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Abandoned cities, villages and towns of the world - PART 1 - PHOTOS

28 May 2010 [13:12] - TODAY.AZ
As we all know, 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.

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. So, let's get through the amazing pictures of the places, that both people and the world forgot.


/Dirjournal.com/

Click photos to enlarge:










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.













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.















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.















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.













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.









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.















Oradour-sur-Glane, France
Oradour-sur-Glan is a town in west-central France. The original village was destroyed on June 10, 1944, when 642 of its inhabitants were murdered by a German Waffen-SS company. A new village was built post-war on a nearby site and the original has been maintained as a memorial.















Kolmanskuppe, Namibia
Kolmannskuppe is a ghost town in southern Namibia. It was a small mining village and is now a popular tourist destination run by the joint firm NAMDEB (Namibia-De Beers). It developed after the discovery of diamonds in the area in 1908, to provide shelter for workers from the harsh environment of the Namib Desert. The village was built like a German town, with facilities like a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theater and sport-hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere. The town declined after World War I as diamond prices crashed, and operations moved to Oranjemund. It was abandoned in 1956 but has since been partly restored. The geological forces of the desert mean that tourists can now walk through houses knee-deep in sand.













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” was founded. Both works grew quickly, becoming 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. Both works were abandoned in 1960 and in 1970, after becoming ghost towns, they were declared national monuments and opened to tourism. In 2005 they were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.















Wittenoom, Australia
Wittenoom is a locality in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. During the 1950s, Wittenoom was the Pilbara’s biggest town, but was shut down in 1966 due to health concerns from asbestos mining at the nearby Wittenoom Gorge. Today it is a ghost town with approximately eight residents who receive no government services. The town’s name was removed from official maps and the roads leading to contaminated areas are likely to be closed.













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 of Famagusta. In the 1970s, Famagusta was the number one tourist destination in Cyprus. To cater to the increasing number of tourists, many new high-rise buildings and hotels were constructed. 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 area of Varosha has been left as a ghost town.















Balestrino, Italy
There not much info about Balestrino online. The first info about the village is dated by 1860 when its population was about 850 inhabitants. At the end of the 20th century the village suffered from several earthquakes after which the residents left the village.











Craco, Italy
The village has the same history as the Balestrino. Because of the earthquakes people had to leave looking for safer places.











Bodie State park, California, Unites States
Bodie is a ghost town which is now a National Historic Landmark. It began as a mining camp of little note following the discovery of gold in 1859. No gold, no people.
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