12. Argentiera, Italy
Argentiera is a former mining town. Its name comes from the word “argento,“ meaning ”silver.” Silver mining first appeared here during the Roman and Phoenician eras. The 1940s were Argentiera’s most prosperous period. It was followed by decline, and the mine was closed for good in 1963.
11. Varosha, Cyprus
This quarter of the city of Famagusta was a popular tourist destination prior to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The reason why Varosha is still a ghost town is UN Security Council Resolution 550, adopted in 1984. It considers “attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible.”
10. Quinta da Regaleira, Portugal
The Initiation Well is located in the estate of Quinta da Regaleira, where one can see a variety of architectural follies. According to legend, the 9 levels of the well symbolize the 9 Circles of Hell. Previously, this place was believed to be used for religious ceremonies of the Masonic fraternity.
9. Grytviken, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Grytviken is the administrative center of a British Overseas Territory. In 1904, the first whaling station in the Antarctic was built here. The abandoned station’s church is the only building retaining its original purpose. The most recent marriage in this church was registered on November 18, 2009.
8. Oradour-sur-Glane, France
In June 1944, a German Waffen-SS company destroyed the village of Oradour-sur-Glane. As a result of the attack, 642 villagers were killed. After the war, the French president announced that the village should never be rebuilt but would remain a memorial to the cruelty of the Nazi occupation.
7. Cape Romano, USA
A house consisting of several domes was built in 1980. After a while, the sandy ground under it started moving. In 2005, the new owner planned to renovate the house but could not do it due to the new resolution of the island’s authorities. No one lives in the house now, and it continues to march into the ocean.
6. Plymouth, Montserrat
In July 1995, after a series of powerful eruptions at the Soufrière Hills volcano, lava and ash covered a wide area of southern Montserrat — including Plymouth. In August 1995, ash fell on Plymouth, which was inhabited by 4,000 people, and the inhabitants were evacuated in December.
5. Spinalonga, Greece
Spinalonga is a Greek island located in the eastern part of Crete. In 1669, Crete was captured by the Ottoman Empire. To drive the Turks away, the Greeks collected all the lepers and sent them to the island. Fearing infection, the Turks left the island. As of today, the most visited tourist object on the island is the remains of the once impregnable fortress.
4. Spreepark, Germany
The entertainment park Spreepark was opened in 1969 in Berlin and worked well until 1989. Then it was bought by the Spreepark Berlin GmbH company. It was later discovered that the founder’s assets were doubtable, and the park was mired in millions of dollars of debt. In 2001, Spreepark went bankrupt and finally became empty.
3. Agdam, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic / Azerbaijan
Agdam is a settlement in the southwest part of Azerbaijan. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1993, it was shelled. According to Human Rights Watch, having been seized, Agdam was looted and burned, which they say was a well-organized plan of Karabakh authorities.
2. Hashima, Japan
Hashima is an island in the East China Sea, known for its coal mine shafts reaching up to 600 meters in depth. In the 1940s, the Mitsubishi Corporation used Chinese and Korean forced labor there. For many years, the 6.3-hectare (16-acre) island was practically the most populous place on Earth: its population density was 835 people per hectare. In 1974, all the mines were closed, and the island was abandoned
1. Pripyat, Ukraine
Pripyat was founded in 1970 as a closed city to serve the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. After the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986, the city was evacuated and has been abandoned since then. Radiation levels have dropped, and Pripyat is now considered to be relatively safe to visit. Numerous illegal tourists leave creepy graffiti there.