natural beauty. Several species of turtle nest on the island’s beaches. Seasonally, there are large numbers of migratory shorebirds. Plus, you can explore underwater coral and caves.

Photo by Jeffrey Czum from Pexels
Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

Hirta, St Kilda Archipelago, Scotland

Hirta is the main island of the St Kilda archipelago in the North Atlantic, 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. It’s also the only one that was permanently settled – formerly. 

Geologically, the St Kilda islands form the rim of an extinct volcano. Hirta features lush green hills, puffin colonies, and rare breeds of sheep, such as the Soay sheep (a surviving Neolithic breed) and Boreray sheep (the UK’s rarest breed). 

Settlements on the island date back thousands of years. Archaeologists dated some of the artifacts on the island all the way back to 3850 BC. One of the mountains on the island also contains a Bronze Age quarry. 

People lived off sheep farming, tweed production, fishery and hunting puffins. Yet the island was abandoned in 1930. 

They left the island after many young men died in World War One, and many others emigrated to Australia. After a woman had died of appendicitis and pneumonia, which she might well have survived on the mainland, the remaining villagers asked the UK government to transfer them to the mainland. 

When leaving their cottages, every islander left a plate of oats and an open Bible on their table before boarding the ship. 

Note: This post was originally compiled on June 17, 2009 and has since been updated repeatedly with additional background information, new statistics, and relevant links.

Join the discussion

  • Thank you for donig this. I love photography and i love abandoned places. I couldn’t imagine leaving behind some of the stuff and places that get left behind. thanks again.

  • Beautiful photos. They convey well the eerie solitude of these abandoned places. I have been to Centralia, PA, USA before. The smoke rising up through the ground, the few remaining houses/buildings and the decrepit roadways leave one with the feeling that they have entered another world.

  • Excellent “travel” via your web site. Used Google Maps and Wikipedia to round-out information on each site.

    Have bookmarked “Abandoned Places in the World” and the main page, http://www.dirjournal.com, under my Travel folder for future visits.

    Thanks for providing these wonderful pictures and information!

  • Wonderful pictures, a bit creepy, but very beautiful. Especially the italian villages. Sad stories behind some unfortunatelly, but a nice try to make sth nice from sth bad as an abandoned city.

  • Surprised that St Kilda is not here. A remote Scottish island off the West coast was inhabited until the 1920s when all the people were evacuated due to starvation. A lot of the young men were killed during WW1 and the people left were unable to sustain their crofting economy. There are pictures available showing the evacuation and resulting empty crofts.

  • It’s a shame about Varosha,Cyprus.This ghost town should be handed back to it’s former residents,so that it can be restored back to it’s former glory.It should have people holidaying,living and working there,not laying derelict and abandoned like it has for the past 35 years. It is pointless keeping this city empty,fill it with life.

  • Although most of these stories are intriguing & eerie, I particularly like the underground mine fire because that to me is extraordinary considering fire that burns underground.

  • Very beautiful places. I only saw Pripyat before, I didn’t know there are other so abandoned places. I wish to see at least one of them.

  • Fantastic! Incredible posting and thanks so much for it. I’m a 40 year real estate professional who sells real estate all across the US at auction, was telling someone this evening that we are now seeing so many abandoned buildings and even developments that we were going to have more modern day ghost towns and their reply was no once you build something there will always be people there. I can’t wait to show them these photos.

  • In 1969, for a period of several months, I was the officer-in-charge of the Hong Kong Police Force ‘s Kowloon Walled City Patrol Unit. The enclave’s legal status lay in a grey area, as it had been excluded from the Sino-British treaty ceding the Kowloon Peninsula to the Brits, and policing was only at a token level; hence the abundance of illicit activities, though “cocaine parlours” were certainly not among them. Heroin divans, to the contrary, were plentiful. The area was also renowned for its unregistered dental clinics, many of which were shockingly brutal and unhygienic, operated by quack dentists. While on patrol, it was not uncommon to have a pot of excrement dumped on one from above. Suffice to say, that period of my service was not a highlight of my police career!

    • I just visit the park that replaced the hong kong walled city over the winter. my dad was telling me all kinds of stories just like yours cause he lived there.

  • What a great site. I started discovering ghost towns throughout Texas and the Western United States as a motorcycle rider and have been to over 100. Now I guess I have a new, more expensive goal…

  • Prefigures global wasteland following series of high-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attacks devastating urban agglomerations. By end of current 1.8-million year Pleistocene Era some 12-million years hence, traces of human efflorescence will be limited to deep-cut highway excavations networking blob-like, knobbly mounds.

    Extradite Soetoro!

  • I can confirm what Honkytowner said of the Kowloon Walled City. I was a Patrol Sub-unit Commander in Kowloon City Division of the RHKP in 1974. Each Sub-unit had a dedicated Walled City patrol of a Sergeant and 2 or 3 Constables. I recall an escaping opium smoker landing on my head during an early winter morning raid on a divan but no turds! The park is a huge improvement!

