The wheels of progress stop for no man, and sometimes, they leave behind remains of what once was. While some of today's bustling cities and towns have been around for hundreds of years, there are also plenty of places that were abandoned for one reason or another. Now, they sit empty and abandoned, a hollow reminder of what once was.
1. Bodie, California
The town of Bodie was founded in 1876 after miners found rich deposits of gold and silver nearby. People flocked to the boom town, and it soon acquired a reputation for being a city of sinners, full of bars and brothels. It eventually went bankrupt, and by the 1940s it became an actual ghost town - one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the world, in fact.
2. Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania
Eastern State Penitentiary sits on the outskirts of Philadelphia and was operational from 1829-1971. In its heyday, it housed some of America's worst criminals, including Al Capone. After it was closed, it was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark and was converted into a museum offering guided tours.
3. Czestochowa Railway Station, Poland
This railway system was built during the Golden age of industrial development. Today, it sits largely abandoned.
4. Sathorn, Thailand
In the early 1990s, Thailand experienced a huge economic boom, during which local authorities and businesses started a number of ambitious building projects. One of these was the Sathorn skyscraper. When the economy tanked a few years later during Asia's financial crisis, however, the project was suspended. Currently, it still sits half-finished with numerous reconstruction projects rumored to be in the works.
5. North Brother Island, New York
From 1885 to the late 1930s, the Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island was one of the leading American hospitals for diseases such as smallpox, scarlet fever, typhoid fever, and leprosy. It was also used as a rehab facility for drug addicts until it was shuttered in 1963. Currently, the island is an uninhabited bird sanctuary.
6. Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain), Germany
This abandoned structure in West Berlin was once a Nazi military college. After numerous failed attempts to demolish the building, it was buried under wreckage produced as a result of the Anglo-American bombing campaign during World War II. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, it's had many owners, but still sits abandoned.
7. Miranda Castle, Belgium
Belgian political activist Count Liedekerke-Beaufort was forced to abandon this castle during the French Revolution. After World War II, it was used by the National Railway Company of Belgium until the late 1980s. After a brief stint as an orphanage and summer camp, it was abandoned in 1991 due to the high cost of maintenance.
8. Kijong-dong (Peace Village), North Korea
This North Korean village was apparently built specifically to be empty. It sits in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. After the 1953 ceasefire between the two nations, the North Korean government constructed the town as a propaganda tool - since it's visible to South Korea, it had to be the perfect town to show how much better North Korea was. However, despite government claims that it is populated by citizens, closer examination shows no window panes in any of the buildings and the lights all come on at the same time every day.
9. Fordlandia, Brazil
Founded by American industrialist Henry Ford in 1927, this city was intended to be a massive rubber plantation. Ford developed the idea of a corporate city with every amenity imaginable - pools, golf courses, bungalows, the works. Unfortunately, locals weren't too keen on the idea, with local workers constantly feuding with the Americans. In 1930, a riot erupted and the project was abandoned for good.
10. Abandoned Movie Theater, Sinai Desert, Egypt
Locals say the theater was built by a Frenchman who was walking through the area with some friends and decided this was a great spot for a theater. He bought a generator in Cairo, along with 100 seats and a massive screen. Unfortunately, locals objected and broke the generator before anything could be screened.
11. Varosha, Cyprus
Varosha was once a tourist hotspot in the 1970s, and its beaches once hosted the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor. When Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974, thousands of residents fled the town and it's sat largely abandoned ever since.
12. Hotel del Salto, Colombia
The Hotel del Salto, also known as Tequendama Falls Hotel, was once the height of luxury when it first opened in 1924. As time passed and the surrounding river got more and more contaminated, tourists stopped coming. It also became a place where many people committed suicide, and now some say the hotel is haunted.
13. Discovery Island, USA
Discovery Island was a Disney amusement park in Florida, but when dangerous bacteria was found contaminating the waters of Bay Lake, it was shut down in 1999 and remains closed to this day.
14. Holy Land Theme Park, Connecticut
John Greco built this religious theme park in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1958. Although it was a popular destination through the 1960s and 1970s, the park shut down after Greco temporarily closed it for renovations, and then passed away.
15. Orpheum Theater, Massachusetts
The Orpheum Theater is an abandoned theater in New Bedford, Massachusetts that was operational from 1912 to 1959. There's a market currently in the back of the theater, but the rest of the space sits empty. Still, there are talks to revitalize the theater currently in progress.
16. The Wreck of the S.S. American Star, Canary Islands
This vessel was actually fairly intact early on, and the Spanish Army even welded ladders to its side. Unfortunately, the ship has since split in two and it is no longer advisable to attempt to explore it. Although it looks temptingly close, the currents in this area are extremely strong and sharp debris lurks beneath the waters. At least eight people have died swimming to and/or exploring the wreck.
Be sure to SHARE this with your family and friends.
H/T: Bright Side