Around the World’s Abandoned Places

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WE APPEAR TO BE JUST AS ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT DEGENERATION AND DECLINE AS WE ARE ABOUT PROGRESS. Trees bursting through concrete abandoned mine shafts recovered by nesting birds, and desert ghost towns offer reminders of nature’s tenacity and persistence.

The following stunning abandoned locations were produced by removing from a world that was consumed by abundance. Because of the absence, regression, and return to nature, they are alluring. Whether it’s a railroad graveyard in Bolivia, a run-down German sanitarium, or an abandoned hamlet in Italy, it’s clear that a site doesn’t have to be populated to pique attention.

#1 South Fremantle Power Station is located in Fremantle, Western Australia

Photo: flo129/Shutterstock

The South Fremantle Power Station, which opened in 1951 and served the city of Perth for 34 years, was a state-of-the-art construction. Under the ruins, there is said to be a network of tunnels that leads all the way to the seashore.

#2 Whittingham Asylum is located in the county of Lancashire, England

Photo: purplecustardvideos/Shutterstock

The Whittingham Asylum was previously the UK’s largest psychiatric hospital. It was created in1973 to treat people with mental illnesses, but it previously served as a hospital for soldiers throughout WWI and WWII. After complaints of patient mistreatment, the facility was ultimately shuttered in 1995.

#3 Kolmanskop is a town in Namibia

Photo: Smelov/Shutterstock

It generated 11.7 percent of all diamonds produced worldwide. The well of valuable stones dried up after years of continuous mining, and the residents all left. It is now a renowned tourist attraction and photographic location.

#4 California’s Slab City

Photo: Nagel Photography/Shutterstock

A decommissioned US Marine Corps facility in California’s Colorado Desert has been taken over by squatters. Squatters, snowbirds, drifters, and homeless individuals live in Slab City. There is no power, running water, or sewerage on the property, and there are no taxes.

#5 Bannerman Castle is located on Pollepel Island in the state of New York

Photo: Felix Lipov/Shutterstock

Bannerman Castle is a 20th-century reproduction of a Scottish castle created by Scotsman Frank Bannerman. The castle was destroyed by fire in 1969, many years after his death. The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. now manages the island and its structures.

#6 The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse is located on the Oregon coast

Photo: Bob Pool/Shutterstock

In 1957, the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse was turned off. It is presently privately owned and served as a burial ground for the deceased. The lighthouse, which is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

#7 Craco is a town in Italy

Photo: Pavlo Glazkov/Shutterstock

The town of Craco was founded around 1000 AD, but it was abandoned in 1991. The village has grown in popularity as a tourist destination and even a filmmaking site. In 2010, it was listed as one of the top ten most threatened sites by the World Monuments Fund.

#8 Seattle Underground is a subway system in Seattle, Washington

Photo: Zack Frank/Shutterstock

The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 burned thirty-one blocks of Seattle. The city was rebuilt from stone and brick a few feet above ground level, leaving an underground network of wrecked shops, streets, and passageways. To properly understand the city’s bones, a tour of the Seattle underground is required.

#9 New Orleans, Louisiana’s Six Flags New Orleans

Photo: Kristina Rogers/Shutterstock

When Hurricane Katrina slammed New Orleans, it flooded 80% of the city. Visiting the park grounds is presently prohibited.

#10 Abu Dhabi’s Al Madam

Photo: Katiekk/Shutterstock

Al Madam is a deserted settlement around an hour’s drive from Dubai. The settlement was established for the Bedouin people in the 1970s and then abandoned shortly after. It consists of only two rows of dwellings, a mosque, and a few dilapidated structures.

#11 Homebush Bay’s Floating Forest, Sydney, Australia

Photo: Duncan Struthers/Shutterstock

In Homebush Bay, the Floating Forest is a decommissioned ship. This rusting old boat is now adorned with mangrove plants. The steam collier was built in the United Kingdom in 1911 and transported supplies to US troops stationed in the Pacific during WWII.

#12 Mexico’s San Juan Parangaricutiro

Photo: stacyarturogi/Shutterstock

In 1943, the Paricutin volcano erupted, destroying the two communities that nestled in its shadow. Everything was destroyed by the lava save the top half of the San Juan Parangaricutiro church, which is currently the only survivor of the nine-year-long eruption. The first 30 feet of the church were covered by lava flows, but the rest of the structure — including the spectacular bell tower — is still standing.

#13 Sakhalin Island, Russia’s Aniva Rock Lighthouse

Photo: Gribov Andrei Aleksandrovich/Shutterstock

Aniva Lighthouse was built by the Japanese in 1939 and abandoned in 2006. The Russian part of Sakhalin Island, off the coast of Russia, was annexed by the Russians after World War II. In the1990s, it was rendered self-sufficient (no need for keepers) and thereafter completely abandoned.

#14 Teufelsberg is a neighborhood of Berlin, Germany

Photo: TeleMakro Fotografie/Shutterstock

In Berlin, Germany, an old US listening station rests on a heap of wreckage. Although the previous station is no longer in service, it is available to the public for visits. A 90-minute guided history tour, as well as a flashlight stroll into the forests below, are now available.

#15 Uyuni, Bolivia, Train Cemetery

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The railway cemetery is littered with ancient trains that have succumbed to the ravages of time. There was a proposal to build a huge railway network out of Uyuni in the late 19th century/early20th century. The plan was shelved, leaving over 100 trains to rust and fade into obscurity.

#16 Sorrento, Italy’s Valley of Mills

Photo: Crazy nook/Shutterstock

The Valley of Mills is a collection of 13th-century stone flour mills, sawmills, and a washhouse. In the 1940s, the mills were shuttered and abandoned. The historic structures have now been covered by greenery, creating a breathtaking scene.

#17 Huesca, Spain’s Canfranc International Railway Station

Photo: M. Vinuesa/Shutterstock

Canfranc train station, which was opened in 1928, was a key international transportation center. During WWII, the station played an important role on the French-Spanish border. Services ended in 1970, and the station has been idle since then. It has recently received funds for upgrades.

#18 Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Olympic Luge Track is located in Sarajevo

Photo: chrisontour84/Shutterstock

During the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s, the Olympic Bobsleigh Track in Sarajevo was devastated. The track is now receiving improvements in order to reopen. The biathlon and cross-country sports are held here, and it was the glory of the 1984 Winter Olympics.


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