  • it’s interesting to see how some of these monument-like, abandoned habitats started off as utopias. And now diminished into forgotten wastelands and forsaken memories – a somewhat dystopia.

    how living spaces are conjured up, by design function or other circumstance, it is truly amazing to see how these habitats unfolded then. How was each individual’s experience in each of this different environments? All of which had their distinct unique qualities!

    and in revealing them now, we definitely perceive them differently. They serve different purpose/functions now (i.e. tourist hot spots, a historian’s field trip destination, etc).

    My question is – should these landscapes be lost with their belonging memories or do we rethink how to harness and utilise these somewhat extraordinary habits/environments again?
    Or could all of this inspire an architecture designed to serve its function purposefully and dies out literally as demand diminishes – fading into the blowing winds like a memory wantinng to be forgot.

  • Came across ths website quite by accident and was surprised to see the town, or, Ghost Town, where I grew up, on your list. Centralia, PA. Despite the fire, it was a wonderful place to grow up. Very closely knit community. A decent place to live and raise children. Thanks for the posting.

    • I was just thinking the same thing. The picture of the ferris wheel had given me a good chuckle. I emailed my son the website so that he too could see that the developers of these games do use real world things when making the games.

    • That’s because they were in fighting in Pripyat. Remember the radiation warnings? Yes, the game got it right, and pretty true to scale for a game.

      I still remember the first time I saw pictures of the abandoned city of Pripyat, a chill ran up my spine. The ferris wheel was the kicker. I called for my son, whom plays COD also, and had him look at the pictures. He was 4 years old a the time. He said, “Dad, that’s the city from Call Of Duty!”


  • John Cramer Says:
    November 9th, 2009 at 4:26 pm
    Anyone else notice that COD4 modern warfare definitely used the same building in chernobyl?

    Yeah I did, the big wheel is pretty much tke same.

  • Just when you think all of the planet is filled with people it’s nice to know that everything belongs to the earth in the end. The larger towns that are abandoned are really creepy. It would be a good ghost hunt. Thank you for taking these photos for those of us who may never get to visit these sights.

  • Thankyou for all these fascinating photos. I’m partcularly well aquainted with Varosha, since my sister is a journalist who lives in Cyprus, and I’ve visited it (as close as is possible without getting shot!) several times. How on earth did you manage to take some of those photos without getting hauled off in the back of a Turkish army van?!Dear, fascinating old place- it never changes. I’ve met several of my sister’s colleagues who have been inside the place to do special features about it, and many of the tales about it remaining exactly as it was left, really are true. Whilst the Turkish Army did indeed loot it extensively following the invasion of ’74, it’s so big (about the size of Worcester) that they couldn’t possibly appropriate all the contents of all it’s buildings. Hundreds of homes remain full of their owner’s things- shops still stock 1974 goods- hotel restaurants are still laid for breakfast- pubs & bars remain stocked with old brands like Dubonnet, Double Diamond and Worthington E (the Turks wouldn’t touch alcohol, being Muslims) with the jukeboxes loaded with tracks by Deep Purple, Redbone and Santana- and lovely old ’60s & early ’70s cars (by now classics, all of ’em) remain waiting in their garages. Drunken UN squaddies have done some damage with vandalism, though things have been tightened up now considerably.

    My hope is that eventually, it too will become protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Many abandoned cities & towns quickly decay, becoming just a jumble of walls and rotting timber, but Varosha is almost unique in that it’s so complete and has survived so well (Pripyat in Ukraine being the only other place to compare with it). I think the Mediterranean climate has a lot to do with it, plus the fact that unlike most examples of foreign beach resort architecture, it was actually very well built and remains pretty solid.
    Meanwhile, there she basks in the Cypriot sun, guarding her treasures for future generations. Re. the photograph featuring the beach umbrellas, the tall building to the far right of the picture has the bizarre name of the Twiga Tower, and is one of Varosha’s smaller and cheaper hotels. Of quite outstanding ugliness, it deserves to be preserved for it’s very hideosity alone- many of it’s rooms remain in a good state of decoration, as can be seen from outside, and some even still have glass in their windows. Just in front of it is it’s small, kidney-shaped swimming pool, which when I last saw it was occupied by a large blue plastic barrel!

    A note to readers: tempting though it is to think of having a good old explore of Varosha, DONT- it’s VERY dangerous to do so. The area remains technically held by the Turkish military, and although it is actually patrolled by the UN for most of the time, the Turks guard it’s integrity very jealously. On neither side of the divide are you allowed to take photos, though the Greeks tolerate observation through binoculars. The Turks don’t even allow that, and whilst an incursion in the Greek half would just result in ejection and a loud telling-off by UN guards, entry from the Turkish sector could result in arrest, detention, or even being shot at on sight. The only persons allowed in are Turkish and UN personnel, visiting dignitaries, or journalists under special escort.
    In addition, many of the buildings are now infested with vermin, and poisonous snakes have adopted parts of it as a breeding ground- thus the potential for disease is considerable.

