Humans have always been driven by curiosity and fed by an innate need to explore. There is something about old, abandoned places which has always fascinated us in our quest for discovery. Whether it’s about the history behind them, about the stories that are hidden beneath all the dust, rust and concrete pieces, giving each place a special aura of nostalgia or it’s about the hauntingly beauty of forgotten spaces surrendering in front of the impressive strength of nature, we can’t help but be mesmerized by these mysterious and beautiful abandoned places around the world.

Nothing exemplifies better that the only permanent thing in the world is change and also the power of time and nature as the deserted places that seem to grow more complex and interesting as the natural processes of decay take over and as layered debris tells more and more stories as the years go by.

In the image gallery below, we have gathered a few of the most incredible images of structures that have fallen by the wayside. From an abandoned Parisian railway to a deserted Romanian castle from Transylvania, there is undeniable beauty in the ruins.

#1 Overgrown Railway In Paris – the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (French for “little belt railway”) was a Parisian railway that, from 1852, was a circular connection between Paris’ main railroad stations within the fortified walls of the city. In a partial state of abandonment since 1934, the tracks (and some stations) still remain along much of its right-of-way.

1. abandoned places - chemin-de-fer-de-petite-ceinture-paris (1)1. abandoned places - chemin-de-fer-de-petite-ceinture-paris (2)

#2 Shicheng, The Lost Underwater City In China – in the Chinese province Zhejiang, forty feet underwater, was rediscovered Shicheng city known as the city of lions, a place that once was a cultural, economic and political center of the province. It was named the Lion City because Five Lion Mountain loomed large behind it. In 1959 the authorities decided to build an artificial lake and hydroelectric station, and the city, thousands of years old, was covered in water.

2. abandoned places - Shicheng, The Lost Underwater City in China (2)

2.abandoned places - Shicheng, The Lost Underwater City in China (1)

#3 Château de Noisy (Miranda Castle), Belgium – a beautiful castle in the open lands of Belgium and former ‘holiday camp’, the Miranda Castle is in a heavy state of disrepair and despite several offers, the owners refuse to sell it. It has suffered heavily from vandalism and the details from the interior have been removed to be used in another castle. As of December, 2013 – the owners of Château de Noisy have formally applied for licence to demolish this heritage castle.

3.abandoned places - Chateau Miranda - Celles, Belgium (1)

3. abandoned places - Chateau Miranda - Celles, Belgium (2)

#4 Canfranc Rail Station, Spain – it was the largest and most glamorous railway station in the world, a shining jewel of Art Nouveau elegance nestling high in the Pyrenees mountains. But after a chequered history which saw it commandeered by the Nazis during the Second World War, Canfranc International Railway Station has slowly slipped into disrepair and is now little more than a crumbling shell. Yet it hides a remarkable secret  – deep below the surface in the old tunnels that cross the border between Spain and France, scientists have set up movable astroparticle laboratories where they are attempting to unlock the mysteries of dark matter.

4.abandoned places - Canfranc Rail Station, Spain  (1)

4. abandoned places - Canfranc Rail Station, Spain  (2)

#5 Varia Cinema-Theatre, Jumet, Belgium – The curtain fell on this once thriving Belgian cinema in the 1980s. Briefly sparking back into life as a dance hall, the venue was unable to make ends meet. Later efforts to revitalize the site have stalled due to lack of funding. Meanwhile the paint continues to peel and the dust piles grow.

5.abandoned places - Varia Cinema-Theatre, Jumet, Belgium (1)

5. abandoned places - Varia Cinema-Theatre, Jumet, Belgium (2)

#6 Abandoned Carbide Mill, Lac Meech, Quebec – Power generating mill of the Thomas “Carbide” Wilson (1860-1915) plant, where phosphate fertilizer was produced. Built in 1911, abandoned ca 1915.

6. Abandoned Mill - Western Quebec, Canada (1)

6. Abandoned Mill - Western Quebec, Canada (2)

#7 City Hall Subway Station – New York City – it was supposed to be the showpiece of New York City’s new subway system. Stained glass windows, skylights and brass chandeliers adorned its curved walls and arched ceilings. But City Hall station was unexpectedly closed to the public a mere 41 years after opening its doors in 1904. It was once the southern terminus of the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT), which ran from City Hall all the way north to 145th Street along Broadway.But as longer carriages were created to meet the demands of the growing number of commuters, the station was closed.

7. City Hall Subway Station – New York City (1)

7. City Hall Subway Station – New York City (2)

#8 Tintern Abbey,  Wales – The Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales. It was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales, and was founded on 9 May 1131 by Walter de Clare, lord of Chepstow. It soon prospered, thanks to endowments of land in Gwent and Gloucestershire, and buildings were added and updated in every century until its dissolution in 1536. However, it was never very large and important, and its history was relatively uneventful. Its position well away from the Welsh heartland meant that, unlike Margam, Neath and Llanthony, it suffered little in the periodic Welsh uprisings of the medieval period.

8. Abandoned Places - Tintern Abbey (1)

8. Abandoned Places - Tintern Abbey (2)

#9 Secret underground submarine base, Balaklava (Балаклава), the Crimea, Ukraine – Balaklava is a town in the Crimea, Ukraine which has an official status of a district of the city of Sevastopol. It was a city in its own right until 1957 when it was formally incorporated into the municipal borders of Sevastopol by the Soviet government. One of the monuments is an underground, formerly classified submarine base that was operational until 1993. The base was said to be virtually indestructible and designed to survive a direct atomic impact. During that period, Balaklava was one of the most secret residential areas in the Soviet Union.

