Whether it’s a house, castle, amusement park or a metropolitan, abandoned places raise some sort of fascination, sometimes romantic others sinister, for all the people who find themselves inside one of those. What makes these locations interesting is, most likely, the stimulus that allows the imagination to travel: the decay induces the observer to imagine what once those places were, who was inhabiting them and the stories of their lives. Entire cities abandoned, sometimes very impressive ones, other times unsettling, evoke pictures of stories, some of which not that far behind either, yet lost forever.

Sanzhi Pod City – Taiwan

Next to New Taipei, in Taiwan, there is a residential city, built with a UFO – like type of style, supposed to become a tourist town for the military personnel of the US based in Asia. During its construction started in 1978, a few mortal accidents took place with a few suicides too. The project remained unfinished, and Sanzhi Pod City was abandoned in 1980 even before having ever been inhabited.

Below: pic by Carrie Kellenberger shared via Wikipedia – licence CC BY-SA 2.0

The rumours say that misfortune had dropped into the city-to be after the accidental falling of a Chinese Dragon statue, placed at the entrance of Sanzhi Pod City, during the the operations of expansion of a street.

For others, the location per sé provoked all the troubles: it seems that the colourful space shuttles have been built on top of a cemetery. Despite all this though, the futuristic area became for a short time a tourist spot, described as “Ghost Town” as well as “Ruins of the Future”. Between 2008 and 2010 all the buildings of the Sanzhi Pod City got wrecked in order to making room for a new sea resort.

Bodie – California

Bodie is the typical ghost town from the American Wild West. Such as many other cities where its existence is linked to the predominant production activity, the place emptied out when the gold rush was over, sending all the people back from where they had come.

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The title of “ghost town” was given to Bodie in 1915 when the gold diggers left it behind. From the 1962 onwards it has become the Historical National Park, visited by over 200,000 tourists a year and it has become the official “Gold Rush Ghost Town” of the State of California.

Kowloon Walled City


Above: picture by Ian Lambot shared via Wikipedia – licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Kowloon Walled City was a city inside a city, non-governable settlement were 33,000 people were living, later becoming 50,000 in an area of barely 2.6 hectare (6.5 acres).

Above: picture by Ian Lambot shared via Wikipedia – licence CC BY 4.0

The ancient walled city dated back to the year 1000, when it was the outpost for the salt trade. Throughout the years, when Hong Kong was given to the British government however by remaining a Chinese enclave, the area saw an enormous increase in the number of inhabitants during the 2WW.

Above: picture by Jidanni shared via Wikipedia – licence CC BY- 3.0

The absence of control from the British authority allowed the criminal organisations to seize Kowloon, known as the “City of Darkness”. Ruled by the criminal organization Triad, inside there were brothels, opium houses, gambling clubs.

Between the 1987 and the 1992 the British government as well as the Chinese one agreed upon the evacuation of the area, for the awful sanitary conditions, turning the zone into an empty shell, almost like a post apocalyptic scenario.

Above: picture by Ian Lambot shared via Wikipedia – licence CC BY 4.0

The demolition of the whole Walled City took a year of woking, finished in 1994. In its place today the Kowloon Walled City Park pops out, park which still holds some parts from the old city.

Pripyat – Ukraine

Above: picture shared via hdwallbox

Ghostly proof of the destructive power of nuclear energy, Pripyat was a city in great expansion before the disastrous accident of Chernobyl nuclear station.

The environmental catastrophe provoked the rapid and abrupt evacuation of the city and the towns nearby; everything was contaminated hence to leave behind.

In the last few years the city has been targeted by vandals, whom accelerated the decay of the area which had been already started by the atmospheric elements.

Hashima – Japan


Above: picture by Hisagi shared via Wikipedia – licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Hashima is today one of the 505 inhabited islands from the prefecture of Nagasaki. From the 1887 to the 1974 the area was hosting a population as it was an important centre of coal extraction.

But since Japan decided to use cleaner and more efficient combustibles, the island owner, Mitsubishi, quit all the operations of extraction. From 1974 the island and its houses have remained desert, all left as it was before, making Hashima a perfect example of industrial archeology.

Above: picture shared via Wikipedia – licence CC BY 2.0

From 2009 it is allowed to visit the island, in order to have brief touristic trips which show the ruined area with its buildings partially or completely collapsed and the streets invaded by debris. From the 2015 the UNESCO has inserted Hashima amongst the industrial historical sites within the humanity heritage.

Varosha – Cyprus


Above: picture by TomasNY shared via Wikipedia – licence CC BY 2.5

Varosha up until the ’70s was a renown touristic destination which hosted famous Hollywood  stars such as Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and Raquel Welch.

When Turkey invaded Cyprus in August 1974, inhabitants and tourists of Varosha ran away, leaving their city in the hands of the Turkish army, which fenced the city with barbwire.

Above: picture by Wikimach via Wikipedia – licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The residents were hoping to go back to their houses once the hostility was over, but the Turkish army never let anyone in and the area has remained abandoned ever since. The ruined buildings faces a beach today attended only by turtles, which come to Varosha to  mate without being disturbed by people.

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