  • Oradour-sur-Glane, France Your last picture is near Limoges north west
    about 30 km
    I,ve been there,
    too bad you only show one picture.
    the new town of oradour was rebuilt beside the old town
    the french left it this way
    as a memorial to the dead

    The Germans destroyed it in ww2
    in retaliation for killing some germans in an other
    This town was off the beaten track
    this in the book 10 great atrocities of man

  • If you want to read more about Centralia, Pa, and the underground mine fire that turned it into a ghost town, check out my new book, Fire Underground: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire (Globe Pequot Press, 2009). Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and Borders, as well as other fine online booksellers and not a few brick & mortar stores.

  • Hey David
    Many thanks for posting that info about your book, I’m putting that on my wish list with Amazon right now. ” All I want for Christmas is a few good books”. I’m a WV native and find stories about the coal fields very interesting and look foward to reading yours.

  • the author says “following the discovery of gold in 1859.” i cannot let that pass, as the san francisco 49ers are named because gold was discovered in california in 1849.

  • It’s not just the places, but the feeling that these ruins are left standing with so many stories trapped within its walls, waiting to get out. Amazing pics.

  • Wow – I stumbled on this blog after returning from Marrakech and looking for somewhere interesting but QUIET to visit – I had no idea there were so many abandoned towns all over the world, truely fascinating and quite sad to see. Money, greed and lack of respect for fellow humans seams to be the main culprit.
    This has given me a morbid curiosity to see some of these places, and yet I want to leave well alone at the same time.

    You have found some fab images.
    Kath – UK

  • amazing pics of some amazing places, i have recently visited an abandoned military hosptital (the cambridge hospital) in aldershot hants uk, very interesting and would highly recomend paying a visit.

  • these pics should be so amazing but are so not. Not a feeling of anything, just a person with a camera. very disappointed. Just goes to show just because you have a camera and take a pic does not make you a photographer, you either have “something” or you don’t. Not one of these rocks. Bummer I was looking to get a couple purchased and have blown up for my offices, anyone else have some talent that took some of this area?

    • Marion,
      I guess all of us are different, but this site as well as others I find fascinating. I wish I had the time to tour many of these places that still exist with my view camera and photograph them from different perspectives. Unfortunately even for those who can go to these places access to make dramatic photos may not be possible. I have filmed in abandoned mines, buildings and factories and for safety reasons I have many snap-shot quality photos and not many quality photographs as seen travel publications. However, in any case what is provided on this site is still very interesting and nicely done.

    • Each one has their own perspectives… the photographs are amazing indeed and these are not jus layman pics, it provides lot of information bout the place… the view is awesome and i really nyoyed watchn all of it…..

  • Marion, it sounds like maybe you have DIFFERENT taste. just because you dont see the beauty in these pics, does not mean that everyone feels the same. I happen to think there are some amazing photos here. Why, if you did not feel they were any good, did you feel th need to post anything at all? And as far as talent goes, if anyone out there with “talent” is reading this, hopefully they dont feel the need to respond you. Why dont you get off your lazy, trolling ass and take some pictures yourself? Probably because you are the one with no “Talent.” Thank you, have a nice day.

  • It just a terrible or fearable pleces of world where there is no life or human beings. The World and UNESCO should keep these cities and town in memories and show it as a lapse decades herrites to other country of the world and find out the main reason of these incident or reason and why they were take place and how.

  • wow. just kinda stumbled upon this. didnt even know about any of these except for pripyat. thanks for the pics and the info. one day i’ll get out and see some of these places (with respect).

  • Awesome information. It was a great help to our research we are doing in order to help save and restore the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company Homes. Three years ago we came to what was soon going to be one of these places and now it is most likely going to be a revived vibrant community again. Kudo’s to you for all the time and effort this had to take.

  • What the heck?????
    i’m sad,, i couldn’t visit this places ever
    but the photos are simply awsome!!
    loved it 🙂
    Keep up
    Wish to visit abandoned city in ukraine

  • What I don’t get is why people want to tour abandoned cities that have been left to the elements. I understand that whatever makes money, makes money, but if I was looking for places to visit on vacation, a town with a fire burning underground that will keep burning well into the next few centuries or a city that has been abandoned due to radioactive disasters, no matter how long ago, in a power plant only a few miles away would NOT be on my list, you know?

    • Well, some people like to park their asses on the beach three weeks, others go hiking on deserted mountains. I just returned from visiting Pripyat and it was the single best experience I had in years. The sensation of walking around in an area with such history, trying to capture the essence in pictures… I would not have missed it for the world.

  • I felt something inside me when I saw these pics. They look like they must be horrific. But they are taken in nice angles though. I hope to see the other way around!

  • Found this site while searching for the Duga-3 in Ukraine. Got interested in old abandoned things a few years ago when I got some email on abandoned antenna sites. Should have gotten more interested and sooner when an old theater building was being demolished (what a waste) and when I could readily get to Centrailia, PA. Been there many times and somewhere in my photgraphic archives are many photos from at least 20 years ago along with many coal region abandoned places. I have to find them and scan them since there are so many websites now where they may be of use to others. Keep up the good work on this site. It’s great.