9. Abandoned Places - Abandoned secret underground submarine base, Balaklava (2)

9. Abandoned Places - Abandoned secret underground submarine base Ukraine (1)

#10 Train Station, Abkhazia – this train station in Sukhumi, Abkhazia was abandoned during the War in Abkhazia in 1992 and 1993. The dispute between Georgia and Russia over the region has isolated the region, but the decaying station retains some of its former glory in the form of intricate plaster work and mahogany furniture.

10. abandoned places - train station in Sukhumi, Abkhazia  (1)

10. abandoned places - train station in Sukhumi, Abkhazia  (2)

#11 Denbigh Asylum, North Wales – built in the mid-19th century, this Welsh hospital could house up to 200 psychiatric patients. In 2008, Living TV’s Most Haunted filmed a series here called The Village of the Damned, enraging local residents in the process.

11. abandoned places - Denbigh Mental Asylum (1)

11. abandoned places - Denbigh Mental Asylum (2)

#12 Abandoned Casino in Constanta, Romania – once an opulent Art Nouveau hotspot, the Casino Constanta is one of Romania’s most beautiful abandoned buildings. From a distance, the Art Nouveau building on a promenade beside the Black Sea looks majestic. As you walk closer, however, Casino Constanta reveals itself: broken windows, curling paint, and rusted railings hint at the dilapidation inside.

12.abandoned places - Constanta Cazino

12. abandoned places - Constanta Casino, Romania

#13 Podgoretsky Castle, Ukraine – Podgoretsky castle is often called the “Ukrainian Versailles”. It is unique because of its architecture – Renaissance style and heavy bastilles. The complex of the castle consists of a three-storey castle itself, Italian park, inn and entrance gates. It used to be one of the best palace complexes in Europe. Probably the history of the castle dates back to the twelfth century when not far from Podgortsy village was an ancient settlement with a fortification nearby.

13. abandoned places - Podgoretsky castle, Ukraine (1)

13. abandoned places - Podgoretsky castle, Ukraine (2)

#14 The Buried Church of Geamana, Romania – In 1986, Geamana village from Romania was a beautiful place in the mountains, with a population of 1000 people. The villagers were moved by Ceausescu’s regime to deposite the toxical waste from a coppermine. All the buildings remained to be covered. Nowadays, just the top of this church could be see out of it. Deep under the church, the entire village is buried in toxical waste.

15. abandoned places - submerged church - Geamana, Romania (2)

15. abandoned places - submerged church - Geamana, Romania (1)

#15 Train Cemetery  – Uyuni, Bolivia –  Uyuni is best known as home to the world’s largest salt flat. But travelers can also visit the antique train cemetery, where many mining company trains were abandoned in the 1940s, when the industry collapsed.

14. abandoned places - TRAIN CEMETERY (1)

14. abandoned places - TRAIN CEMETERY (2)

#16 The Russian Nuclear Mys Aniva Lighthouse – abandoned and radioactive – the Aniva Lighthouse, also known as the Sakhalin Lighthouse is located in the Sakhalinskaya Oblast, Russia. This lighthouse is one of many that are part of the Polar Nuclear Lighthouses, this one being closer to Japan than anything. They were put along the coast of Russia to help aid in the passage of ships because of Polar Night. Since they could not be crewed or supplied constantly these autonomous nuclear-powered lighthouses were erected. Many think these are radioactive because they were nuclear powered.

16. abandoned places - Aniva Rock Lighthouse - Sakhalinskaya Oblast, Russia (2)


#17 Wreck of the SS America – Fuerteventura, Canary Islands – on 18 January 1994 the United States Lines ocean liner SS American Star (former America, USS West Point, Australis) was beached in Playa de Garcey during a severe storm. Within a year, it broke in two and later lost its back half. By 2007 the rest of the severely deteriorated ship had collapsed onto its port side, gradually keeling over further and almost completely submerged. By 2008-2012, most of the remains finally slipped below the surface.

17. abandoned places - Wreck of the SS America - Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (1)

17. abandoned places - Wreck of the SS America - Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (2)

#18 Michigan Central Station – Detroit, Michigan– perhaps no building is seen as a symbol of Detroit’s struggles as much as Michigan Central Station. The building was built in 1913, and was the tallest railroad station in the world at 230 feet (18 stories). As air travel and auto usage overtook rail transit in the US, the usage dwindled, and the last train to use MCS was in 1988. The building has been completely unused since that date. Films such as Naqoyqatsi and Transformers have used the building as a symbol of blight and decay.

18. abandoned places - Michigan Central Station - Detroit, Michigan (1)

18. abandoned places - Michigan Central Station - Detroit, Michigan (2)

#19 Coal Mine Of Hasard De Cheratte , Belgium – the buildings associated with this coal mine look deceptively like a castle, as it was built (along with many other German factories) in a particularly impressive style popular at the time. This particular one was abandoned over thirty years ago – and it shows through the overgrowth and myriad broken windows throughout.

19. abandoned places - Coal mine of Hasard de Cheratte (1)

19. abandoned places - Coal mine of Hasard de Cheratte (2)

#20 Teleki Castle, Ocna Mures, Romania – located in Transylvania, the Teleki Castle has a rich history behind. The medieval stronghold (first mentioned at the end of 13th cent.) was rebuilt by János Gálfi, prince Sigismundus Bátyhory’s tutor, as a renaissance castle at the end of the 16th century. In 1742 István Mikes enlarged and rebuilt it in baroque-style. After it burned down in 1848, Imre Mikó rebuilt it in neogothic-style between 1856-1869. According to a local legend, the castle is haunted and considering its advanced state of degradation, the fiction is not far from reality, the castle seeming to be drawn from a horror movie.

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20. abandoned places

If you enjoyed the gallery above, you should take a look to our first selection with Top 20 Most Beautiful Abandoned Places Around The World.