Get ready to amend your bucket list, because you’ll want to visit these 10 abandoned cities before you die.
Civilizations rise, civilizations fall – this has been a continuous pattern throughout human history. While most ancient cities are now forever lost, there are many modern abandoned cities you can still visit.
Lying in the Namib desert, just 10 kilometers outside the port town of Lüderitz, Kolmanskop was once a rich mining village. Following World War I, the diamond field started to deplete and the town was deserted. It is now a popular tourist destination.
Located in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, this town saw mass-evacuation both in 1963 due to a landslide and in 1972 following a flood. Aside from being a popular tourist destination, is has been the shooting location for many movies, including The Passion of The Christ and Quantum of Solace.
Loyalist Spanish Republican forces and General Franco’s rebels fought the Battle of Belchite in and around the town in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. Even though rebuilt nearby, the ruins of the old city remain as a memorial to the war.
The village and 30 square kilometers of surrounding land were requisitioned in 1943 by the War Office for use as firing ranges for training troops. Even though it was supposed to be given back to its residents after the war, in 1948 the British Army placed a compulsory purchase order on the land and kept it for military training.
Hashima Island, Japan
Lying some 15 kilometers from the coast of Nagasaki, the city was built literally on top of undersea coal mines. As the mines neared depletion, the mine was closed in 1974 and all of the island’s residents moved out shortly after.
The city, located in southern Turkey, once had a population of 6,000 Greeks. By the end of the Greco-Turkish War, between 1919 and 1922, Kayaköy had been completely abandoned and its residents never returned.
Varosha, Northern Cyprus
What was once a modern tourist destination in the southern quarter of the Cypriot city of Famagusta, became deserted when Cyprus was invaded by Turkey in 1974. Today, the city’s resorts and highrise buildings remain abandoned and under the control of the Turkish Armed Forces.
Beichuan was on of the areas that were hit the hardest by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. It is reported that 80% of the county’s buildings collapsed and the rest were damaged severely. More than 1,000 students lost their lives after two main buildings of the Beichuan High School campus collapsed.
Once a booming gold-mining town, Bodie first showed signs of decline in population in 1912, with only three people still living there in 1943. In 1962, the ghost town officially became the Bodie State Historic Park and has welcomed around 200,000 annual visitors.
The most beautiful of all abandoned cities, Mandu was once the capital city of an Indian Muslim state, but have now been abandoned for over 400 years. While only gypsy tribes live around the city today, its ruins, which include a beautiful royal palace and a mosque, are popular tourist attractions.